Most of us have been making new year resolutions since we were old enough to decide we wanted to improve or change ourselves in some way. Whether it be a short-term resolution to return to a svelte figure after the over indulgences of the holiday season, or perhaps a more long-term plan to get into a fitness routine, it’s a steadfast way to press the reset button in our minds eye and instill some positive inspiration.
However, some feel that making new year resolutions is setting up for failure. It’s true that resolve can weaken, sometimes at the first hurdle and as such the self-worth may come crashing down around us. This “falling off the wagon” can have catastrophic results, tempting the return of those pre-resolution habits and/or behaviors so that our feeble souls may be comforted from the barrage of personal insults we mentally throw at ourselves under such conditions.
But it doesn’t need to be like that.
Any day is a good day to start doing something differently if it improves our lives, it doesn’t have to be the new year. But the new year has additional super powers that are worth utilizing. We’ve all at some point or another said something like, “I’m starting my diet on Monday!” Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But there are lots of Mondays available and they’re all quite close together, so if this Monday doesn’t work out, we’ve always got next Monday, or the next and so on! Mondays just don’t have the same motivating power as that special day that comes but once a year, New Year’s Day!
The super power comes about from the build up to the new year which always has us thinking. It’s a time to reflect and look forward to a fresh start. This conscious thought process gives our resolutions a longer marinating period, time for them to be absorbed into the subconscious mind, which is what helps to make them become habit or second nature! (First nature is instinctive; second nature is habit). If you want something set in stone, then it needs to be set deep in the subconscious mind and it gets there by repeated conscious thoughts and actions.
Everything we do to celebrate the new year suggests it’s a new beginning. The midnight clock countdown, the kissing and hugging of loved ones as the first embrace, the well wishes and blessings we offer one another at the first of the year. By these actions we establish a sense of fresh start, so it’s a phenomenal time to set a resolution, or two or three or more. Yes, lots and lots of resolutions, because improvement and a few tweaks for the better is always a good thing.
It doesn’t matter if all the resolutions don’t work out. If some do, then you have a win. If some last for a month or only a week, then something good has been achieved… another win! If you slip up, don’t be mad at yourself, just re-engage with your plan and carry on, remember, it takes a lot of repetitive behavior to make something a habit or second nature, the more tries you have at it, the higher the chance of the win.
Here are some of my personal resolutions this year: drink way more water, drink way less wine, cut out late night snacking, be in bed by 10 pm so I can wake up at 6 am, include more weight training, and lots of other ongoing tweaks that I will continue to train myself to do until they become habit. Not every day is a winning day, but because every day I consciously make an effort, over time improvement takes place and that is the goal. And, when all else fails, there’s always next Monday!
Wishing you a very happy, healthy and successful new year in whatever rocks your boat! Don’t forget to count the wins however small because they all add up.