We haven’t made it through a full week of 2016 yet, but I feel like at some point in the past few days you’ve probably gotten down and bummed out that you already botched one of your NY resolutions. Researchers have concluded that about 1/3 of all New Year’s resolutions are broken by the end of January. Ugh. So why do we even bother? Why would we even set goals/intentions/resolutions for the new year?
Because humans are driven by faith. I am not talking about religious faith at all, btw, just plain faith in the general sense.
Faith is a cornerstone of humanity. It separates us from other species. It propels us forward. It has lead us to many big discoveries. It pushed our ancestors to sail even though they were fearful that the Earth was flat. Faith is what keeps us going. Faith that things will work out, faith that things will get better, faith that we’ll get that job promotion/bank loan/house/child/romantic relationship. Faith gets us through fear, doubt and darkness. Faith gets us through tough times. Faith makes us try. It’s kinda huge.
I believe that New Year’s resolutions are just a manifestation of our desire to have faith in ourselves, in our ability to improve, change and grow. It’s the hope that THIS year things will be better or different. Even if you don’t make goals or resolutions, even if you think they are stupid and pointless and would never do it, I’m sure there is something that you thought about in November and December where you were like “come January, starting in 2016, I’m not gonna do that anymore” or “come January, I’m gonna drink less, it’s liver detox time.” Newsflash baby, kinda a resolution.
So we make these resolutions. We have faith that things can be different. But when we can’t just turn a switch and completely change something overnight, we freak the muffins out. We feel guilty, we feel like a failure, we feel like there is no point, that we aren’t strong enough, we aren’t determined enough, we feel like it’s not “meant to be.” And so we give up. Because it’s easier. We tell ourselves and others “well I tried” or we play the victim and then we feel a little better about giving up, we feel a little less disappointed in ourselves. I think the toughest disappointment to go through, is when you disappoint yourself. And we like to avoid that feeling as much as possible.
But here’s the thing – it’s absolutely ridiculous. You are not Superman(woman) or The Flash. Crap takes time.
The real New Year’s Resolution is to wake up. To try. And to keep trying. It’s gonna take work and time. It might mean that you need to start small. And guess what? You’re going to fail and you’re going to mess it up.
So when you do mess it up, give yourself some love. You’re not a failure. Take what you can from it. Maybe you’re trying for too much too soon. Maybe you have to start small. Maybe you’ve figured out what not to do. Maybe this made you realize you need professional guidance (nutritionist, personal trainer, etc). Maybe you’ve approached it in the wrong way. Maybe you’ve realized that the goal needs to be slightly changed. The important thing is – if this is something that is truly important to you, don’t toss in the towel at the first moment of struggle or setback. Start over. Try again. And if you realize that it’s not actually that important to you, then whatever, don’t beat yourself up, just go and figure out what IS important to you.
Hope that you are making 2016 ridiculously amazing so far,