It’s New Years Eve 2015 and I had some thoughts about making some new year resolutions, this is not something I normally would do as I really enjoy New Years Day, I always like a special meal and a few glasses of wine to start day one and the next 365 to come, it’s a leap year. Some people choose to not mark the New Year occasion in any way, others see the new year as an opportunity for self-improvement, the new you, there are even a select group who see the new year as a time to reflect on the past, the future, the changes we want to make in their lives for the better and sustain those changes all year. Depending on what your resolution is, keeping a new year’s resolution can be more difficult than you first think, perhaps that little promise made late new years eve after the overindulgence of Christmas can be far too easily forgotten about when you return to your normal routine of life, whether that be the daily trudge to work, daily cycle of parenthood or even that solitary existence on your own, enjoying your own space and surroundings
Maybe for some, New Year Resolutions are an even bigger issue, a time when you reflect on all areas of your life, you consider how you might have done things differently to have change the course of the previous year, worrying where the year has gone, where the years are going. Most New Year’s resolutions are about health, wealth, relationships, or personal development, in other words, they’re about the kind of things that matter most to us and our existence on this planet.
New Years Day becomes the opportunity to refocus our aspirations, goals into just a single day, the 1st day of the year and we do this by looking at all the negatives in our life, the previous year, which is quite a destructive thought process when you look at New Years resolutions in this context. If you are going to achieve your new years resolution beyond the first week in January a little more planning may be required. Let’s say your resolution is going to be ‘to lose weight’, you are going to eat less and more healthier, do more exercise, that’s sounds like a pretty depressing thought. How about making your resolution, to look sexier, to where sexier clothes, how this will effect your social life, your parenting, your work. Perhaps your resolution is to change job, again how daunting will that sound Monday January 4th at 9am, how about making that New Year Resolution to change the way you look at work change the way you commute, change your eating habits at work for starters.
Whilst writing this blog I have the television on in the background and have just heard the Manchester United manager declare his New Years Resolution: “to be champions next year’, big mistake if he loses the next game. Perhaps his resolution should be a collection of changes to help Manchester United to be champions again. When it comes to the cycle of change it’s important that we understand that change more often than not takes time, energy, effort, and a plenty of patience. At times doubling your effort and energy can give very little reward if any, patience, however allows you to commit to longer term resolutions and not give in after setbacks.
The obvious point is that a New Year’s Resolution requires a full understanding and full investment, it also requires quick rewards to keep you motivated beyond January 2nd. You’re not attempting to change the world, however you are attempting to change norms, habits and addictions in your life, perhaps changing the world may seem the easier option come tomorrow morning.
Something to remember tonight, tomorrow or whenever you make your 2016 New Year Resolutions is that you will never be perfect, that’s one thing I can guarantee, people start out with New Year resolutions with all good intentions they may make a few mistakes, they relapse or even cheat a little and what do they do…they give up, succumb to the fact they can’t do it when there is no reason to, there is the option to continue with your resolution and still achieve those goals.
New Year Resolutions are about breaking habits and you will need new behaviours to fill the space that the habit invaded and this is where many people go wrong, including myself, having gone wrong in the past. These behaviours you indulge in and want to change turn into habits only after long and sustained repeated use, don’t think you can break these habits after a week, a month but set your goal for at least three months. An example is the New Year resolution to join a gym, the fitness industry counts on us giving up, they sell year-long contracts knowing most of us won’t actually sustain for more than a few weeks because we get distracted by other things, overwhelmed, or uninterested. If after three months you realise you are not going to the gym sign back up to your resolution and start again – you have paid for the year.
So, the question is am I going to make any New Year resolutions this year, probably, definitely, am I going to tell you what they are, no. I am however going to try and practice watch I preach, or blog about and consider all the above when trying to achieve my goals in 2016 and if I break those said resolutions I’ll resign up to them the following day for 366 days.
Happy New Year