Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
We’re not meant to be taking action then.
It’s natural to want to improve and grow. In nature, if a plant is not growing, then it is dying. Human beings are the same. We may stagnate for a long time and that is nothing other than a slow death.
How many people do you know who are content with things exactly as they are and vegetate in front of the TV for hours on end, complaining if their routine is disturbed, complaining about their health and the state of the world yet doing nothing to change either?
My personal philosophy, rather than going by the man-made calendar, is that Spring starts in February when we see new growth in the gardens and the bulbs start coming through. Summer starts in May when the weather is often glorious, then August when everything is a little parched and the freshness of the trees and flowers blossoming is over is the very beginning of Autumn for me. Winter is November, December, January – those dark cold months.
By February it’s noticeable that the days are getting longer and we start to look forward to warmer weather knowing that the dark days are behind us.
This seems like a better time to act.
Just like the spring bulbs nose their way gently from the soil and into the weak sunlight, so can we do the same – not to make huge sweeping changes with resolutions that are too extreme and such a massive change from our day to day living that the sudden increase in momentum is impossible to maintain – but to make small incremental changes to our habits in order to create real lasting change.
When all is said and done, our daily lives are made up of a series of habits. If we want to change our lives, we have to change our habits. Phase out the old habits and bring in new ones so they become part of our daily life.
Small steps taken consistently i.e. forming a new habit, can lead to big changes. Make it easy on yourself. Trying to completely change your lifestyle overnight only sets you up for failure. You can make small lasting changes that stick and that don’t leave you feeling deprived and exhausted with the effort so that after a week or ten days you give up.
I once worked in a gym and the first week in January the place was packed. After ten days, there was a 60% drop in attendance. By the end of January, it was back to just the regulars who were in the habit of coming to the gym and who enjoyed it.
That’s key to exercise. It has to be something you enjoy and actually want to do. You are supposed to be enjoying life, not just enduring it.
We are all different, some people prefer running, some prefer yoga. Others get their exercise by gardening, walking the dog or housework – whatever it is it’s important to move your body.
Find your own rhythms and honour your body, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Don’t feel like a failure because your New Year’s resolutions went by the wayside within a week.
If you need support in getting clear on what you want and in making the changes to get there, this is exactly where a coach comes in to the picture.
Happy New Year – wishing you everything you wish for yourself in 2020.