I used to make resolutions, get excited and then be down on myself because they never turned out. Like most people I would abandon them by February only to go back to my old habits. Not only did I feel down on myself after this but it was a major contributor to my anxiety.
The holidays are stressful enough as is. Adding grandiose resolutions to the mix only fueled that fire. Until I got real with myself and also learned more about how we are hardwired for success (of failure) in this case was I able to finally implement a system that really works.
There are a number of reasons new year’s resolutions are flawed to begin with:
1. The already have procrastination built into them. Setting this arbitrary date of January 1 implies that we can’t make changes year round and every day. Putting things off to some magical date only leads to procrastination, feelings of being less than and contributes to the anxiety picture. Further, it robs us from living in the moment- a crucial tool and skill set for tackling anxiety.
2. Most resolutions are unrealistic. It’s ok to say I will run a marathon next year. But no runner- even the best in the world started off with 26.2 miles on their first try. Set a goal of one mile, half mile, quarter mile or even around the block then go from there. The concept is called “goal chunking” and we cover it in The Anxiety Detox Method™ program.
3. Resolutions are often centered around what you think you SHOULD do not what you WANT to do. Unfortunately societal and social expectations set our goals and resolutions. Having the best body, being uber healthy, having career success and money. 99% of the time its based on impressing others. Why does this happen? Because we havent gotten clear on our own life’s purpose, vision and mission.
4. There is no system, motivation or commitment. The problem rests in that most people take something that most people take something that that doesn’t mean anything to them and try to make it happen. Resolutions are absent of a foundation and personal relevance which means they run out of steam. Most people also try to set goals without the help of a mentor and a coach. This is what we do! There comes a time when we deserve to love ourselves enough to get some assistance.
5. Most people set way too many goals. Focus on one or two and keep them small to begin with. The goes back to goal chunking but also rests in the fact that most people have not discovered their own “why”. It’s not enough to set a goal- there needs to be a deeper reason and a why. This takes some work and usually takes some assistance from a pro to get to that point.
And lastly, its crucial to measure progress. This can be done through journaling, an accountability buddy or a coach. Remember it’s about progress, not perfection.