As you have probably experienced, most New Years resolutions aren’t kept. I think I know why. It has to do with how we go about keeping them. As the previous year draws to a close, it’s only natural that we look back and resolve to do better in the coming year. We say, “This year, I’m going to lose weight (stop smoking, get it shape, drink less, etc).” What is wrong with that? you might ask. The problem arises from relying on will power to accomplish our goals.
Ever notice how motivated and excited we are to begin working on our resolution? Will power give us a terrific running start. We can’t wait to get to the gym, buy healthy foods, etc.
Unfortunately, will power creates won’t power. Our attempts at being good e.g., I only had a salad for lunch often lead to bad behavior later easily justified with I deserve a break today! Each attempt to will ourselves into improvement is met by an equal and opposite resistance to change. I will is replaced by I won’t or some version thereof e.g., I would if I could but I can’t so I won’t (my favorite).
So, how can we keep will power and it’s evil twin out of the equation? Here are a few tips:
Don’t Declare Anything
As soon as you say, “This year I am going to lose 25 pounds and keep it off!” a little voice inside says, “Oh really? We’ll see about that.” You are setting yourself up for resistance.
Don’t Brag About Your Progress
This another set up. The more you talk about how good you’ve been, the more you invite self sabotage, bad behavior and possibly the jealousy of others. Pride goeth before a fall. Dieters who brag are very often offered doughnuts.
Stay Under the Radar
Avoid the resistance by quietly going about your business. See if anyone notices but don’t draw attention to yourself. This allows you to tiptoe past the resistance. The key is to be low key about your resolutions.
More tips next time. Please let me know if you can relate to this by leaving me a comment.
Happy New Year.