Why do we Almost Always Break our New YearÂ’s Resolutions?
Â“Resolutions: It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.Â”
Why do we break the New YearÂ’s resolutions that we make? It is not because we do not have good intentions. The resolutions we make are usually heartfelt and thought about for a long time prior to making them on New Years Day. The problem lies in the fact that what is not thought out, is the plan to execute the goals and or, the reality of actually being able to accomplish them.
The best way to break a New YearÂ’s resolution, or any goal for that matter at any time of the year, is to simply dream about it yet, do nothing tangible to make it happen. I know new thought followers will not agree with me, but heck that is what makes this world so great; we can all do what we believe to make our goals happen. The keywords here are to make our goals happen. I base my belief on my personal experience and my training as a therapist. New thought people, if simply believing your goals will happen or have happened already works for you go for it. I also believe in the old adage, Â“if it ainÂ’t broke, donÂ’t fix it.Â”
The trouble is, as the excerpt I opened my article with states, it is broke. We break our New YearÂ’s resolutions all the time.
Nobody is successful without goals and having goals is just the first step of the process. Then we must have a plan of action and make sure we keep on track to successfully accomplish what we set out to do.
However, just like the first domino in a line of dominoes falls causing all the others to fall with it, if your goals are unrealistic in the first place you are headed for disaster. Unfortunately so many of us set ourselves up for failure.
For example I had a friend once who made the goal that he would have a girlfriend within the first four months of the new year. When it didnÂ’t happen he had a nervous breakdown.
What went wrong?
His problem was that he put a date on something that cannot be measured. Boyfriends and girlfriends just don’t come because we wish for them, especially in the time frame we set. His goal should have been that he would eventually have a girlfriend, which in turn would have given him more of the time he needed to find one.
I had another friend who had a goal of becoming a millionaire by the time he was thirty, he didn’t and he became very depressed.
Again the time frame was ridiculous. He was 27 at the time he made that goal and was selling hotdogs at an amusement park for a living. Also making a million dollars was an extremely difficult for anyone to do. Had he made the goal that he would have a better paying job in that time frame would have been much more doable.
Once you make a goal that is realistically doable, you then must put a plan into action.
First you must figure out what it will take to make that goal happen. For example is your goal is to get a better paying job,
What kind of job do you want and do you have the talent for it.
If not then why not?
Is it because you need training, do you have to go back to school and what school do you need to go to if you do, trade school, university, high school etc?
What are the requirements to go to that school?
Do you need to take refresher courses even before you get into the school you need for your career?
Do you need experience for the job you need, if so how will you get it?
Do you need money to help get that dream job, for example, money for school, a car, babysitters, cash to invest in the company you want to start etc. How will you get it?
How long will it take to realistically accomplish your goal? If you need to go to university you have to consider that it will take no less that four years to accomplish and your New YearÂ’s resolution will not be accomplished before the end of 2009.
As you can see there is so much planning that goes along with goal setting.
After you figured out your plan of action and you know how you will get the tools you need to set you on the right track you must remain on the right track.
First, you must be persistent and continue to work towards your goal. You cannot stop midway and take a long break if you expect to get the goal accomplished in a timely matter. However, some goals need not be set in a time frame such as if you want to better yourself as a human being, this goal takes a lifetime as each and everyone of us can find new things to learn, to change about ourselves etc.
However, if you need to accomplish your goals in a timely matter, taking long breaks or even a short break can be counterproductive. For example if your goal in January was to lose weight throughout the entire year and you dieted in January through March but come April you decided to take a break and go off your diet, it is highly unlikely that you will reach your goal in a timely matter. Furthermore you are putting yourself at the risk of breaking your goal and never going back to it.
Are you still with me? Okay so you are persistent. You will not stop until you make it happen. Though this is the best philosophy we all know that life does not always work out the way we would like it to. What happens if you just cannot complete your goal? Does that mean you continue beating your head against the wall to make it happen? Or do you just throw your hands up in the air and give up?
I suggest that you look over your goals and see if you are still on track or if you might have to do some revision.
For example if your goal was to go back to school to become a nursery school teacher. You planned on doing it full time and were about to apply full time in the fall, Meanwhile your husband losses his job in the summer, and now would not be a good time to start. You need to get a job to help out with the family finances.
I suggest instead of abandoning your goals altogether and say, Â“see whenever I want something for myself I can never get it, there is always something in my way,Â” you can address the immediate problem to find a job to help out until your husband gets back on his feet. As far as school instead of going full time how about part time? What if you take just a course or two for your degree and when your husband gets a job and money is flowing in again you can quit your job and go full time as you originally planned.
Revising plans are something we must always do because life does and always will take precedence.
Now having said all that let me tell you what my new yearÂ’s resolution is. I plan to lose 100 pounds in 3 months Â– joking! But seriously when I can I am going to eat healthier.