A New Year's Resolution Worth Making
Setting goals for ourselves is an essential step to a fulfilling life. Yet, New Year’s resolutions tend to have a bad rep. Why is this?
From my previous experience they can have a sort of ceremonious way of setting us up for failure.
The build-up to another year and a fresh start gives us new hope for a better version of ourselves. However, what we often find is that soon into our calendars, we run into the same critical inner voices, self-doubt, self-defenses and self-sabotage that have long created barriers to achieving our goals.
Sometimes these inner enemy forces win, persuading us to slip up, then punishing us for failing once again.
“Just stay in bed a little longer,” will echo in our heads.
“The gym can wait.”
Then, as soon as we hit the snooze button, it starts in on us with thoughts like, “You never do anything you say you will. You’ll never be in shape. Why can’t you just fix this?”
The problem with resolutions is that they tend to be fueled by this inner critic. They’re centered on “fixing” ourselves and not in a positive sense.
Planning for the new year again is always a challenge. But to make it less of a challenge for you, here’s some useful tips to kickstart your preparation.
Beat Down the Door of Self-Sabotage
Self-sabotage is a very common problem. It’s not always because of a lack of knowledge or desire to achieve your goal, but sometimes a deeper psychological reason. Perhaps you, like me, are guilty of it sometimes.
The worst part is that it hits you just as you’re beginning to achieve results. It usually starts with the excuses you make when you start to slack off.
Let’s recall some of the most common ones…
“I have to work late.”
“I’m tired after a long day.”
“It’s raining so heavily…”
They are all a slippery slope because one excuse invariably leads to another and before long, you have negated all your hard work.
Focus on your Goals
First, focus on the goals you wish to attain and adopt a process that will keep you on track. It could be in the form of a smartphone app, diary or a trainer. Having a human buddy or a technological one makes all the difference as it’s like a report card.
When you monitor your progress closely – be it your body weight, how much further you can run or whether you should revamp your entire wardrobe, this helps you stay on track. When you are on track, you boost your own self-confidence and this in turn, creates momentum.
Become more generous
Let’s stop buying into the notion that we need to be fixed. Instead, let’s resolve to do the one thing that’s been scientifically proven to make us happier, more fulfilled individuals — let’s shift our focus outward and become more generous.
Stop the negative self-talk
Pay attention to negative self-talk. These include “I can’t lose weight” or “Exercise is a pain” or “I’ll just wear whatever I have in my wardrobe”…
Very often, all this negative self-talk causes a mental struggle that will eventually work against you, zap again your original good intents and bring you down.
Lastly, reward yourself each time you achieve a significant milestone. The goal is the final destination but along the way, there are many minute steps that lead you there.
When you reward yourself for each positive achievement along the way, the entire journey feels more meaningful and achievable.