Why We Make New Year’s Resolutions And Break Them

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 New Year’s Resolutions. Just about everyone makes them. And very few actually manage to keep them. It’s a fact of life. It’s easy enough to make goals, but difficult to reach them. Especially when our goals are unrealistic, or if they pertain to something that we don’t really want to do. It’s a lot more difficult to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, than it is to do something you want to.

For example, say your New Year’s Resolution is to lose 20 pounds. You may want desperately to lose the 20 pounds, but not want to do all that is necessary to lose that 20 pounds. It’s difficult to force yourself to exercise or go on a diet just to lose weight. A simpler goal would be to try to live healthier. You can start simply by giving yourself room to “goof up,” and not beat yourself up over a mistake.

For many of us, our New Year’s Resolutions start out by being something we desperately want, but things that require us to make major lifestyle changes. You can’t force yourself to lose weight just by thinking it, any more than you can quit smoking simply by deciding to. Okay, on the quitting smoking part, it might actually be that simple for some. For others, it’s a major struggle.

People don’t make New Year’s Resolutions just to break them. It’s not in human nature to want to fail. What is in human nature is to try and fail, only to keep trying until we succeed. It’s really easy to get frustrated and give up. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions should be simple, and relatively easy to attain. Don’t set impossible goals for yourself, that’s the surest path to failure. No one wants to be a failure.

The main reason we make New Year’s Resolutions is because of the hope that a New Year will bring new good things to our lives, we mistakenly believe that just because it’s a new year, our ability to fail is lessened. That’s not true at all. We all have the capacity to succeed or fail, we just have to choose which it will be. This is why it’s important to set attainable goals for yourself and to take “baby steps.”

This year, instead of making an insanely long list of “resolutions.” Resolve to make your resolutions attainable, so that you can achieve an overall sense of accomplishment and happiness in your life. Whether your goal is to lose weight, save money, get out of debt, get organized, spend more time with your kids- you can do it. Just don’t make your goals so specific that you’re going to set yourself up for failure.

Whether you lose 5 pound or 50, any progress is a step in the right direction, whether you completely quit smoking or simply cut back- it’s progress. Don’t kick yourself for “failing.” See the progress you have made, and rejoice in it. It’s important to cut yourself some slack and enjoy small victories. It’s only in small victories that the war is won.

Hopefully, when you make your resolutions this year, you’ll keep in mind that no one is perfect. If you’re striving for perfection, you’ll be sure to fail. Make more “general” goals, and make sure you congratulate yourself on any progress you’ve made. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it!


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