Evolve: New Years Efforts
New Years Resolutions do not work
Because they’re absolute promises to yourself. Often times, you take you the aspect of yourself that is the most damaging – whether you’re overweight, a financial misfit, or a relationship slacker – and absolve to make a 180 degree from who you are as a person. What happens?
You fall back into the same routine almost every time.
How can you put the kibosh on that painful cycle?
A year long effort for consistent improvement
The one thing that kills most New Years Resolutions is – that the minute you fail – you give up. That’s what happens when you give yourself an “ultimatum.” Once you’ve failed at your objective (i.e., “I will not [smoke/drink/eat] whatever it may be) – you essentially GIVE UP and ease back into your comfortable routine.
What about changing your mental approach to you so-called resolutions?
You can attain that goal by revising the verbiage used in your “self-promises…” Rather than looking for absolute solutions to your woes – why not just strive to improve – even if it’s small strides?
My suggestion is to scrap the whole “Resolution” aspect of these annual failed promises – and revise them to “I will make an effort to…”
Keep a scorecard. Make journal entries. Gauge your own progress – and grade yourself at years-end. A much more “flexible” approach to self-improvement – without the utter failure that comes from impossible promises.
What will Hoboken411 strive to improve?
Ok – now that you asked. For one – I haven’t made a resolution in many years. In fact, one year was to “not make a resolution this year” (and it’s the only one I ever kept.)
This year – I have THREE distinct objectives to strive for (and I’ll detail what the equivalent “failed” resolution might look like):
Hoboken411 will make an effort to reduce consumption. What this means is: Purchasing less items I “want” and focus more on what I “need.” I will honestly try to distinguish between the two. I’ll ask myself “can I live without it?” and “what do I need this for exactly?” and “what benefit will it provide?”
Failed resolution: “I will not buy junk anymore.” (the minute you buy a worthless item – you plan has failed, and you get sucked back into the vortex).
Hoboken411 will try to exercise restraint when engaging in potentially damaging activities. What this means is: Anytime that “excess” results in “pain or suffering.” This includes, but is not limited to: Shopping, eating, drinking, risking, etc. The question asked will be: “What is the gain I will achieve?” as well as (after the fact) “Did it turn out as well as I thought?”
Failed resolution: “I will not drink until Memorial Day.” (come Super Bowl Sunday when you’re doing Jager shots from an ice chute – you’re back off the wagon again!)
Hoboken411 will try to simplify. What this means is: Reducing the amount of “clutter” brought into your daily life. Whether it’s digital, physical or social. Focus on what’s important versus what is “cool.”
Failed resolution: “I will only go out once a month to bars.” (after your third happy hour of the week – you’ve already forgotten about your resolution.)
Any move in the right direction has momentum
The whole point of my new philosophy – is that your “New Years Effort” can last the entire year. It allows some fluctuation, but if you embed that mantra in your being – it will hang with you for all 12 months.
The key is to “repeat” and “remind” yourself of your new found objectives to a better life. All you need to do is question yourself at each moment where you have the option to take one path or another. Compare it to your objectives – and assess the risk/cost/reward.
If you can keep the conversation open within yourself for a longer term that just the month of January – you might just find yourself on the road to improvement.
But if you assign yourself an absolute goal – you will fail quickly and revert back to your nefarious ways.