Happy New Year’s loyal Temple Display blog fans! Another year has passed. And if you are like most people you have one, if not many, New Year’s resolutions. From weight loss to quitting smoking or even just saving money; we all have created goals for us to achieve over the next year. While 45% of Americans are said to make New Year’s resolutions only 8% are successful in completing these set goals. But why? What makes these seemingly simple goals become the unattainable dream? I want to know what makes the average person unable to stick to their New Year’s resolutions. I also want to know how I can be one of the 8% that is successful in following through with my New Year’s resolutions.
The Origin of The New’s Year’s Resolution
First, I thought if I understood how the whole ritual of setting New Year’s resolutions got started. I could understand the reason why we still make resolutions every New Year. After a little research I found that the tradition of New Year’s resolutions goes back to the ancient Babylonians. As far back as 4,000 years ago these people would make promises to the gods during a religious festival celebrating loyalty to the new or present king. These promises were considered the first form of a New Year’s resolution. If the promises were kept the gods bestowed good favor upon them. If they were not, they would fall out of favor with the gods. Protestants, and Methodists alike have been known to hold watch night services where people pray and make promises to God for the New Year.
Throughout time setting New Year’s resolutions seemed to have been a religious promise. But nowadays we set New Year’s resolutions centered around one’s self improvement. A promise to one’s self for a better version of you in the upcoming year. Even though we are not making a promise to god, or worried that bad things will happen to you if you do not achieve your resolutions. We still make a promise to ourselves at the beginning of every year that we will try to improve. We might not be trying to appease a vengeful god or even be held accountable by another person. But we make resolutions with the intent on creating change within ourselves. And here is the answer as to why very few people follow through with New Year’s resolutions!
Evolving The New Year’s Resolution
Sure, we all want to be healthy, happy, and functioning on all cylinders all the time. But realistically we are not machines and cannot be perfect. But going along with that mindset, we don’t achieve our New Year’s resolutions because we set unrealistic goals. Not only are they unrealistic, but they are set in a large time frame. And maybe, just maybe, here is the answer to my second question. We make New Year’s resolutions that are too grandiose for what we really intend on doing. Not only that, we are asking ourselves to work towards that goal for an entire year. Which is a long time. And once you feel like you have “fallen off the wagon” or taken missteps towards following your resolutions, people tend to give up altogether.
Looking at the fact that we know most people set unrealistic goals when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. Also, that we are expecting ourselves to maintain these actions for an entire year. Means we are knowingly setting ourselves up for EPIC FAILS. There must be a better way! And I think I have the answer! Setting 1 major resolution for the year with many attainable checkpoint goals to achieve throughout the year.
For example, most people say I want to lose weight. Which is a very broad topic on its own, but I am thinking let’s think bigger. Instead of, I want to lose weight. Our resolution should be I want to obtain a healthier lifestyle. Remember this is something you want to work on all year long. It’s something you want to change about you and most times that only works if we make a lifestyle change. There are many things you can do to achieve a healthier lifestyle. As a result, you will lose weight too.
Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure
Now here is where I find myself again setting myself up for failure. I make multiple, extreme changes to my diet and workout, not only that I do try to do it all at once and right away. This makes the chances of me “falling off the wagon” and giving up altogether an almost certainty. There is no quick fix to changing any habit or lifestyle. This is something you’ve have spent hours, days, or even years creating. It won’t change overnight. So, start off with small obtainable goals in a time that is realistically doable. In my first month I am going to not drink soda or eat any fast food. I also will start walking after dinner 3 times a week. Start these goals out small and in a smaller time span. Maybe even set weekly goals if a whole month seems like a huge commitment.
The great thing is there are other avenues you can work on when you set a New Year’s resolution that is a broad topic. Like with trying to obtain a healthier lifestyle you can try to sleep more, meditate, even join a book club. Once you start to become healthier overall the working out and eating healthy will become easier and easier. Not only that, you will get hooked on setting realistic goals that are successful!
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