Does this happen to you every New Year? – You make New Year’s Resolutions, follow them for a week or two – maybe even a month – and then let them slip away?
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Most folks make sincere attempts to create firm New Year’s Resolutions, only to find themselves sliding back to their regular habits even before Valentine’s Day has rolled around. But what if the problem wasn’t weakness of character but the fact that the resolutions chosen were the wrong ones for you?
The resolution trap
We all know the standard resolutions most folks make each and every New Year: eat healthier, get into shape, watch less TV, get your finances back on track, etc. Make no mistake, these resolutions are important ones, and worth following. But if you make these resolutions every year, and find yourself continually failing to follow them, isn’t it possible that they are either 1) too generally defined, or overly ambitious; or 2) are resolutions that simply do not mean as much to you as you think they do?
The question invites you to think about the expectations you place on yourself – and to reflect deeply on your own wants and needs. Because in most cases, the failure to follow New Year’s resolutions simply comes down to choosing ones that are either unattainable in the long-term – or just aren’t all that important to you.
Rethinking New Year’s Day resolution language
The first step to making successful New Year’s resolutions is to readjust the language and expectations you place on yourself. It’s one thing to say, “I’m going to get into shape this year”. In that case, your resolution is both extremely ambitious and very hard to define – two qualities that in most cases will make it impossible to fulfill. Instead, why not say, “This year I’m going to start going to the gym three times a week”? Or even better, “This year in the month of January, I’m going to go to the gym two times a week, and then I’m going to build up in February and March to three times a week and keep to a regular exercise program through the rest of this year.”
Making resolutions that personally matter to you
A second potential adjustment to making New Year’s resolutions is to be honest with yourself about the kind of resolutions that truly matter to you. After all, if you make the same resolution year after year but never follow it, isn’t it possible that it just doesn’t mean all that much to you?
In this case, the problem isn’t just one of having a clear and defined New Year’s resolution goal with a specific plan of action – it’s in the very resolution you are choosing. So instead of making the standard “get in shape/eat healthy/less TV” resolutions, why not say “I’m going to make a point to see each of my close friends at least once a month, “or “Because I am unhappy in my job, I’m going to find a new one, or find a new career choice, in the next two months”?
The New Year’s resolution bottom line
It’s simple: you can keep blaming yourself year after year for making resolutions you do not follow, or, this year, you can make a resolution that truly means something to you personally – and set a plan of action that gives you the firm foundation you need to follow it.
It is our deepest hope that you fulfill all your resolutions this year. For more information about our company, J.G. Wentworth, call us anytime at 877-227-4713.