How many times have you heard it?
“I’m going to lose weight this year.”
“I’m going to stop smoking this year.”
“I’m going to see my family more this year.”
These are all GREAT New Year’s resolutions, but in my opinion, it’s all a load of codswallop.
Scanning around on the internet, one article suggests just 8% of people stick to their resolutions. Another suggests 80% fail by the second week in February.
Whatever the stats, the success rate is lousy. Even gambling on a fruit machine has better success than 8%!
The definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” ~ Unknown
Hands up if you still honestly think you’re going to stick to your resolutions?
So why do we do it?
My research tells me that “the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago,” making “promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed.”
Sadly, today’s modern society filled with consumerism seems to be a little more focused on reversing the effects of self-indulgence and even perhaps reversing symptoms of greed and laziness. Wow! I even surprised myself with how harsh that is.
Marketing pushes products that promise to make our lives happier, slimmer, fitter, healthier, easier, blah, blah, blah.
I’m coming across rather negative and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people shouldn’t be taking action on improving their lives but I do get confused as to why there is so much hype around the New Year.
I have a friend who says he’s going to stop smoking. Since November he’s been telling me he’s going to quit in the New Year. Good on him!
But! Why didn’t he quit the day he decided he wanted to stop? What was the benefit of waiting?
I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution for years. To me, January 1st is another brand new exciting day like any other. It’s a brand new month like any other.
As an alternative to New Year’s resolutions, I find tremendous success in setting myself ‘mini goals’ and monthly challenges. I tried the New Year’s stuff in my younger years and I fell into the 8% stat, failing miserably.
I’ve been saying I’ll stop swearing since 2008! I still swear like a trooper, although I have replaced shit with sugar lumps which I’m quite proud of.
It’s my ‘mini goals’ that lead me to write this blog.
Here’s an example of how I set myself mini goals:
1. * Looks at girl on Instagram doing pull-ups, thinks “I want to get good at pull-ups.”
2. * Looks at calendar thinks “Ok. It’s Monday. In two Fridays I want to be able to do one pull-up.”
3. * Looks for progression tutorial on YouTube and practises every day.
4. If I achieve it great, if not, then I carry on until I get it. No pressure. No bother. Enjoy the ride.
I DO NOT think to myself, “I want to get good at pull-ups. I know! I’ll wait until January 1st!”
This ‘mini goal’ is an actual real-life thing that is happening right now! *walks to pull-up bar and does 1 rep (really badly).
1 pull-up. 2 by the end of next week!!
— Laura Try (@LTFactor) December 29, 2017
I put a lot of my goals on Twitter. It gives me accountability even if no-one sees it.
On this occasion, my Twitter buddy UltraRunChris is keeping his eye on me (oh – I thought I might have got away with it but now I really have to do it. *walks to pull-up bar for another really bad rep).
Confession: I’ve had this goal before and got to 5 strict pull-ups. I imagined the guy I was dating at the time at the top giving me a kiss with each rep. Cringe. Then we broke up and I stopped practising. You get the picture.
There’s some science behind goal setting, why some people fail while others succeed. You can find articles all over the internet, but I’m going to say JUST GET ON WITH IT ( <—— a blog inspired by my friends from Saddle Sand Sea).
So that’s that. It’s not my usual kind of post. It was quite ranty. But modern society does piss me off at times.
My Final Thoughts
If you want it badly enough, you won’t wait until the New Year to make it happen and you certainly won’t need all the things society suggest you need to make it happen.
What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions?
Do you do them? Have you succeeded in the past?
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Thank you so much for reading.