If you are just joining me, then welcome! If you’ve read my last two posts (Part 1 and Part 2) on successfully navigating your New Year’s Resolution then you know that a shocking 92% of resolutions fail. I am looking at why these resolutions fail so that you can avoid the pitfalls and successfully create a lasting change in your life.
To start out today, tell me; how many online quizzes have you taken? Really. Remember when the “which disney princess are you?” quizzes were everywhere? I took tons. I’ve also taken every Myers-Briggs, DISC, and typology test I stumbled across and I know so many people who did the same. This makes it seem like we not only collect knowledge about ourselves, but that we delight in doing so! Why then, do we not use this knowledge when it’s most valuable?
Self-knowledge is your biggest asset when trying to make and keep a New Year’s resolution. Not only do you hold the answers to what goals you can set for yourself, you also have the answers on how to do it. And yet we insist on picking what we “should” do and how other people do it. No matter how many times we have failed before.
Take a gym membership: what do most people do when they want to work out? They get a gym membership and go before or after work. I know there is exactly 0 chance of me finding the motivation to get up early enough to drive to and from the gym. I am certainly not going to do it when I’m drained after work either. I can barely steel myself to workout, much less take the time to drive there. Luckily my first two corporate jobs had gyms and showers in the building so I could workout on my lunch break. That work fantastically for 5 years…until I switched jobs and found myself in an office without a gym.
“No biggie,” I thought. I would find a gym nearby I could take a 5 minute drive to. No dice. There was a hot yoga studio and a spinning studio nearby and I couldn’t stand either. So, given that I didn’t like the options nearby and I knew I’d fail at a gym membership I bought sandbags and resistance bands and set my alarm 30 minutes earlier. When I didn’t get up on time, I wouldn’t try to wrestle myself into a makeup session when I got home. Instead, I would do a more intense yoga routine when I got home (I love yoga, just not in 100+ degrees) and walk during my lunch break.
Same with eating healthy and/or cutting back on restaurant food. I found it difficult to pack lunches everyday. I’d end up desperately scrambling every morning trying to figure out what I could take for lunch. So instead I starting eating an extremely satiating breakfast (my chocolate keto shake!) and then skipping lunch. It worked for me because I was comfortable fasting for the 9 hours I was out of the house. Instead of fretting about what I was failing at, I tried thinking about how else I could accomplish my goal. I created a plan that worked with me rather than against me.
I encourage you to do the same thing. When you pick a resolution, don’t just grab the obvious “go to the gym” or “eat salads for lunch”. Pick something that gets you to your goal but that is unique to you and works with your life and tendencies rather than against them.