Have you figured out your New Year’s resolutions yet? It’s that time of year. Everyone is doing it. Or at least it seems that way.
I’ve been making new year’s resolutions for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid it seemed trendy. That’s because the whole idea was new to me. The difference between now and then? Back then I thought they would all come true. That resolutions were like wishes – make them and Presto…it happens.
I’ve since learned that isn’t the case. Most new year’s resolutions fail. My guess is that maybe 4% of people stick to their resolutions. That’s a subset of the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule. It’s the 20% of the 20%. The odds are stacked against you. You will probably fail too.
Because resolutions fly in the face of habit. We all have some habit, like smoking, eating or not exercising, that isn’t serving us. It’s not taking us where we want to go. We’re fat, out of shape and unhealthy. Because of this, we say to ourselves, we aren’t happy.
Changing these habits – substituting good habits for the bad ones – will turn our lives around. Or so we tell ourselves. When we’re healthy, fit and attractive then the world will open up to us. We will be in a better place.
And there’s no better time to do this than the New Year. When the calendar changes over so will our lives. It’s an opportunity to leave the old us behind. We can start anew and finally, be the person we were meant to be.
And we’ll be happy. That’s the best part.
Unfortunately, it’s all a fairy tale. As I mentioned before, most people don’t change anything. Not for very long. Some folks don’t last a week. The more tenacious might hang on for a month or two. Eventually we fall back into our old habits.
One dessert won’t hurt. Today’s my cheat day. I only smoke when I’m out partying. It’s too cold to exercise. The excuses make sense. We can always rationalize sticking with the status quo.
That’s one of your superpowers you know, the ability to rationalize. It’s also the greatest enemy of change. It’s even more dangerous to our plans for self-improvement than other people.
Because you know other people won’t stand for you to get better. If you succeed, then what does it say about them? Why are you able to do it when they can’t? What makes you think your so special? Your success must be an attack on them.
They take every chance they get to undermine you. They sabotage your effort. They give you reasons and excuses to fail. Wherever you are on the pecking order, your friends and loved ones will make sure you stay there. It’s almost like that’s their job.
It’s your job too. You’re most comfortable right where you are now. Doing what your doing in the exact way your doing it. But that’s no reason you shouldn’t make resolutions this year. You need to at least try to make your life better, to be happier and more fulfilled.
Take some time this week to write down some resolutions for 2018.
Fitness centers and diet companies are counting on you.