I’m the queen of starting something on January 1st and never finishing it. I’ve started coloring books, journal entries, diets, exercises, money saving plans -- all of which I did for about a week and then gave up. But the question is: Why do I never actually accomplish these things?
Most people, including myself, go into the new year with high hopes and intentions of becoming a better person, but according to Forbes, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February because they aren’t “realistic” goals.
I believe that a very important trait to have is the ability to stick to something even though it’s hard. When most of us think about resolutions, we think of little things that we told ourselves we’d do, but never did (like that diet we all said we’d start after Christmas). In reality, though, a resolution should be the equivalent of a promise. In the dictionary, the top definition for resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” This being said, a New Year’s resolution should be more than just a thought -- it should be a promise to ourselves to strive to be better even when it’s difficult.
You may be thinking that it’s not really that big of a deal to complete some goal you came up with at midnight at a New Year’s Eve get-together, but in the end, actually completing that goal is so worthwhile. Think about the satisfaction you’ll feel when you can finally fit into your old favorite pair of jeans again, or how organized you’ll feel when you organize your kitchen drawers for the first time in 10 years. Resolutions can be rewarding!
Most people choose to set lofty goals that, realistically, will never be completed. For example, some of the most popular resolutions are exercising more, losing weight, and traveling. However, there’s an issue with these goals, which is why it’s nearly impossible for people to complete them. Couch potatoes suddenly decide that they’re going to work out every day, junk food addicts decide that they’re cutting out nuggets and eating asparagus instead, and people who have no history of saving money whatsoever decide they’re going to go to Paris for a month. What are the odds of that actually happening? Slim to none. That’s why when we set a goal we should start with small steps to accomplish it.
If you want to go to the gym more, then by all means, go to the gym. But start out small -- go two or three times a week to get used to it. Build up your stamina. Don’t try to go every single day and burn yourself out. Be determined to improve yourself. Refuse to give up.
If you’ve already broken your resolution, I urge you to think about the benefits your resolution could have brought you had you kept it. Would you be happier or healthier after accomplishing your goal?
Keeping a resolution is more than simply telling your friends and family that you did it; it’s about feeling proud of yourself and accomplishing something worthwhile. If you haven’t come up with a resolution yet (or you’ve already broken yours), I encourage you to set a goal for yourself. I encourage you to complete it. It will be so, so worth it in the end.