Around Christmas time people often start to look towards the year ahead and start to think about new year resolutions. What a change a day can make! What is it about the 1st of January that gives us this call to action that the rest of the year couldn’t evoke? Is it that we want to enjoy the festivities (namely the food and drinks!) and the beginning of the new year marks the end of these festivities? And why is it that most New Years resolutions eventually fail?
The problem which answers these questions lies with motivation. Often New Years resolutions are driven by external motivations which are less likely to become permanent changes. We reflect on the year that has passed and think about what we have achieved and where we have fallen short of our goals. There is also an underlying expectation that at the start of the new year we should commit to “making a change” and hence we join billions of people worldwide who set their start date to the turn of the new year.
It’s not too difficult to come up with New Years resolutions. They are often things that are lingering in our subconscious that we bring to awareness when we are asked about them. However suddenly bringing to light these subconscious thoughts of what we might like to do or want to become doesn’t give us the burning desire we need to actually achieve them.
Lifestyle changes require full commitment to our decision to take action. They require a commitment so strong that the date we decide to start the change becomes irrelevant. We need to be fully aware of the consequences of our changes, and also greatly inspired by the benefits associated with change. We need to think about barriers that may prevent us from achieving them, and put in place strategies to overcome this resistance.
So this year before you set in stone any New Years resolutions think about what it is that you really want to change and how committed you are to achieving this change.