The holidays have come and gone and with them many peoples New Year’s resolutions. U.S. News says that around 80 percent of resolutions fail by the beginning of February. Most of these people had high hopes of getting healthy by dieting, daily gym attendance, and finally getting a decent amount of sleep. Sadly, these great goals are abandoned long before fruition.
Why is that? Why is it so hard for people to stick to their guns and make it more than a month before completely giving up on themselves?
Psychology Today poses the question, “You may think you are interested in changing and you very well may be, but are you ready?”
We tend to jump into huge goals that soon overwhelm us and cause us to give up because we weren’t mentally ready for such drastic changes in our lives.
Get Goals Under Control
It is also easy to get discouraged when we find that the changes we were hoping for aren’t happening as quickly as we had planned. We set unrealistic goals, like losing five pounds every week, and when we hit February we are frustrated that instead of being 20 pounds thinner, we are only down 10 pounds. We forget to rejoice in our small victories and instead focus on the unrealistic goals that we set and didn’t meet.
We set ourselves up for failure. We aren’t ready for the goals we make, we set goals that are unattainable, and then we fail at our goals and give up. To make matters worse, we don’t learn from our mistakes and we do the same thing to ourselves the next year, repeating the process of high hopes and dashed dreams.
How do we end this cycle of self-sabotage?
We start small. If the goal is to be healthier, then we need to do what healthy people do. Speak to your doctor about safe and attainable changes you can make to your lifestyle. If you need to feel immediate gratification, visit your dentist for a teeth cleaning. Start the new year off with little things that help you feel the difference and set proper goals.
If exercise is an important change to you, but you never go to the gym, let alone leave your house, then it might be necessary to start with a walk around your block. There is nothing wrong with beginning simple, in fact, there is everything right about going that route because you’ll be able to keep up with your changes.
Perhaps you want to eat out less. Your first step could be learning quick, easy meals so when those hunger rumbles start you can still opt for a quick and easy route that is already prepared at your home.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be huge to be life-changing. The more manageable they are the more likely you are to succeed. Your new year doesn’t have to start on January first. You can start the new you today with setting simple attainable goals that will keep you moving in the right direction.