New Year’s Resolutions and Why They Don’t Work

Ever since I was a kid, I always make New Year’s resolutions which I would not be able to keep. It is part of the New Year ritual like jumping up and down when the clock strikes twelve or wearing red polka-dotted shirt or dress to (sigh!) attract money in the coming year. The favorite line during a lull in a conversation after the new year funfare for a while there is, “So, what’s your new year’s resolution?!” In the pre-school where I used to teach and even now in the big school where I am now teaching, writing down one’s New Year’s resolutions is part of the back to school classroom activity.

Over the years, I noticed that people’s New Year’s resolutions are most often things that they detested to do but got to do that is why these New Year’s resolutions usually die out faster than a virus being exposed to the heat of the sun. That is also the reason why these people (me included) easily falls in to that trap of  I can’t do it coz its soooo hard to do crap. Take the case of these following new year’s resolutions:

1. I will quit smoking (If you’re a chain smoker, the thought of not havin’ that fix will completely freak you out and the more you would stuff your mouth with those cigarettes)

2. I will not fight with my wife/husband or sometimes boyfriend/girlfriend. (It is like getting a knife and slitting your own wrist. That suppressed anger will definitely give you a heart attack)

3. I will go on a diet. (if you put this in your new year’s resolution list, every food that you will lay your eyes on would beacon you to go taste and stuff them in your mouth)

4. I will go to the gym often. (believe me, every step towards that gym would be so heavy that you would believe that you really are not feeling well for that workout)

5. I will not shop so much. ( If you’re a girl and you love to shop and you put this on your list, you will be forever depressed)

6. I will forgive those who have hurt me and forget about it. (The thing about pain, it goes away with time. You cannot just force yourself to be fine with something that you feel just isn’t right that fast)

7. I will save up my money.(and forever feel sad for not buying that favorite book or that smashing outfit or that little surprise for your loved one)

And I’m sure there are a lot more new year’s resolutions that we tend to make with good intentions but were not able to keep because they’re just so unattainable. Last year, I scrap new year’s resolutions in my mind and replace it with little goals for myself. I definitely don’t have a timetable for them. I told myself I’ll just find time over the year to do it. No pressure on my part at all. My little goals were things that I would like to do but haven’t really gotten around to doing. And instead of forcing myself into changing my bad habits, I put in my list of little goals, things that would make me feel happy and proud of myself. As I was reviewing my list, I was surprised to see that I was able to do most of them like keeping a journal (I did it thru this blog), getting back to my scoliosis work-up and exercises, controlling my temper, getting my finances in order, giving my husband some slack (hehehe), eat healthy food, consult with my doctor often and be more creative in my teaching etc. etc.

Our new year’s resolutions don’t work out most of the time because we put a set the bar too high and force ourselves to reach it. Most often they are  also the negative things that we truly hate that is why we are not motivated to do it.  Also, these New Year’s resolution that we force ourselves to do are even vague to us that we tend to question its whole point. Change do not happen quickly but gradually. When making resolutions remember to focus on the positive and make them clear and specific to you. We can restate the previous new year’s resolution into the following:

1.   I will smoke half a pack a day instead of the usual 1 pack.

2.   I will let off steam only after listening to his/her side.

3.   I will eat five small meals a day or will treat myself to 2 slices of cake a week instead of the usual 2 whole ones.

4.    I will do 15 minutes treadmill, 50 counts crunches and lift say 3 sets of weights a day.

5.    I will be a smart shopper.

6.   I will see the good in everyone.

7.  I will deposit 500 in my account every pay day.

Remember, make little goals that won’t deprive you of anything and will make you feel good and proud of yourself. Goals that are positive, clear and specific work best instead of the usual New Year’s resolutions that we have been used to that only last as long as the last embers of the fireworks die. Happy New Year everyone.:)

1 Comment on New Year’s Resolutions and Why They Don’t Work

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