The Stupidity Behind New Year’s Resolutions But Why I Make Them Anyway

by TaylorR

Another year is ending and another is beginning. I remember as a kid my mom would tell me to enjoy each moment of time because as we got older years flew by faster and faster. Back then, I looked forward to this, I wanted to get older and I wanted Christmas to end and come back around lightening fast.  It seemed as if live went by at a snail’s pace.

I didn’t understand what she was talking about, why would I not wish for birthdays to come faster?

papaw

Christmas time with my Papaw

Now, I get it.

Is it really just days away from Christmas? How did that happen? Sometimes I feel as if I was just 21 and here I am approaching the big 3-0.

I had so many goals that I kept putting off that I have yet to accomplish for 2013.

You know the ones…

“Oh, I want to do xx, I’ll do it after I finish this. I’ve got plenty of time left.”

Except that I don’t, and neither do you.

At least not if you look at the end of the year as a deadline.

Starting The Year Unresolved

What happens when the ball drops and you look back over the past year to think about what you did and did not accomplish?

Not everyone, but a large majority, will focus on what they didn’t accomplish instead of celebrating their achievements.

For a second they may say:

“Wow, last year I did this awesome thing! Go me.”

But quickly that will fade when they think back to their resolutions and short comings. Even if they accomplished 2 out of 3 resolutions, it’s that 1 failure that will stand out like a sore thumb.

The Problem With Resolutions

Half of Americans will make a resolution in just 1.5 weeks, yet only 8% will accomplish them.

Why? What is it about resolutions that make them so easy to fail at?

–> Resolutions generally aren’t solid, their superficial wants, often times set to fail 3 seconds after the ball has dropped. We’ve been brought up since kids to start the year off with resolutions, whether we really mean them or not.

–> They’re expected of us. And if we make them only because we feel we have to then of course we’re not going to stick to them. We’ve thought them out half hearted and deep down know that they aren’t going to be achieved.

–> Resolutions aren’t goals (at least for many of us), they are desires. And that lies the second problem.

After talking with Dr. Margaret yesterday she really hit the nail on the head when mentioning that to accomplish and stick to something you have to have more than a superficial goal.

Wanting to be a size 4 for a cruise isn’t going to be enough to keep going.

The 92% Failure Rate

new-year-res

Being in the top 8% of resolution success stories is tough. I know I’ve made my fare share of resolutions over the past 29 years and there have been many more failures than successes.

–> Resolutions are made out of expectations, not out of a real desire to change.

–> Resolutions are superficial without any true motivation to keep people going.

–> People make unrealistic goals, and once they don’t see the results they expect give up.

–> People often avoid working on the mental side to stay goal driven, to fight off doubt and to continue working towards their resolutions.

–> People don’t map out how they’ll conquer their goals. They simply wake up and say: “Starting today I’m going to …” Without a map (plan), 99.99% of the time you will not arrive at your destination.

–> People are afraid of change. For many it comes down to wanting to change but being afraid of it. How will life differ once their resolution is achieved? For many this fear leads to the deer in headlights look, and a failure to take the first step towards making something new happen.

Why We Should Make 2014 Resolutions

After all that, I am still behind resolutions. I will still be making them and I encourage you to as well. When done right, resolutions give us personal goals to grow and become stronger, better individuals. No one wants to stay stagnant and resolutions can help propel us ahead.

The only difference is that you and I now have the knowledge to be in that lucky 8% group. We are aware of our weaknesses for resolutions and therefore we know what it takes to make goals that work?

I think it’s also important to remember that just because you didn’t accomplish something in 2013 doesn’t mean you fail, nothing will happen when 12:00 am comes around. Our deadline can be extended and time will continue.

The 8% Success Rate

Okay, so here’s what it’s going to take to make goals that you can accomplish. In that first sentence is your first tip.

–> Make goals not resolutions. Take time to think about what you really want to accomplish this year. And then write down why. Doing so will help to get past the superficial responses that won’t keep you motivated. Dig deep.

For example: 

“I want to lose 20 pounds” 

Reasons: 

“I want to fit back into my pre-baby clothes”

“I want to not feel fat”

“I want to have more energy”

“I want to be able to keep up with my kids.”

“I want to be healthy.”

“I don’t want to end up like my parents, on cholesterol and blood pressure medicine.”

Those are just a few examples. But you get the point. Having your reasons laid out in front of you takes a resolution and turns it into a real goal. Things just got real.

–> Don’t come up with resolutions on the spot. When a friend asks what you are going to resolve, don’t come up with something on the spot. Think things through, plan it out and then answer (or keep it to yourself).

–> Map your plan of attack. Remember, one reason for faille is unrealistic goals. Once you have your goals, plan out how you are going to accomplish them. Write out a timeline with a deadline, and write out steps from the start to the end of how you’ll make it happen. You may need to make some tweaks once you do this as you realize that your initial goal needs more time than you originally expected.

–> Have regular check ins. Have you ever had a resolution and then got busy with life and forgot about it? Have a weekly check-in with yourself to see how things are going. Did you get off track one week? That’s okay, acknowledge it and move forward. One bad week doesn’t mean you failed.

Bottom line, resolutions suck because they’re made half-heartedly and out of feeling of oblige. As much as we say we want something, often we don’t want it bad enough to change leaving us  unsuccessful, failed.

But when done right, they can lead to success, growth and empowerment.

–> Do you make resolutions? <–

I am starting to plan mine out this week. I know them but am working on mapping them out for a realistic path to success. I will share some of them on New Years!

 

  • http://runnergirleats.com Runner Girl Eats

    I’m guilty of being in that 92%. This year I reached my goals…kinda. I wanted to save money and I did but not nearly what I was hoping so this year I will make a solid plan with real numbers so that I can cross over to that 8% :)

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Kinda is better than not at all! It helps set bigger goals for 2014 good luck!

  • http://www.itzyskitchen.com Erica

    I used to not make them…but I did make 2 last year: 1. to run a half and 2. to donate blood every 8 weeks. I accomplished both and plan to do similar resolutions this year, 1 for me and 1 for others

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Those are great ones! You accomplished the half right after the new year!

  • http://www.katielookingforward.com Katie

    Yes! I started blogging by taking about my resolutions. I didn’t achieve all of them, but I keep working on them. I’m always goal setting and working towards something. When I don’t have a plan I get a little lost.

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      That was so smart! Keep working on them, you’ll get there! I’m the same way, I need a plan and goals

  • http://misszippy1.com misszippy

    I’m not a big resolution maker, but I really like your tips here. So many reasons to fail at resolutions, but such simple fixes to succeed.

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Yes, so many things keeping us from succeeding but having goals helps so much for me.

  • http://day-with-kt.com Kim

    I don’t do resolutions. I usually pick one or 2 things that I want to focus on instead. This year I’m actually trying something new – I’m making a list of things that I want to do/try this next year. I love lists and marking things off of the list makes me happy.

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      That’s great! Like a 2014 Bucket List! Awesome.

  • Rebecca

    I’ve never really made “resolutions”, but for 2013 I told myself I was going to try to get out of my comfort zone more and really push myself to do this as I had gotten complacent with some things in my life. I turned 27 yesterday (what the heck…HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! Last time I checked I was 23!) and made a list of things I had accomplished this year that were hard for me, for a variety of reasons…anxiety being a huge one, and that is something that has limited me so much over the years. This was what I managed to do this year; things that were hard/difficult that I probably wouldn’t have done had I not told myself I needed to challenge myself:

    1) Quit my safe & comfortable (albeit boring) job without having anything else lined up at time of resignation.
    2) Found new job in a completely different industry
    3) Supported my boyfriend when he was given the chance to be relocated for work (long-term temporary – 6 months to 2 years) when I really didn’t want him to go
    4) Traveled internationally by myself
    5) Explored a foreign city on my own at time (baby steps are better than no steps)
    6) Said “I love you” first
    7) Really stuck with my fitness routine, and this is the first time ever I had exercised 4+ times a week for more than 2 months at a time. I got serious about it in April and now I can’t imagine not going to the gym, even after a long day. I get grumpy when I don’t go enough!
    8) Joined CrossFit after months of putting it off, despite my high interest in it, and put myself out there socially even though I was terrified the first night I went
    8) Lost 17ish lbs and I can definitely say I am in the best shape of my life so far!
    10) Visited new places — Ireland, Las Vegas, northern California.

    I have a couple goals for 2014, many of them fitness related…be able to do strict unassisted pull ups, a pistol squat, and I want to be able to deadlift 200 lbs. I’m at 155 right now and I know I can do it!

    Thanks for having such a great blog, Taylor. It has really inspired me to keep up with my own fitness goals and I’ve found a few wonderful blogs that I enjoy reading every morning as part of my routine. It keeps me motivated and gets me excited to get to the gym and give my workout my all!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      I love all of these! You should be very proud of yourself! I can’t wait for what 2014 has in store for you!

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