Why I Hate New Year’s Resolutions

Rebecca LubartArticles, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

The weather is telling us to bunker down, cozy up, and hibernate and yet somehow based on a date on the calendar proclaiming a “new year” we’ve created a behavior more appropriate for spring time and harvest. This can often make them feel arbitrary and forced. No wonder so many people buy gym memberships and classes to “pass” through and end up never or under using them. Trying to do something new in January feels like the set up for failure…and that’s coming from a January baby! We put a big weight on a list that we usually take about 2 minutes to make. “Guess this is the year I should finally get skinny!” translates to new years resolution: lose 10 (or 25?) pounds…for the 10th year in a row…sure, this will be the year. Then life happens and 12 hours later you’ve broken your resolution. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy…it makes me feel crappy! However, I always say that if you’re going to dislike or complain about something you better be ready to offer an alternative solution. So here is what I propose: Rather than arbitrarily setting a resolution to exercise every day, never eat sugar again, or go to bed at 9pm every single night, why not consider setting yourself up for actual transformation. Prepare, analyze, strategize.

1) Prepare:
Try an activity that is going to really mellow you out and center you like take a bubble bath, light some candles, take a hot shower, or get a massage and then sit quietly for an hour…without your phone
When that hour is over I want you to make 2 lists. The first list is a list of everything you’ve accomplished, discovered, explored, and learned in 2017. The 2nd list is a list of everything you so much as *think* you might want to be putting on that list this time in 2018.

2) Analyze:
Divide your 2018 list into categories based on themes (these might be different for everyone) but could include home, work, self-care, family, social life

3) Strategize (2 options): 
1. Intention creation: For each category create a sentence of intention. For example, let’s say you have a bunch of items that fall in the category of family. What do you notice that is a thru line between all these things? You might write a sentence like: My intention for this year is to create a web of supportive friendships of both created family and blood relatives.
2.  Reverse Engineer: This option is for those of us who like to plan and want to get as specific as possible. From the groups of categories you created, now you are going to work backwards. Make a list of the literal tasks you need to execute to achieve the end goal. Want to take it a step further, put them on a calendar or even set up email reminders.

Is there a hard and fast way to make sure you accomplish everything you want to? No, I don’t think so. What I do know is that the more “all in” you go on appreciating what you’ve already accomplished, stuck to or achieved, and get clarity on what you want, the more invested you are in achieving it and that will be more likely to influence your year you than haphazardly writing a list on December 31 that no longer matters to you January 1.

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