We’re already three weeks into 2016. If you made a New Year’s Resolution, how is it going?
Nearly 25% of people who make a New Year’s resolution give up on it after the first week, and significantly less than half of the people who made a resolution still follow-through with their resolution after six months. Those aren’t great odds.
In fact, you’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution that you haven’t kept. But don’t feel bad about it. You just made the wrong resolution, at the wrong time.
There are many explanations for why New Year’s resolutions fail, but at the end of the day they can be boiled down to these two reasons:
- You made a resolution that you didn’t really want to make happen, or
- You made a resolution that wasn’t realistic for you.
The majority of people – over 65% – make a resolution related to physical health, such as losing weight, exercising more, eating better, or something along those lines. This is something they think they should do, but unless it is something they really want to do – something they are willing to put the time and effort into making happen – it won’t happen.
Similarly, sometimes we make resolutions that aren’t realistic. For example, if someone resolves to take a trip to Europe but hasn’t saved any money and doesn’t have the vacation time from their job to do so, it will be almost impossible to make this resolution a reality (without greatly disrupting their life, that is). Maybe this is something they really want to have happen, but they don’t have a clear plan in place to make this a realistic option.
I’m not recommending against these things – I think everyone should have the opportunity to visit Europe, and our physical health is extremely important. But if you make resolutions that aren’t meaningful to you or aren’t realistic, you’re not likely to succeed in them.
What I am recommending is that you forget about whether or not you made a resolution for the New Year and instead just make a commitment to yourself – a commitment to make a positive change in your life that will increase your well-being. Identify something that is meaningful to you, something you really want to have change, and something you’re willing to work for, even if it takes sacrifice in other areas. Most importantly, choose something you are passionate about and something you truly want to do for yourself.
Be clear about what your commitment is, why you’re making it, and what the result will be when you’re successful. This will make it easier for you to create an action plan that will help you achieve your goals!
Jene Kapela, Ed.D.
You can contact Jene at firstname.lastname@example.org.