Let’s Talk About Resolutions
Culture Spark Wishes You a Happy New Year!! Now let’s get down to business and talk about resolutions.
7 most common New Year’s Resolutions
According to Google search, the 7 most common New Year’s Resolutions are:
- Exercise more
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Learn a new skill or hobby
- Live life to the fullest
- Save money/spend less
- Quit smoking
It’s interesting that we recognize the things we need to do, but New Year’s Resolutions are innately flawed from the get-go for several reasons.
- There is nothing magical about midnight on January 1. It’s an arbitrary line in the sand that gives us a false sense of a clean slate that creates negative pressure.
- Because of this perceived new clean slate, when we invariably mis-step the very first time, we give up. New Year’s resolutions imply we must seek perfection, and anything less than perfection means failure. When we do fail, it makes it harder to rally motivation for next time.
- Many resolutions made are giant leaps from where we are today, they’re unrealistic changes we expect ourselves to switch on overnight. We make 10 resolutions then completely overwhelm our normal routines.
- Many resolutions are too general or vague to motivate action or measure our success. Look at the list above, it’s more a list of dreams than a plan of action.
Achieve Your Goals
Here are tips for avoiding these traps and sticking to your goals in 2022.
- Truth is, any day of the year is a good day to practice the change we seek. Don’t put pressure on yourself just because of the New Year. Remember that each new day is an opportunity to practice the life you want.
- Practice to make progress and be aware of what practicing does for you, its positive impacts on you. Forgive yourself when you fail and aim for progress, not perfection.
- A small victory beats a big defeat. Make just 1 or 2 reasonable resolutions, not 10. Don’t resolve to run a marathon when you haven’t run in 2 months. Resolve to run for just five minutes the first time, and reward yourself for breaking your cycle and doing the minimum to achieve success. Then leverage that success to set the next goal just slightly higher. Those small wins help motivate and perpetuate good habits.
- Set positive goals! Rather than say “lose weight”, or even “I want to lose 30 pounds”, focus your goal on where you want to land. “I want to weigh 130 pounds”. Goals that focus on “loss” feel negative, but when we flip them to the positive side, we focus on what we gain by working toward a goal.
- Be specific! A goal is just a dream without a specific plan of action. Want to exercise more? Ask yourself:
- What does “more” mean? How do I define success? How will I know I’ve achieved it (evidence)? I exercise one day per week now. So my goal is 3 days per week, and I give myself 4 weeks to work up to 3 days a week.
- What activities count as exercise? Explore a wide array of possibilities, indoors and out, to keep it interesting and to keep excuses for not exercising at bay.
- How do I make 3 days work for me, specifically? Decide what activity, when, for how long, and set it in your calendar. See? Specific.
- How will I reward myself when I reach my goal? Rewarding yourself in a meaningful way celebrates your wins and helps keep you motivated.
I’ve mapped out the most common resolutions, ways we set ourselves up for failure, and tips to stay on track with your goals. Set a feasible plan, call out your flaws, and make it happen.
Who’s ready to make this their best year yet??!
Be intentional and keep pushing forward, 2022 is your year to Spark!