Its that time of year where people are buzzing about, setting new years resolutions, and “New year New ME” mentality is all anyone can talk about… for the first couple of weeks maybe. And then so many of those that were gung ho on January 1 have petered out and lost steam only a few weeks into their new new me journey. Does any of that sound familiar? SAME. Lets talk about how to make resolutions that you will actually keep.
Its super easy to get caught up in this. The promise of a fresh new year that you can make your bitch and accomplish all your wildest dreams is invigorating. It can make us the boldest of planners and doers. Its a clean slate, and all of those bad habits will be left behind with the previous year. But unfortunately friend, I am here to tell you that your thinking on this, is flawed. The good news though? Your thoughts are 100% changeable! You are not doomed to always repeat the pattern of setting new year resolutions that you know deep down, you probably wont accomplish.
OK so lets unpack first things first. Perfectionist thinking. New year resolutions reek of perfectionist thinking. We are immediately setting ourselves up for failure when we start making these resolutions for the new year. First, you’re waiting for a “fresh start” or a “clean slate”, so that you can start from the beginning with no mess ups. Nothing to tarnish a perfect record. Screw ups are inevitable and there is no such thing as perfection, and tricking ourselves into thinking that we will be able to accomplish a goal in the new year without messing up along the way, is delusional. Even worse, it is likely going to cause you preemptive stress or anxiety about this goal because putting an expectation on yourself like not allowing for screw ups on the road to achieving a goal, is unrealistic.
This is a fast way to quittersville, because once we have stress or anxiety about a goal, it begins to feel more and more unrealistic that we will ever achieve it. And we really don’t like failing, so if we just label the goal as unrealistic, quitting doesn’t sting quite as bad. Maybe we’ll even try to reframe the goal to something a little less tough than what we were originally planning on. This too, will eventually be given up on, because we as humans love to be hard on ourselves.
Perfectionist thinking is hard to recognize and hard to get rid of, because it is ingrained in us from every angle in society. We’ve had years of training, teaching us that practice makes perfect, or if you just wanted it bad enough, you would be able to do it, so its your own fault that you can’t live up to your goals and dreams. Well, fuck.
Next, lets unpack the mentality and headspace that we’re in, when we are staring down the barrel of a new year and the end of an old one. We create this pressure for ourselves to partake in creating new year resolutions, when really, you don’t have to. I know right, seems like its basically a requirement. But, you dont have to subscribe to that if you don’t want to. When we’re in that limbo space where one year is ending and another is about to begin, we often give ourselves a go wild card.
Do whatever, eat whatever, say whatever, drink whatever, think whatever, etc. Because in just a short time, a new year will be upon us and its “go time”. Pedal to the metal. And since there’s not time left in the old year to really accomplish anything, then fuck it. That’s my all time favorite excuse, by the way. Just, fuck it.
The diet starts next week, the workout starts next week, the no drinking starts next week…. The list goes on. Unfortunately what we’re really doing is further strengthening our perfectionist thinking, and getting ourselves into a bad spot trying to get ready to start anything in the new year. Think about it. You’ve given yourself a pass to just enjoy. Indulge a little.
Which is all fine except, if you’re really planning to get started on January 1st and put the pedal to the metal, do you think you’ll be able to just turn off a week (or more) of doing whatever the hell you want? Have you set yourself up for success? Not so much. So with all these things considered, it kind of seems like the cards are stacked against you on the whole, setting resolutions that you’ll stick to, huh? But it doesn’t have to be.
Like everything else, it begins with our thoughts. Here, we need to recognize perfectionist thinking, and take note of really setting yourself up for success. Don’t put yourself behind the ball before you’ve even gotten started. If you decide you do want to do resolutions, make a plan. Write them down. What will you need to get started working towards these goals you set? Do you have a support system? Write these goals down, and check in with yourself each month.
Note your derails, your progress, and everything in between. And if these goals evolve and change as the year goes on, great! Its not set in stone, and if something stops feeling aligned, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Now, don’t take advantage of that and use it as excuse to not keep working towards these resolutions that you set. You can totally do this. You just have to arm yourself the right way.
Get your mindset in the right place, take time to recognize mindset traps and pitfalls like perfectionist thinking, hold yourself accountable, and keep chipping away at all year round. It doesn’t have to end just because you didn’t do anything for a month. Remember, you’re allowed to mess up. Its totally cool. Just don’t stop. You got this.
Did you decide to do resolutions this year? Tell me in the comments or shoot me an email and lets chat about it!
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