Resolutions are a waste of time
It’s New Years, so time for everyone to make a list of all their resolutions. Who wants to miss the fun of turning their perceived flaws into a to-do list for the new year? After all the proclamations of going to the gym, eating better, spending more time with friends and family, quitting smoking or drinking, getting out of debt, and becoming more organized, we all just end up right back where we started.
Maybe for a month or so, you’ll change. But then it’s right back to normal.
I would like to take this moment to point out that people think it only takes 30 days to make or break a habit. Yeah, I call bullshit. If that were so, we would only have to make resolutions once.
We would live in a country of people who don’t need to lose weight, eat all their vegetables, call their mom and grandma regularly, are organized, have no debt, and don’t drink or smoke.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? If I woke up in a world like that, I would seriously suspect I had been abducted or drugged.
Based on my experiences, both personally and with clients, really changing takes way longer than 30 days. There are usually lots of starts and stops, which get overlooked and shouldn’t be.
Instead of feeling like a failure because you keep doing the exact thing you are trying not to do, you should know that you aren’t alone.
Everyone struggles with change, yet everyone pretends that it’s no big deal.
This video really sums up what it can feel like. Before you read any further, please take a moment and watch the video. It’s less than two minutes long.
I’m pretty sure that dog is my spirit animal. Might be yours too.
Everyone around you is breezing through, no problems, but for some reason every single thing that can possibly distract you does.
You know what though? That dog looks like it had the most fun of all the dogs. Picking up and throwing the toy, eating all those bowls of food, and near the end, eating that giant sausage.
The dog hit the jackpot, but sucked so bad at the obedience course. I wonder if the other dogs watched that dog and started questioning their life choices.
It’s an important reminder that failure and success really depend on perspective. That dog had no regrets. Its owner surely did, but that looked like the happiest dog in the room.
I think it’s similar with failed resolutions. We see the people at the gym who are super fit and only drink protein shakes and eat kale salads, while we prefer video games, Netflix, and takeout.
Success, and happiness, are relative.
Constantly trying, and failing, to do something is demoralizing. We get so busy beating ourselves up and comparing ourselves to people who have the successes we think we want, while success continues to elude us.
Sometimes success isn’t really what we want, or at least not the way we are defining it.
For the new year, instead of making a list of resolutions that you know you aren’t going to keep and then feel bad about later, try something new.
Here’s your meditation for the week:
Write out a list of resolutions, which will probably consist of things you constantly beat yourself about and want to change, but haven’t. One you have your list written out, on paper, burn it. And then listen to your favorite breakup song because for the new year, you are letting it go and moving on.
I’ve quit lots of bad habits over the years, like a pack-a-day smoking habit, gossipping, and ditching toxic relationships. What I’ve been working on for the last few years is losing weight. This has been on my list for a while, and in 2017 I gained 25 pounds. Not so happy about that. But I’m less happy about all the energy I’ve been using to beat myself up about not losing it.
The resolution I’m burning is losing weight. I need to be done with all the anguish, guilt, and shame and reclaim my mental space and energy. I’m not giving up on weight loss, but there are much better ways to approach it, which I’ll start getting into next week.
Think about it and let me know! Email me, comment, find me on Twitter and let me know what resolutions you’re burning.
Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.
P.S. What’s motivating me this week are the protesters in Iran. There are tens of thousands of Iranians tired of living under oppressive rule and have taken to the streets to demand more freedom. The government is silencing various media and internet platforms, so I am paying attention to as much as I can on Twitter.
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