Millions of people make and break New Year’s Resolutions – and most will have given up long before completing them. According to statistics, 23% of resolutions are broken in the first week and 45% by the end of the first month. So this coming year, it makes a lot more sense to set meaningful GOALS, not resolutions! And it doesn’t matter that it’s almost March, positive changes can be made at any time of the year.
What I’ve noticed with resolutions is that they often come from what I call the Mindset of Denial. Drink less, eat less, watch less TV, spend less etc. which isn’t much of an incentive to do, as it seems that we are somehow punishing ourselves in the pursuit of becoming a better person. Where’s the fun in that? So instead of ‘old school’ resolutions, why not try something different? Positive Goal Setting to be precise- a meaningful goal is something we WANT to do for ourselves. It is rewarding rather than punitive.
Instead of saying ‘I’m going to eat less junk food for the whole year.’ Tell yourself ‘I am going to really take care of myself today, and eat more healthily.’ By breaking these huge year-long intentions into just 24 hours, it gives you a much greater chance of success, which will feed into your positive mind set and spur you on to repeat that reward tomorrow, and the next day.
By adopting this practice, I have over the years given up smoking successfully, completed Veganuary and continued to be vegan for 5 years and counting, and reduced my alcohol intake by doing Stoptober and Dry January each year. I am now going to focus on getting fit, the one I’ve been avoiding, to be honest, since I ran a half marathon over 3 years ago.
My old school resolution would have been something along the lines of
‘This year I am going to go back to the gym at least 3 times a week, and by the Summer I will be really fit.’
It turns out that that level of motivation, at least for me, is really hard. I’d find excuses not to go, because, truthfully, I don’t particularly like going to the gym.
My GOAL instead for this year is… ‘I am going to find something I like doing, and commit to attending a full programme of classes.’
Turns out I really enjoy yoga, and pilates. How have I gone through this much of my life without knowing this sooner. And because I enjoy these forms of exercise, I make the effort to do them more. For some people it’s running, or swimming, or cycling. There absolutely will be something out there that you will enjoy, just please don’t give up before you find out what it is, because once you find it, it will be the biggest reward you can give yourself.
Yoga taster classes are available at Spiceball and Woodgreen Leisure Centres, and if you really don’t fancy the gym, you can try Temple of Yoga, Banbury’s newest and only dedicated yoga studio.
Two books that may help you on your happiness and wellness journeys are
Solve for Happy: Mo Gawdat
Silence in the Age of Noise: Erling Kagge
I’ve ordered them, so they will both be available to borrow from Banbury Library
Set those goals people, and reward yourselves! You deserve it!