In last week’s article, we said that there are two ways of looking at the beginning of a new year.
- No matter how heavy, hard, and tiring the previous year was, you have the chance to turn that little leaf over and hope it’s greener.
In that article, we put the focus on how crazy-hard it is to actually follow through with your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a summary: It’s really hard.
But the story doesn’t end there. You can look at #FailSeason through another lens.
If one were particularly optimistic, one might say that the true spirit of the new year is success.
As we covered last week, abandoned resolutions are plentiful. But there’s this unshakeable reality that optimists can hold to no matter what:
The only way to change something you want to change is to try to change it.
As the famous saying goes, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” Keeping resolutions isn’t easy, but in order to succeed in them, you have to make them in the first place and try to actually keep them. If you look at things in this light, even making a resolution is a win, because it shows that you have the desire to move yourself in a positive direction.
Yes, most people don’t reach the exact goal they’re shooting for, or they abandon them long before they see anything good come out of them.
But when people “win” their resolutions, they win big.
The seeds of healthy lifestyles, emotional balance, strong relationships, exciting opportunities, rich experiences, and lifelong hobbies are often found in what some would call “contrived initiatives” like making a New Year’s Resolution.
You’re manufacturing the desire to change something in your life that is unhelpful or unsatisfactory. Even if you don’t feel like taking the steps toward that change, you do it anyway.
That’s a win.
If you wait around until you want to exercise or read a 50-greatest-books list, you’re probably going to be waiting for a while. But if you’re courageous enough to go against the tide a bit, you have a chance at some awesome things.
That’s why the new year season is #WinSeason.
Yet, the courage it takes to make a resolution is far different from the kind it takes to fulfill one. You need the right kind of approach, the right “brand of fuel” to reach your ultimate win.
You’re reading this, though, aren’t you? Read on: I think you’ll be just fine.
Here are a few reasons you will keep your New Year’s resolutions this year.
1) You’ll Keep It Simple
Rather than trying to fix all the problems or areas of boredom in your life, you’re going to choose one or two areas and go at them hard.
A good one-two combo is setting goals for something you need (e.g., better health) and something you want (e.g., to run a marathon or visit new states).
Here’s the tough reality: your year can’t be all about your goals. You’ve got bills to pay, food to eat, people to see, and you need to rest sometimes. So your resolutions aren’t going to stay at the top of your mind all year.
That’s why you’ll need to help your brain out and continually return to one or two areas you’re focusing on. If you can condense your resolution into one word or phrase, like “more vitamins,” that’s even better.
2) You’ll Be Reasonable
I can see it now: you’re going to set yourself up for success by being realistic.
You’ve probably heard the psychological concept of achieving small goals to increase your confidence and ability to achieve larger ones. That’s the ticket here.
Make your resolutions out of clear-headed, healthy desires rather than desperation. If you notice your health or weight trending in a direction you don’t want it to, you’ll be tempted to course-correct immediately by jerking the wheel the complete other direction.
If you do that, you’ll flip over.
Instead, recognize that you’d rather be going over there than in the direction you’re headed, and make a slight turn. When you’ve done that, make another. And another after that.
3) You’ll Focus on Habits Instead of Goals
Goals are external. They can be achieved, then abandoned. For example, you can save up a lot of money in a month if you really put your mind to it, but if you’ve reached your goal, it’ll be easy to quit.
Habits, on the other hand, are internal. They come from who you are, how you think, and what you believe. Important things such as saving enough money or maintaining your health have to become part of your lifestyle rather than your short-term goal planning.
Instead of meeting goals, work to change your habits so that you’ll continue to make the kind of choices you want to make, even when there are no temporary goals around to keep you focused.
It’s not all serious, either! If your resolution is related to having fun or doing something exciting, you don’t want that to just be a goal to reach. Make enjoying yourself a habit, a regular part of your routine, as much a part of your week as grocery shopping or brushing your teeth.
If they’re built up to a strong enough place over time, habits run almost automatically. This goes for both bad and good habits.
So instead of trying to hit a goal, shoot for more. Change your habits.
You know why you won’t keep your New Year’s resolutions.
They’re more involved than you thought. There are a million other important things vying for your attention. You’re not as strong/committed/passionate as you thought you were.
But the three reasons above are why you will keep them. They are helpful tips for turning #FailSeason into #WinSeason.
Your outlook and attitude in this makes a huge difference. If you believe the resolution is worth it, and you’re willing to fulfill it, you can do it.
In fact, you will.
By: Ryan Drawdy
January 9, 2017