Here’s the thing about new year’s resolutions. At this time of year, people set some great goals with really good intentions. They make the resolutions as a form of motivation, in the hopes of achieving those aspirations. Popular resolutions, of course, often have to do with eating more healthfully and losing weight.
The problem is that when the new year hits, people aren’t actually ready and committed to making the real, permanent changes to their overall habits and lifestyles. They aren’t prepared.
As human beings, we have a natural predilection for existing in a place of ease. We gravitate towards familiarity; we tend to reset back to our usual habits and to our usual way of thinking. Thinking – our cognitive thought – is really the key here. Our habit is to avoid any type of thinking that exerts a strain. Our human habit is to think, “Why should I work so hard when I could do what I usually do? That would be much easier.” That’s how we talk ourselves out of the healthy choices that we started to make the first week of January, and we revert back to our old ways.
It’s our predilection towards the status quo that makes resolutions -- and real permanent change of any kind and at any time -- so tough.
When we make resolutions, we don’t pay enough attention to reality. Our thinking and our habits are stacked against us. Deciding to change is a great start, but on its own it just isn’t enough. We need to prepare. We need a plan. We need detail. We need a guide that will give us a new default, so that we don’t just go back to our own ways. We need support for the times when we feel discouraged. We need information and perspective that will help us to continually motivate ourselves, because the motivation that we feel on January 1st is going to wane. We need to equip ourselves with tools to work against the strain and break through on the other side with the new habits and fresh lifestyle that we desire.
Change isn’t easy. It requires rewiring our thinking and new programming of our habits. If you have real changes and improvements that you want to make this new year, do more than make a resolution. Outline a plan. Set yourself up with information. Establish a support network. Equip yourself with the tools that you’ll need. And detail a guide for yourself that won’t just take you through January but well into March… June… September… and the entire year to come.
You can succeed at your new year’s resolutions if you don’t leave it to chance. Take charge, be realistic, and magical things can happen this new year.
Stephanie is a Holistic Health Coach who specializes in helping busy women honor themselves, their family, and their future by showing them how to streamline their life, eat better, create more energy, and make better decisions in order to decrease stress.