As we celebrated the start of another year with champagne and midnight smooches, many also declare a New Year’s resolution – “New Year, New Me” right? I’d like to go on record and say if you’ve waited till now, you’re late to the party.
First, resolutions around New Year’s day is a social concept. So many people fail these false commitments as we’re expected by others to have one. The reality is goals pushed by external pressures often leads to disappointment or worse, a deflated self-esteem. Don’t wait for a new year, make your goals when it matters most to you.
Secondly, let’s challenge the word itself. Resolution means making the decision to do something or not. For me, that gives a sense that its broken and needs to be fixed. It conveys a negative tone that can lead to self-deprecation. “I’m going to eat better” can be a goal but adding a feeling of brokenness turns it to “I’m going to eat better because I am fat.” Not great self-talk.
Rather than resolution, make it an evolution. This changes the idea from not a fix, but a continuous improvement to the habits and actions that lead to positive outcomes. It also gives the right to make changes gradually, allowing for flexibility. As an evolution, it happens over time rather than a resolution that is absolute and rigid.
As you work through your own goals, consider the mental shift from a resolution to evolution. Believing that it is an evolution gets you over the social concept, through January, and beyond the first couple times you “slip.” If you agonize over your progress you’ll lose hope too quickly. Habits take time to form and you need the mental strength. Even upward trends have ups and downs and so will you.