The proverbial New Year's Resolution. We talk about it for a month leading up to the actual date and when it finally arrives we are stressed out, full of anxiety and scared out of our tree. I mean, we tried all this last year and nothing worked. What makes this year any different? Why do you we think that this is going to be the year, no matter what? The bigger question is, why do we continue to do this to ourselves, year after year?
Going back into history a few thousand years, the Babylonians promised to be good in exchange for the gods rewarding them with abundance. A New Year's Resolution was born. For them, it was foolproof. Why then, 4000 years later, only 8% of us actually succeed in sticking to our resolutions? The answers might surprise you.
We have a hard time dealing with stress. Most of us do not have the proper tools to handle it. We try to conquer it but we cave. The result? Stress takes over and we no longer have any control. When we make a resolution, it adds an element of stress to our lives. Depending on what the resolution is. Say for example quitting smoking is yours, this entails giving up on a serious addiction. Even at the best of times, this is a hard one to deal with. We are so full of anxiety leading up to the day that by the time the day actually gets here we're either not ready or we go into it too stressed to handle the pressure. The result of that? We smoke and our resolution goes out the window.
2. We're really not that focused.
Sounds like a cop out but think about it. We only make resolutions because most of our friends have and they continue to ask what ours is. We make one just to shut them up but we're really not that keen on it in the first place. We told them we would give up sugar, but we have no interest in doing that. Maybe one day down the road, just not now. We're just not interested in a resolution right now. We even made a half ass attempt to try to stick to it but at the end of the day, we could not care any less. It's just not a top priority.
3. We have good intentions but no ambitions.
It's easy to say that this year is the year we are going to lose 15 pounds and keep it off. We know that we really have to and a small part of us really wants to. Unfortunately, the bigger part of us, doesn't really want to. We know that losing weight takes effort. We have to change our whole diet and we have to start exercising. That all sounds like too much work. We want to, really we do, but just thinking about it right now is exhausting. So we don't. We're just not ready to put in the effort. So much effort.
4. We're just not ready for change.
Not as ready as we thought we were. We start out the year 100% sure that we are tired of living the life we have now and that we can change and if anything is to change it is up to us to change. But that whole change thing sure is scary. It means jumping out of our comfort zone. We really aren't ready for that. We like being comfortable. It's simple and safe. We really did have good intentions. Again.
5. It's really scary.
Any resolution requires change, determination, hard work, perseverance and quite possibly, leaving our old life behind and starting a new life. It's all very scary and most of us break down in the face of fear. Fear is a big bad scary place and if we are alone, we have no idea how to handle it. So we don't, and we crumble under pressure. We want to improve and change and do better, but it's overwhelming and most of us, simple can't handle it.
Resolutions seem to be everyone's nemesis. Many simply stopped making them and tackle projects at various times throughout the year with much success. Maybe it's time we all do that. How successful have you been with your resolutions throughout the years?
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