I made a resolution not to do a whole lot of things. Just about a few days into the new year, I realized I was rather doing the stuff I told myself no to do in the coming year. Most of the times, it happens unconsciously. Then I bump into realization that I made a resolution not to do that. I’ve already done it so I tell myself; “well, let’s try again next year.”
I’m not alone in this, I know. I believe many of us make resolutions and just about 3 months into the new year, we let them slip. We come to the realization that it’s too hard to follow through to the end or we feel better doing the old things than changing to take up the new attitude of our resolution.
On the 31st December night, last year, a friend of mine made it a point never to drink again in the coming new year. Some hours before it struck 12am, he was at the bar taking what he said was the last glass of liquor. At 12am he was in church praying and asking God to be his help in this new resolution to stop drinking.
He did stop drinking. Only for a while.
What most of us don’t realize is that, it takes time to build an attitude. In the same way, if you want to change such attitude, it still will take a lot of time. It didn’t just take a day for you to gain weight. If you want to lose the weight you’ve gained over the years, it wouldn’t take just a day to. But we take just a day to make a resolution and also expect to see results very quickly. When we try for a week, month and some other months and we don’t see result, we give up on our resolutions.
Here are other reasons our resolutions will fail;
#1. Most resolutions are wishes
Wishes are hopes or just desires. Resolutions are firm decisions to do or not to do something. The two are different. The fact that you say; “this year I’m going to lose weight or stop drinking” doesn’t necessarily make it a resolution. It becomes a resolution when you are ready to go through what it takes to lose weight or stop drinking.
Every resolution comes with requirements. Wishes stop right there. You can decide to pursue your wish or leave it in the care of a miracle. When we wait till the dawn of the new year and rush through looking for something to make a “resolution” out of, then we are preparing the grounds to fail. A resolution comes from the need to achieve something. It should come from deep within. It should come from the need to fill a hole in your life. Not just a mere new year tagline that you advertise for all to see.
#2. You don’t want to leave your comfort zone
Most of our troubles come from the desire not to leave our comfort zones. Where you are now, the troubles of your life are as a result of thriving so long in your comfort zone. To make a change, to really make a turn around in your current troubles, you should have the desire to stick your neck out of your comfort zone.
When we resolve to do or not to do something. When we make a statement to stop drinking or smoking, we consciously invite ourselves to leave the darkness of our comfort zone and come into the light where that change will happen.
When we love our comfort zone so much, yes we’ll say we want to lose some weight but when the process we have to go through get so uncomfortable, we coil back into our shells. We never come back to the process of change because it’s too hard. That becomes the beginning of our failure. We try. Then we realize it’s too hard. We hit the stop button. And that’s the end.
#3. Because your goal is too big to achieve
Mostly what we resolve to achieve is so big. We begin the new year and we realize we are overwhelmed by the very goals we set for ourselves. When the goals become too big than you anticipated, you begin to make excuses. Excuses kill your motivation. The death of motivation is the death of the goals you set for yourself.
The saying is this; “When you snooze, you lose.” When you keep shifting the post on when to begin on your resolution, you’ll give up in the end. The truth is, there is always a reason not to start now. If you don’t start today because something came up, tomorrow another thing will come up to stop you from beginning what you set out to do.
You’ll always find time to do what is important to you. Probably, your resolutions are not so much important to you that’s why you keep pushing them aside to do important things. If it is. If it is as important to you like the breath you take, then you’ll have no excuses. Most of the failures in our lives come because we didn’t start when we ought to have started. We didn’t start today. We preferred the uncertainties of tomorrow.
#5. You don’t make resolutions out of your passion
There is always a motivation to do what you love—what you are passionate about. It is no work. You don’t see it as work when you are doing the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. It’s comforting to me when I sit and write. I don’t find it as work at all. It is my passion.
It becomes very easier to achieve your resolution when it’s centered around the things you love to do. It would be easier for me to resolve to write 1000 words a day than to say I’ll compose one song every other week till the year ends. I’m not a music person. I’ll set myself for failure if I resolve around the creation of music. So are you.
Think about all the resolutions that you had to give up along the way. Were they things you actually love to do? Were they things that could bring you joy and make you fulfilled?
Now you know why you failed.
#6. You make resolutions only on new year’s eve
We wait till the new year is about to begin before we make resolutions. So our resolutions have become yearly and nothing in between. When along the way we deviate from the things we set out to do, instead of making new plans, we put things on hold till the new year’s eve. In effect, we set goals once in the whole year.
We can have daily resolutions. We can also have weekly resolutions. Monthly resolutions are possible too. The way I see it, resolutions are easier to achieve when we break them down into pieces. A chunk is difficult to dissect and assess. When resolutions are made monthly, after the month you can easily assess where success was gained and where not so you can make amends.
#7. You take yourself too seriously
We are people and people make mistakes. We tend to deviate even when we ourselves have set the rules. It’s ok to deviate from what you set out to achieve. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you deviate. Find a way. Find a will. Find a reason to get back in line and keep your head up as you go.
When you become judgmental of yourself when you fail or deviate, you might give up. When you treat your mistakes as a sign to let the dream go, you’ll give up. When you call yourself weak just because you couldn’t stand in line consistently to the end, you’ll give up.
Here is the trick: Let yourself go sometimes. Laugh at your mistakes just as you would at people’s. Be easy on yourself. So easy on yourself that you can put yourself out there to be teased. What’s important and what’s strength is to be able to dust yourself off and start again.
I hardly make resolutions. When I do, it’s about the little things. The little things that will help me live a simple life and have joy each step of the way. I make resolutions to make my life better and make others around me see me in a better light than they used to. Mostly, my resolutions have been to;
- Smile more and greet everyone, even total strangers.
- Make friends easily by stretching a hand to people who need it.
- Read more and share what I read with people in daily conversations.
- Create smiles and laughter in every little way that I can so I can see the dental arrangements of every friend that I keep.
- Create a new me instead of counting on new years. There are no new years. Just the usual new days cramped into one and repackage to us as a new year.
- Talk to myself more through my writings. And see the need to follow the things I say to myself in the things that I write.
- Sleep more and cut down on things that do not help me grow as a person
- Give a lot back and do a lot for free
- Choose myself first. That is not to be selfish. But give myself the opportunity to succeed without relying on others.
- Cut off distractions and be present in every moment. That is to live a conscious life and realize the power of now.
In all, I want to be a better man. A better husband. A better father. A beautiful friend. And a voice people can relate and trust.
Happy New year!