New Year’s Resolutions: Do They Really Work?

January 11, 2017 11:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s that time of year again: time to make your New Year’s resolutions. Most people regard January 1 as the perfect time to start making a change in their lives. But is it really? As a life coach in Montana, I can tell you that the majority of New Year’s resolutions fail before the end of the month. Yet, we still make our list of resolutions in the hope that “this year will be different.” The truth is that this year most likely won’t be different, because New Year’s resolutions just don’t work. Here’s why.

They focus on the end goal

New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on an end goal: a result. For example, you may decide to be 30 pounds lighter by the end of the year, which is great—but all the focus is on being 30 pounds lighter, and not on the journey of how to get there. The value in making a life change is not necessarily the end goal, but the small changes we make to reach that goal. Focusing on the pounds to be lost means you don’t get to enjoy any part of the journey, and it leads to self-loathing, whereas focusing on the journey allows you to find joy along the way, which can help keep you motivated for longer.

They promote the should vs. the must

New Year’s resolutions focus on the should rather than the must. Lowering your sugar intake because that’s what a magazine article says to do is a resolution that is based on what we think we should do, rather than what we must do. Instead of thinking, “I should eat less sugar this year,” think, “I must eat less sugar if I want to be around to see my grandkids.” The must is always more motivating than the should. It also helps you determine what resolutions are truly for your betterment, and not just to fulfill some expectation society has for you.

We’re not really ready

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, most of us, if we’re honest, are not actually ready to commit ourselves to changing. Think about it. If you really wanted to make this change, the calendar date wouldn’t matter. If you were ready to lose weight or start saving money, there’s nothing that would have stopped you from starting to do that any of the other 364 days of the year. Making a resolution to change is a great thing, but only if you are truly ready to commit to it. If you’re not ready to change, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

If you are truly committed to making a change for the better in 2017, make sure you are off to a good start. As a life coach in Montana, I can help you decide upon a journey for your betterment and give you the skills and encouragement to stay motivated in the long-term. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, make a life choice that really matters to you. Contact Ellen Savage, MS, LCPC, DCC today for more information.

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