Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
At the end of last year, or the beginning of this year, many of us made New Year’s resolutions. Whether it was by our own decision, or the result of answering the often asked question by friends or family, “What are your new year’s resolutions?”, we began the new year with a daunting set of challenges. I would like to consider why we do this, whether it a good thing or not, and how we may actually accomplish our goals.
Why do we do this?
While the drive to improve ourselves was most likely started by our parents, it is reasonable to say that as adults, we take responsibility for the creation of our own goals and that we are largely the result of the decisions we have made in our life. Accordingly, if we can accept that we all want the best out of life, it follows that our resolutions or personal promises are representations of our intention to improve how we feel about our lives or ourselves in general.
Is it a good thing or not?
Whether it is a good thing to make yearly goals or not can only be measured subjectively by the result, and of course, the process of living with these goals. While one may say that success can be measured by accomplishing a goal, what is the result of failure? Will the failure to reach our goal have the unexpected result of causing despair, self-disappointment or even depression? Again, this can only be answered by you, the creator of these goals. Perhaps it would be prudent to consider a good strategy for how to approach achieving these New Year’s resolutions.
How may we actually accomplish these goals?
Firstly, I would like to state without reservation, my opinion that a clearly declared personal goal to improve oneself can only be good. Certainly, it is the desire to improve oneself that is the spark that will lead to change, however incremental. What tends to bring people down, however, is when these goals meet initial failure. Often, this results in giving up the goal, disappointment and reverting to our ‘old selves’. The problem here is the premature judgment of defeat and the expectation that behavior can be changed overnight. A much better way to consider the result of a New Year’s resolution is to save your evaluation until the end of the year, regardless of early failure. A long-term goal will be much less likely to result in early failure and disappointment.
Take a moment to pat yourself on the back (really, do it now) and say, “I’m ok, and doing my best”. In the end, you will only have yourself to thank for your successes. You have to love yourself, as the love of others, while valuable, should not be the standard by which you measure your own self-worth. And, if you are already feeling bad about the failed promises you made yourself at the beginning of the year, take your resolutions and throw them in the proverbial trash bin. They mean nothing. You are wonderful, just the way you are.