What’s the Problem?
Making New Year's resolutions is like trying to re-solve the same problem every year by using the same method, then getting the same disappointing results. The first couple weeks (or days) may be filled with optimism and motivation. Then, motivation starts waning because you haven’t reached your goal as quickly as you’d like or the goal seems too far away. Before you know it, your New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside, only to be waiting for you to try again next year.
The problem with New Year's resolutions is not the resolution itself. The problem for most of us is the approach. Too often, New Year's resolutions are grand, life-changing expectations we put on ourselves. Then, when we don’t achieve those expectations, we have grand disappointment in ourselves.
It may be easier to do away with making New Year's resolutions. I almost did that. I started grumbling about how New Year's resolutions don’t work and people shouldn’t do it. Then, I realized how cynical and negative I felt. I did not like that attitude. Making New Year's resolutions can be a fun tradition. So, I decided to make a new New Year’s resolution – re-define resolutions.
3 Tips to Re-Defining Your New Year's Resolutions
1. Be Realistic. Instead of making the same grand resolutions for the New Year, change it up a little. Keep it simple. For example, instead of resolving to lose weight, make your goal to eat healthier. Then, create an achievable way to reach that goal, such as eating out less or substituting fruits and veggies for chips and cookies as best you can. If your goal is to save more money this year, make a resolution to save all your loose change. If you want to be more organized this year, resolve to clean out your closet and donate unused clothing to a shelter. You could also resolve to check out the Neat Geek’s helpful organizing blog each month (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, grin!)
2. Have fun with it. Yes, you are allowed to have fun with New Year's resolutions. It’s not easy to stay motivated when you put a lot of pressure and expectations on yourself. So, have fun with it! Make a game out of reaching your goal. If you keep it fun, you’re more likely to keep your resolution. Cleaning is not one of my favorite chores - I’m a Neat Geek, not a clean freak. So, one way I have fun with keeping my resolution to clean the house is to yell, “Ready, set, go!” and make it a game to get it done. Yes, I’m a dork about it, but guess what? It gets done. And it’s fun!
3. DOIT. No, that’s not a typo, that’s my mantra to keep my resolutions. When I find myself slipping away from actively keeping a resolution, I start telling myself: Do it. Do it. Do it. I keep repeat this faster and faster until I’m saying DOIT-DOIT-DOIT. At some point, I follow my mantra, get up, and I DO IT. It really works for me, but come up with a mantra that works for you. If you do decide on this mantra, I strongly suggest you say it in your head to avoid sounding like a crazy person.
The New Year represents a new beginning. It’s a time we can feel confident that we can make new, positive changes in our lives. Just remember, it’s the little changes that count. It’s the little changes that become good habits that help us reach our bigger goals. So, make that your new New Year resolution.
The Neat Geek wishes you a Happy New Year and a happy New Day, everyday!