New Year – New You? Why new years resolutions don’t work – and what to do instead
We all know new year’s resolutions don’t work. Probably from our own, personal experience. Yet every year we seem to get swept up in the January frenzy of gym memberships, new eating habits and grand plans to suddenly change every area of our lives.
There is usually nothing wrong with our intentions or our motivation. We genuinely do want to change and become healthier, happier versions of ourselves. And why shouldn’t we? As humans I believe we all have a tendency for growth and development. So, why is it that about 80% of new years resolutions fail by February?
- Not enough genuine desire. Often the goals we set for ourselves are based on what we think we should want, rather than what we genuinely want. We often feel that our goals need to have obvious benefits, like improved health or financial gain. When we go a little deeper and connect with our true selves, we often find that such goals aren’t really that important to us at all and that there are real dreams within us, which we have been ignoring because they don’t seem to be in line with our current lifestyles.
- Limiting beliefs. When we uncover some of our true dreams and goals we often realise that the reason we haven’t acknowledged them or acted upon them is because of deep-rooted fears and limiting beliefs. We might think we aren’t good enough, or that we don’t have what it takes to live the kind of life we want. We all have a comfort zone, which we attempt to live within. It protects us from fear and keeps us “comfortably numb”. But this numbness can become painful. It is a sign that we are switched off from ourselves and living a life which is less than we desire. Using tools for self-love and changing our inner dialogue to a more positive one can help us overcome fear and limiting beliefs.
- Not enough discipline. A lot of transformation comes down to changing the things we do every day and changing our habits ultimately relies on discipline. There is a lot of research out there, suggesting that it takes roughly a month to change a habit but the truth is that habits are not a one time decision. They are a constant choice that we make day after day, so to change them takes a lot of planning, determination and stamina. Understanding this is key to making successful long term changes.
- Unrealistic expectations. If we expect to change every area of our lives overnight, we are not being realistic. If that could be done we would all have done it a long time ago. While January is a good time to set goals and intentions, there are still 11 other months of the year to work on realising them. Small steps create big change and if we can learn to play the long game with realistic expectations, we will be that much closer to living the lives of our dreams by December 2019.
If you want to learn more about this and make 2019 your best year yet, then join me on my day workshop “Transform your life – transform yourself” on January 5th 12-4pm at Calm on Canning street in Edinburgh (£50)