New Year's resolutions are a widely accepted tradition, but too often the enthusiasm for change wears off before we can enjoy the rewards of our effort.
The start of a New Year brings about a sense of renewal and hope for the future. Resolutions are often made with that hopeful attitude, promising to make a change in our lives in the coming months. However, these resolutions often remain the same as years before: losing weight, joining a gym, eating healthier, spending more time with family and friends, getting a new job, saving money, taking that trip and so on. Year after year we strive to make changes in our lives that seem all too familiar and yet somehow still unattainable, with many of us struggling to keep our promises to ourselves.
But why do resolutions fall by the wayside each year?
Let’s take a deeper look into the concept of what a resolution is…it’s a declaration of intent that functions as a means of attaining a set target or outcome. It does not necessarily imply any form of binding obligation, plan, or structure. Rather, it serves as a mechanism for people to express their ideals and aspirations. It can be seen as a statement of intent rather than a guarantee of future action and often is heavily reliant on one’s willpower to carry out the change.
Willpower is like a muscle - if you use it too much, and rely on it solely, it will get tired. Just like you can't run for an entire day without getting tired, you can't rely on willpower alone to carry out your New Year's resolution.
Making a resolution alone isn't always enough to make a change in our lives, and it is prudent at this time to consider the efficacy of traditional resolutions in achieving meaningful change and self-improvement.
Instead of making a resolution this year, consider making a COMMITMENT to yourself. Rather than making a resolution that lacks the necessary structure and resolve to effectuate real transformation, it would be more beneficial to make a COMMITMENT to SELF.
It’s important at this time to embrace and accept yourself! By implementing a process of self-love and inner validation, we are then able to shift our focus from the things that we lack or wish to change to the things that we desire and strive for. This shift in perspective can have a multitude of positive effects on our mental health and well-being, as it allows us to concentrate on our individual goals and objectives, rather than spending time feeling ashamed or inadequate about our current circumstances.
Commit to yourself… One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is committing to our own personal growth and well-being. You are doing this for yourself alone, and by doing so you will reward yourself by finding joy and fulfillment.
Make small achievable steps… It is often said that "Rome wasn't built in a day," and this is an apt metaphor for any endeavour requiring a significant amount of time or effort to complete. To ensure that the goal is achievable, it is prudent to break down the task into smaller, more manageable components, as this allows for incremental progress to be made. Doing so not only provides a sense of accomplishment when each step is completed but also helps to build momentum toward the ultimate goal.
Acknowledge any setbacks… But remember there is no need to set up camp and be discouraged by them. Even if you don't meet a goal, stay hopeful and motivated to continue striving for success! Take time to reassess, get back up and start again, you are still that one step closer than when you started.
Celebrate the small achievements…Taking the time to reward yourself can help increase motivation, it’s an opportunity for self-reflection, and acknowledgment you are moving forward. Doing something for ourselves that we don’t normally do is the perfect way to give ourselves an extra boost of joy.
Lastly, this is a time to nurture and tend to our inner being with gentleness, understanding, and kindness. A commitment to self is a powerful tool for creating lasting change. It requires that we take the time to get to know ourselves and what we need. It also requires us to be honest with ourselves and have the courage to choose actions that are in alignment with our true desires. With determination and perseverance, we can all make positive changes that will impact our lives far beyond the start of a new year.