What's Stopping Us From Achieving Our Resolutions?
What really are resolutions? Why do we create resolutions at the start of something new? How long does our motivation to complete them last? It seems like beginning a new phase is one of the best motivators to reflect on what we would like to change. What are some of your resolutions for this upcoming year?
Setting aside popular goals like losing weight or quitting smoking, which people repeat every year and rarely accomplish, other types exist too. These are perhaps more personal and have more meaning. What can we do to achieve them? One of the keys is being able to see your resolutions written down in a visible place. You should see them throughout the whole year and turn them into concrete actions. In other words, next to your goal, write down the necessary steps that will help you accomplish it.
Turning wishes into concrete actions is what gives our resolutions importance and consistency. In turn, it transforms them into the seeds of what we want to harvest. In this sense, being able to see them won’t let us forget them. This also will prevent them for falling lower on our priorities list.
The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania did a study that showed that 92% of the population failed to achieve their resolutions. We mentioned some of the reasons why this happens above. It boils down to general planning without concrete actions and lack of clear visualization of what we want to achieve.
Motivation: the motor of our resolutions
A secret to getting what you want lies in motivation and that you don’t lose it over time. Do I really want what I’ve proposed? Do I have the tools to achieve it? Does getting what I want depend on me? Do I see any possibility of accomplishing it?
An important part of being able to answer these questions relies on motivation. If I perceive myself to be capable, if what I’m chasing is what I want, if I can visualize myself reaching what I’ve worked so hard to get, and if every day is planned out with small goals and I can see a daily progression, however small, I will feel rewarded for the effort I put in to overcoming all the obstacles in my way.
Internal motivation is the best energy to get closer to what you want. Making a list, in which you invest time and hope, only to be forgotten later, only causes frustration and will hurt your self-esteem. Other important elements to prevent this list from becoming another decoration on your wall or hidden away in a drawer, is internal coherence, some reality (adapted to my possibilities and my resources), and a deeper, unifying objective above all other goals. Let’s talk about personal growth.
What could be my resolution this year?
Here’s a tip: leave aside everything you’ve already proposed but didn’t achieve. Perhaps the reason you couldn’t reach this resolution is that you lack strength, desire, or didn’t make it concrete and tangible. Maybe you couldn’t make it true because it was too general and you forgot that, in order to last, resolutions should have to be in touch with reality.
I suggest that you find something to smile about every day, and not just the general resolution of “being happier”. I suggest that your resolution isn’t to lose weight, but instead to snack only on weekends and schedule three moments to be active during the week.
Do something this year you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be big, like jumping out of an airplane, climbing a tall mountain, or visiting a country in every continent. It’s enough to enroll in activities you’ve never tried, trying new food, talking to different people, walking through new paths, or watching movies you never gave a chance in the past.
The magic of resolutions is that they invite us to become better people and to take on challenges. So what are some of your resolutions for this new year?