We cling to this idea that right after Christmas the New Year will bring about dramatic changes in our lives. We chant positive affirmations, and the festive spirit of the holiday season allows us to live in this delusional happy state for a few weeks. Naturally, this optimism fades as the decorations come down and our mundane schedules pick back up. We quickly abandon the promises we’ve made to ourselves and here’s why.
Most resolutions are impulsive
Many of us make last minute resolutions on the first day of the year but they don’t come from a place of genuine concern or interest. They are impulsive or spontaneous decisions, and I’m sure you’re well aware of how hasty actions can quickly turn into awkward disasters. Yep, you’re right, it’s nearly impossible to stop smoking cold turkey, and it’s physically draining to work out every day when you’ve never exercised. So instead of reacting to this momentary impulse how about keeping it real with yourself in regard to your goals.Take it slow, layout a practical plan, and be kind to yourself for once. Accept this universal truth; we all fall off the wagon sometimes.
Resolutions or Abandonments? You decide.
At this point perhaps we should just change the word resolutions to abandonments, because that’s what most humans do. We inevitably abandon the promises we’ve made to ourselves.
You declare a newly found love for animals along with a hatred for factory farming. So the next step you take is a resolution to become a vegetarian in the new year. Two days later you’re chowing down on a juicy double cheeseburger at your favorite fast food joint. Swift abandonment. Indeed, we are the sum of our routines and these habits are hard to break. Is it negative to assume before you begin that you will fail? Perhaps, but it’s even more depressing and unhealthy to pretend we’re able to immediately stop or begin a new behavior effortlessly.
If we’re being honest with ourselves and wish to live an authentic life, the best solution would be to release this idea of resolutions and accept a new tradition of abandonments. Focused on leaving things behind, like our awkward obsession with Donald Trump and Kylie Jenner’s lips. Kidding. But, of course there are certain things we all wish to leave in 2015… is your list realistically achievable?
Not to be a negative Nancy, but more than likely you’ve already failed at keeping or completing your resolutions for many years. Am I wrong? However, in the process you’ve probably discovered how pointless resolutions are to proclaim in the first place.
Many self-help gurus may disagree, suggesting that we should focus on the positive progress we make, but there’s nothing wrong with embracing failure and being mindful of the things we’ll realistically abandon.
I’m in no way suggesting that you won’t conquer your fears this year, or become extremely fit and land a fantastic job. Eventually, your hard work and consistency will be equivalent to your reward. We all have a set of goals we’re working towards, and I commend the passionate pursuit of happiness. I’m simply recommending that we acknowledge our silly unrealistic expectations for what they are and try becoming less impulsive with our goals.
This year, Don’t make resolutions, Make sincere commitments.
Take the time that you NEED and commit oneself to something completely. In the words of the great Jedi Master…
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
The Empire Strikes Back