With every New Year there is always hope that something is going to be different. People dream about getting new jobs, advancing their skills and finding love. Those dreams often come in form of New Year resolutions.
However, as the year starts, nothing really seems to change. It often makes people feel frustrated and disappointed in themselves, even driving them into depression. However, there are certain reasons of why the resolutions never seem to come to fruition. In this article I will explore why.
Reason # 1: They Are Not Fun
Many people would think of a new habit they want to develop as a duty. They do not even try to envelop it into something more fun that they could look forward to and enjoy. Because nobody derives pleasure from the drudge, it is really easy for you to give up after barely even starting. Just like with studying boring subjects, it is important to take this aspect into account.
So, if you do not want to be a part of the failing majority, try to make your coveted activity as exciting as it is only possible. For instance, if you want to exercise more, do not just go to the nearest fitness center. Look deeper into your inner self to realize what exactly it is that you always dreamt to do. Maybe, you have always wanted to learn dancing or karate. Perhaps you admire the dexterity and suppleness of gymnasts or the agility of soccer players. Be more mindful about your decisions and pick something you’d really love to commit yourself to on a regular basis.
Reason # 2: They Are Formidable
The fact of the matter is that humans fear change. Although they are pretty adaptable creatures, they are conditioned by evolution to be cautious about new routines and unexpected alterations. So, it is very likely that once you embark on fulfilling your resolution, both your brain and your body are going to resist vehemently.
For instance, you may hear a nagging voice in your head telling you that it is better not to get into the university as it can be really expensive, and there is no guarantee you will have a job afterwards. Your whole body will protest waking up at 6 in the morning to go for a jog. Of course, it is important to be reasonable about your decisions and not overwork yourself. It is of high significance not to follow your dreams blindly, but actually resort to common sense and wisdom.
If you are really certain that your resolution makes sense, you need to simply ignore the resistance. Don’t overthink. Just get out of bed and do what you are supposed to do.
Reason # 3: They Are Not Rewarding
Some of the decisions take a lot of time to bring real visible benefits. Thus, it is very tempting to give up before arriving at those results.
It is hard to dedicate yourself to a long-term activity if you cannot observe any feasible advantages for quite a long time. It holds true both for physical as well as intellectual activities. Let’s imagine you decided to learn a new language. It can take weeks, even months to get at least on a decent conversational level. Same with health exercises. You may not realize the perks of fitness until you are retired. However, it is not a reason not to engage in those activities. Think up rewards for yourself! For instance, if you go out running this morning, indulge yourself in a nice bath at night. Trick your brain into thinking it’s getting immediate rewards!
Reason # 4: They Are Not Important
Let’s go back to learning a new language. It is always nice to be able to communicate to the foreigners in their native tongue or tweak up your resume. However, are those really worth all the time and effort you are bound to spend on this excruciating, although pretty enjoyable hobby?
If mastering a new language is just a whim of yours, you are very likely to give up barely reaching the elementary level. It does not mean you are lazy. It is simply hard to force yourself to do something to mentally challenging and often boring if it is not of high importance to you.
Here there is no trick you can employ. It really makes no sense to undertake something which contributes little to your personal, professional and educational advancement. Thus, before making up your mind on any resolution, you need to evaluate critically whether you really need to complete it. Even if you lie to yourself and say it is, you are very unlikely to stick to it in the long-run.
Reason # 5: They Are Optional
It is somewhat related to the previous point, viewing it from a different angle. So, you probably lived somehow before you made this awfully specific, time-consuming and difficult resolution. Moreover, most likely you were even happy and satisfied with yourself, proud of your accomplishments and hopeful for the future.
So, if your life is not that bad already, does it really make sense to add more obligations into your busy schedule? This is a kind of question many people would answer positively in their mind and negatively in the subconscious. In most cases if people do not comply with the New Year decisions, their world is not going to collapse. More often those are just attempts to make their already happy and fulfilling life even more happy and fulfilling.
Reason # 6: They Are Not Realistic
This is by far the most common reason for a failure. In their majority, people do not spend hours trying to calculate how many hours they will need to spend on each new activity, and what they will need to give up to adhere to the schedule.
Some average Joe would simply tell himself – next year I will jog for an hour every day. In the best case scenario he will at least determine whether he will do it in the morning or in the afternoon. However, it is common not to think even about such foundational details.
The thing is that it is crucial not only to deliberate every aspect of the new routine, but also evaluate critically whether it is worth it. Is jogging in the morning worth not being able to lie in bed an extra hour? Is taking up a new language worth not watching a new TV series with your beloved actors? Until you answer those questions honestly and prepare for the inevitable sacrifice, it will be impossible for you to realize your New Year resolutions.