Almost nobody ever keeps them. The upshot is that, in addition to failing to do what they set out to do, they feel guilty, and beat themselves up for being a failure. What a way to start the year!
Why don’t we keep New Year Resolutions?
Perhaps they are too intimidating.
Perhaps they are totally unrealistic.
Perhaps they are initially unrewarding.
Are they just impossible pipe dreams?
Probably we get carried away and set ourselves impossible goals. Think about it. Is it really likely that, if your clothes come tumbling out of the cupboard when you open the door, you’re going to stick to neatly colour-coding your entire wardrobe? Are you really going to ‘file’ your clothes every day of the year? Highly unlikely! I’ve tried it several times and about a month is my best effort!
Or what if you absolutely hate exercise and invest in a horrendously expensive membership for the gym? You promise to go five times a week, come rain or shine. Is it likely? For a whole year?
Actually it’s highly unlikely!
The gym I go to is quite unbearable for January and half of February … you can’t get near the equipment you want to use because it’s so full. What a relief it is in mid Feb when it gets quieter again as gradually all the ‘new-year-resolvers’ fail to meet their goals and you can find a free cycle or power walker!
So, stop setting preposterous goals!
You will set yourself up for failure.
You will never keep them.
You will make yourself miserable.
Remember the old adage
How do you eat an elephant? Just a little bit at a time
So start small. Stop thinking about a year. Think about a week.
Great oaks from little acorns grow
If you’ve never exercised, do a ten minute walk twice this week. Succeed in this and do it again next week. After two weeks, it’s got a bit easier so increase to three times a week. Gently increase your speed of walking. Gently increase your time of walking … say from ten to twelve minutes.
Start looking for ways to walk to the shops instead of taking the car. Do it once and then SLOWLY increase the times you take a walk rather than take the car. If it’s too far to walk all the way, take the car half way, park and walk the rest of the way.
If you take two spoons of sugar in tea or coffee, reduce to one and a half and you probably won’t notice it. If you’re a big tea / coffee drinker you cut out a fair amount of calories in one day. Seven times that in a week! Once you’ve done it for a couple of weeks, change to one spoon. After a month your taste buds will definitely be changing and it’s easier for you to move to half a spoon. And then…?
Remember the elephant! Remember the acorns!
You can apply the principle to loads of areas in your life
Stick with it!
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