Why you should ditch the New Years Resolutions and do this instead…
I worked in commercial gyms for over ten years.
Every January we would prepare for the inevitable New Years Resolution rush. From the beginning, I noticed a significant drop off after Valentine’s Day: exactly six weeks into the New Year.
In recent years I have noticed that the crowds start to thin out by the end of January.
Research from the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people succeed with their New Years resolutions.
The Failure Rate of New Years Resolutions is 92%
When I say that you should ditch the New Years Resolutions, it’s not because I’m hating or negative. It’s because I know that you have a very slim chance of succeeding and the lack of success may potentially damage your self-esteem and keep you stuck.
Why you Should Ditch the New Years Resolutions
Here are several reasons why you should ditch your New Year’s Resolutions
- You’re depending on an arbitrary date to signal that your entire life should change: Ah the build up to the New Year with loud declarations of, “New Year, New Me!”. What changed from December 31 to January 1 that your entire life should change? Nothing except for the date on the calendar. The symbolism of the calendar changing into the New Year does not translate into you changing into a new person. This is unnecessary and unrealistic pressure you are putting on yourself.
- New Year’s Resolutions are based on all or nothing thinking: This is one of the biggest reasons New Years Resolutions fail. Rather than being a systematic growth process, people go all or nothing. If they want to get into shape, then They decide to go from the couch to becoming the next Olympic Decathlete. When they inevitably burn out, they decide the whole thing has been a failure and then they quit. If they miss a day or make a mistake, then they figure they’ve screwed up, it’s all over, and bye bye New Year ‘s Resolution.
- Unrealistic Time Frames about what you can accomplish: New Year’s Resolutions set people up to believe that there will be quick and insta-results. People expect a week or two of healthy eating and exercising to suddenly give them the body of their favorite Instagram Model. First, don’t believe everything you see on Instagram and Second: Real Transformation takes time. Most New Year’s Resolutions are not from a Transformation and Sustainable Long Term change perspective but fantastical ideas about what can be accomplished in a short amount of time.
- New Year’s Resolution marketing is all about selling products to fix what is wrong with you: What if I told you that there’s nothing wrong with you and that you don’t need to be fixed? If you’re like most people, then you would strongly disagree and point out all of your flaws. Marketers and Advertisers LOVE to drum up insecurities in people around this time of year. People may have enjoyed Holiday Foods and been off of the normal routine so now here we go with all this messaging about fixing yourself or punishing yourself for enjoying the Holidays.
- New Year’s Resolutions fail to address the biggest cause of what will determine your success-Your Mindset: It’s not about the “doing” of the resolution. It’s about what is going on in between your ears and trying to change your life without changing your mindset will not result in success. It’s not just believing that you CAN change. It’s also knowing that there is no such thing as perfect, life is a journey, there will be ups and downs, and it’s all about building your confidence through the inevitable growth that will occur from New and Challenging experiences. It’s not about pass/fail or outcomes but the journey.
So what should you do instead? So glad you asked!! Here you go!
Evaluate the previous year: Sit down and Review your previous year. What worked? What didn’t? What can be upgraded? Celebrate any wins and improvements you had and ask yourself what you learned from experiences that didn’t turn out the way you had hoped.
Make sure to look over your list of Goals from the previous year and look at your progress. Oftentimes 12 months is not enough time to accomplish challenging goals, evaluate your progress and decide whether or not this is still right for your life. (Review and Revise)
Set Challenging Goals for the Upcoming Year: Don’t set easy goals for yourself. Set goals that will stretch you and test your resolve. These types of goals provide the best learning experiences.
Develop a Plan of Action: You need a plan. Period. A written down roadmap with Action Steps. Without a written plan of action, you’re most likely relying on wishful thinking and fantasies rather than concrete steps of action. Write it down.
Get a planner (Best Self Co makes a great journal), journal, or use Google Docs (Microsoft Word also works)
Set Progress Points of Evaluation: Monthly and Quarterly work for most people. Give yourself time to make progress. Most people expect overnight miracles and anything worth doing takes time to develop. Give yourself Monthly and Quarterly Check ins to Gauge your Progress.
Review and Revise: What’s working and what not. Give your plan time to work but also don’t be afraid to change what is not working. One of the biggest reasons New Year’s Resolutions fail is because you may start out one way and then you realize that’s the wrong direction. Don’t be able to review and revise monthly and quarterly. Don’t get locked into all or nothing thinking.
Join a Community for Accountability: This is one of the most overlooked components of success. I have learned that when it comes to any type of transformation or accomplishing their goals, people need community and support. We all need encouragement to keep going, brainstorming with others to solve problems, resources, and to know we are not alone.
I ditched New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago and it’s all about my goals and growth! Leave me a comment and tell me your top Goals this year!
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