New Year, Time for New You?
New Year, Time for New You? The New year is filled with optimism and an incredible amount of hope. Surely, we all start each new year with this same exuberant joy in the pits of our bellies, right? There simply cannot be a better time to make amends or promises of a better future than just before midnight on December 31 each year.
This will be the year we finally lose that extra weight, take a new job, buy a house, get married or find new love. We all just want to be better people in this new year, which is admirable! So then… why do the majority of people fail when it comes to new year resolutions? It’s not far-fetched to say that most new year resolutions are not successful, either. In fact, up to 80% of new year resolutions fail (Campbell, 2018). But why is this?
There are so many reasons why new year resolutions may fail, all depending on the type of individual and the type of resolution made. For some, it could simply be bad timing. For others, having unrealistic goals, changing too much at once, trying to do too much at once or even just an uncoordinated mindset might play a role in a resolution not being seen through.
Bad timing for new resolutions
As many agree, December 31 is the perfect moment to oversee a brand-new year and promise to make changes. However, sometimes New Year’s Eve just isn’t a good time to make changes. Perhaps you’ve already encountered a breakup recently or had a loved one pass away. Vowing right here and now, on New Year’s Eve, to find new love or lose a large amount of weight just might not be the greatest of timing. You just might not have the mindset to plug forward with such large goals while trying to grieve other big changes that may have recently happened.
Resolutions & Mindset
It’s easy enough to say, “new year, new me” and try to be positive and hopeful in this brand new year. However, particularly if you’ve recently endured big changes in your life, mindset is something that needs to be shaped. Trying to overcome grief or other complex emotions may hinder your ability to stay super positive and optimistic going into the new year. It is important to allow yourself time to overcome any of these intricate feelings before trying to tackle large new year resolutions that may bring on some aggravation or frustration – especially if they might be difficult to achieve!
Unrealistic New Year Resolutions
Another reason resolutions fail is that they are simply unrealistic. Nearly one in five Americans admit to making unachievable or unrealistic New Year resolutions (Campbell, 2018). You can say you want to lose 50 pounds in the coming new year, and this might be perfectly achievable, especially if broken down into a personalized program for yourself. However, if you say you want to lose 50 pounds in three months – this is highly unrealistic. Most weight loss programs suggest not losing more than two pounds per week, for an average of eight to ten pounds lost per month if a person really sticks to their goals. So, in three months, realistically, you’d be closer to losing about 24 pounds – half the goal you initially set for yourself. So, if you’re setting goals for yourself, be sure they’re actually attainable. When they aren’t, they are more likely to fail!
Changing/ Trying to do too much all at once to achieve a resolution
The fact that New Year resolutions exist at all is proof that people want to change, they want to do better for themselves. In fact, they might be downright unhappy with their current life. In this case, many individuals damn their goals for the new year simply because they want to do too much at once. For example, a person desperately wants to find new love and so they vow to get their hair and nails done more often, get on a dating site, start exercising a little more and be more social. Does this not sound exhausting to you?! This is simply too much for a person to do all at once. And when we fall behind on one part of our goal, it is likely the remaining parts will suffer, too.
So, if resolutions are prone to failure by so many, why not look at some simple tips to help them be achievable? Try THIS when making resolutions for 2020:
- Ensure your mindset is really on achieving new goals. If not, make a new year resolution to allow yourself the time you need to grieve or overcome some intricate emotions before making new goals for yourself
- Keep them simple, realistic and achievable! Write them down and make a plan on how you’re going to make them actually happen!
- Baby steps – don’t change too much, too quickly and reward yourself at certain intervals to keep you on track and ready to achieve more – you CAN do it!
Campbell, Kevin (2018, January 5). How to Make Big Health Gains in the New Year. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2018-01-05/how-to-make-big-health-gains-in-the-new-year