Here we go. Time to start with the New Year New Me crap. Joy oh bliss. The proverbial *New Year’s Resolutions* have been made and set, in stone, er I mean sand. I’m gonna tell you why I stopped making new year resolutions a long time ago.
Now while I’m usually very positive and optimistic and all that good stuff, the whole new year resolutions thing just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth for many reasons. I think the most significant reason is this: it sets us up for failure, and you all know how much I hate that ‘f’ word.
It still baffles me as to why we do this to ourselves. And besides, where did this resolution baloney stuff come from anyway?
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The history of new year’s resolutions
I seriously had no idea about the history of new year’s resolutions so I Googled it so you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome. Did you guys know all this stuff already?
It started about 4000 years ago with the Babylonians promising the Gods they will behave (what did they do that long ago that would be so bad anyway?) and in return they hoped the Gods would reward them with abundance so they could pay their debts (um, debts, like their cell phone bill?? colour me clueless).
Anyway, here we are 4000 years later, we’re promising ourselves to behave (oh yes, we’re bad) in hopes of great rewards (you need a miracle to pay your cell phone bill).
You might want to read more about it. Check out this article from history.com on the history of new year’s resolutions.
New year new goals
As one year draws to a close and another year rounds the corner, so many of us have this one thought-new year new goals. This is gonna be my year!!
I did this every year. At the start of the new year, I stood tall and declared with the utmost of confidence “This year I am going to quit…………(and it was always smoking)”. I told everyone.
I mean EVERYONE has to know! Dammit this is THE year!
Of course it wasn’t but I would never know that until February. I think once I might have lasted until April.
I did eventually quit smoking cigarettes but that actually happened on Christmas day of 2020. It was the most bizarre thing to be honest.
So how many of you have proudly declared “This year I am going to quit__________ < insert whatever it is you need to drop”. And how many of you missed your mark? Show of hands please. Don’t feel bad.
According to Forbes, only 20% of us actually succeed. Kudos to you guys. The rest of us have some serious work to do.
So when did I stop making new year resolutions and why?
In all honesty, I literally just stopped about 5 years ago. I was tired of setting myself up for great disappointment and stressing myself out. Why was I putting myself through that? It was ridiculous.
Every year I would tell 50 people or so I was quitting smoking and posted it all over my wall on Facebook.
The days smoke free was bragged about, cheers of congratulations poured in and then whammo, it all stopped. And I smoked my cigarette in shame, hanging my head, looking at my Facebook wall and thinking to myself, “you’re such a loser”.
Every year I did this. It was nothing but pure mental anguish and torture.
So why then did I do this to myself every year? It made no sense. Why did I set myself up for this massive disappointment, year after year? Every damn year I set out making new year resolutions and within two months I was labeling myself the biggest loser.
It wasn’t just quitting smoking either. It was other new years resolutions, other “ideas” I had that I was sure I was going to accomplish:
- hit the gym 5 days a week,
- stop eating sugar (get serious Iva, that will NEVER happen),
- stop biting my nails (which I don’t do anymore, phew),
- get a better job
you name it, I made a resolution about it.
But wait, it’s not just me, we all do that. There’s comfort in that for me. I’m not the only one. But I was ready to ditch the resolution trap and trade it in for something that might even actually work.
And I found something, and it worked.
Let’s make goals and take action
I’ve decided to replace making new year resolutions with goals. What do I want to achieve that is actually feasible within a reasonable time frame without driving myself crazy?
I set out to do this and these are the steps I took:
- I grabbed myself a bright neon pink bristle board and a black magic marker,
- taped that sucker to my wall,
- wrote the things I really wanted to achieve
- gave them all dates and
- look at that thing every damn day.
The more I looked at it and read what I had to, the more determined I was to do it. I told no one. Only myself. There was no peer pressure. No shouts of encouragement.
Just me, myself and I saying “you got this girl, let’s do this”.
What happened next still amazes me. By the end of the year I had achieved every single thing on that board minus one (I’ll leave this one to the universe). I knocked every one out of the park! Victory!
Yes! I get it now, it works.
Why wait until a new year?
Yes, for me, making new year resolutions was a total flop and I will never make another one for as long as I live. I realized that I didn’t and shouldn’t have to wait until that whole new year new goals crap.
I realized that I could set attainable goals any time throughout the year and putting it off until January 1st was just an excuse to, well, put it off. Why are we doing this? Why do we have to wait until a special day, the turn of the calendar, wait til the clock strikes midnight? Why?
Stop waiting until January 1st to set your goals. Do this instead:
- Sit down,
- make a plan,
- write out dates to achieve set goals and
- start crushing them!
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