29 Jul 7 reasons why we do not reach our good resolutions
Every year we make resolutions for ourselves, in order to do something better, something important for us… However, we inevitably fail to do so, or, at the best of times, we reach one target out of a thousand.
The celebration spirit, the extra time that we have for ourselves, the symbolic move to a new year, are all factors, which help us understand that something in our life is not quite going the way we would like it to go and, therefore, they encourage us to want to become better.
Some people are keen to improve their health, to lose weight or to do sport; others want to learn a new language or play a musical instrument; some desire a richer social life; in other words, everybody has their own dreams, but it is never easy to see them come through.
Why, then, is it so difficult to follow these resolutions through? How come this happens every year?
There is a reason; actually, there are 7 reasons!!
Let’s look at this together in order to see where we are going wrong and how we can make it this year!
1) The silliest, yet the most popular reason, is the fact that after the holidays we go back to our routine. We return to our usual tasks, which fill our time and leave it to run with no change. This way, we remain passive before our life and we fool ourselves thinking that we cannot change… till the next holiday period! It is a mental mistake and only a self-deception, otherwise we would not feel the need to change every year.
To overcome this danger, avoid going back to bad habits: don’t always go to the same restaurant, take the dog for a walk at a different time to when you usually do, after lunch go for a stroll instead of reading the paper… and in the same way, change the more important things!
2) Another factor, which often deceives us, lies in the inappropriate use of our energy. Ask yourself how much effort you put in activities, which do not interest you. How many things do you do simply because that is what you have always done? Or because someone else asked you to do them? Because certain people say that you should do those things? Or because it seems hard to you to look for alternative methods?
The answer will always be that you do too many things which do not interest you. Ask yourself what you can stop investing all your energy on, without having to pay excessive consequences, and do it, perhaps gradually, to examine what happens (usually nothing, apart from the fact that you will feel better). Choose what is important for you, what can make the difference and commit some of your resources to it daily and constistently.
3) Like our energy, time is also a precious resource which we often use badly. At times, we have too many things to think about and to give time to that the latter does not seem enough for all. We are often prepared to skip meals or lose hours of sleep, we sacrifice our affections and relationships, overwhelming ourselves with work and activities, which we had not even chose to do (chores, burocracy, etc…).
We can get out of this loop, by planning half a day in our week to focus on all those tasks which are unpleasant to us, do them without postponing any of them, one after the other. This way, we can get rid of them and we do not have to drag them with us all the time. Instead, let’s book our diaries with fixed periods to do the things which we love to do, as an appointment with ourselves, which we will not cancel, showing respect to ourselves, like we do to others.
4) Sometimes we are stopped by the painful chore of “saying no”. We would like to make a change, but in order to do so we would have to say no to a colleague or our aunty, refusing to do a job or to pay them a visit. Maybe they will be disappointed… But don’t you feel disappointed when you have to give up doing what you like? Important relationships last due to other factors, not just thanks to favours done to each other. If when you say “no”, your relationship is hurt, then you should ask yourselves some questions about the quality of such relations or about what such person really wanted to get from you.
5) We are often afraid by what it takes to change. It is true that change implies an investment of energy, it is a part of the thermodynamics law, “you build nothing, you destroy nothing”, but you need energy (therefore effort) to be able to transform something. The main point is to see this effort like the one needed to start a car downhill: you have to start pushing, but then the car will go by itself! Let’s focus on the outcome and we will find the strength to begin.
6) A commonly overlooked aspect regards the fear of success. Change can bring some disadvantages, usually emotional ones: some friends can be jealous, others can mock us for having become “different” to them and to how we used to be. Let us begin from a cynical consideration: if anyone wants to criticise us, they will do it whether we change or remain the same. We might as well become the people we want to be!
7) Let us finish with the most insidious of all problems: distractions! On the way to our change there are thousands of things to do, even pleasant ones which intrigue us, feed our mind (like watching a good film) or, simply entertain us (like going to the beach at the weekend). Here is a warning: change does not mean “struggle to change”. We change to live better and enjoy life, therefore let us keep our distractions, however let us put them aside when we are doing something important; for example, turning our phone off, not checking our emails, facebook or using internet at all. We can do all these things at a later time.
Well, let this be our reality and not just good resolutions!!