January 2, 2020

Why Your New Year Resolutions Are Not Working

I believe in change!!!  If I didn’t, I would totally be in the wrong business.  But I have long been on a one-person mission to discourage people from New Year resolutions because resolutions so often don’t work and end up making people feel worse than they felt before they started.  

They are all too often based on “shoulds.”

should get a bigger house.  I should pay off all my debts.  I shouldget a new car.  I should go after a promotion at work this year.  None of those are bad goals but they may or may not be for you.  When they about proving yourself to someone else or measuring up to a real or perceived standard that doesn’t speak to your authentic self, you won’t end up getting what you need from it.  The sad truth is that if you aren’t doing it for you, even if you achieve the goal, it will not be meaning for you at all.

Change is hard!  

(I know, DUH!)  Our brains are built on two principles; homeostasis (a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism) and survival.  When we are afraid or anxious our brains work really hard to slam on the breaks and avoid the thing that makes us feel that way.  And change requires anxiety and fear!  So basically, your brain is working against you to keep you doing exactly what you are doing and NOT change.  

You don't make a realistic plan.

For example, the goal is to lose 30 lbs in by spring break. That's not a plan! It's not even a well thought out goal. The goal has to have measurable, tangible, observable steps and definitions. 30 lbs is measurable so that's a good start and the deadline is good as well, we can find that on a calendar but how on Earth are you gunna do it? What is the contingency plan for when life doesn't go the way it is supposed to? Because it won't so your plan has to have some realistic flexibility built into.

Too much, too soon.

Earlier this week a client basically told me that she wants her entire life to be different by the end of 2020. While that could happen, it feels like a massive amount of pressure. When people try and take on their entire lives all at once instead of focusing on things in phases, they can quickly become totally overwhelmed and feel helpless then give up on all of their goals.

Don't let your New Year resolutions become so overwhelming that if feels as though you are trying to take a sip of water from a gushing fire hydrant. Change is difficult and you will be afraid but it you take on too much too quickly, it could feel as though you may drown.

You don't have to fall into these traps. You can absolutely set goals for yourself that you are certainly capable of achieving this year. Try to keep in mind that nothing important that you have ever achieved in your life was easy. It took work, planning, thought, anxiety and time. You didn't just wake up one day and it was there and felt super easy to get.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!

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