This time of year, many people make New Year's resolutions or goals for the coming year. You may have decided on Veganuary, Dry January, RED (run every day) or a whole host of others. So why, come the 1st or 2nd week of your resolution, does it all fall by the wayside? Research shows that many get caught up with expectations, especially at the beginning of the New Year, others fall into the media trap – if you listen carefully adverts start persuading us that this is what we should be doing. If yours have fallen apart already then here are 5 reasons why:
You never actually wanted to do it in the first place.
And that’s ok – recognise that it was never your goal, it doesn’t matter if a friend or partner coerced you and you felt you should or ought to – those 2 words should and ought; are a sign that you don’t actually want to – those words lend themselves to a sense of obligation rather than a personal desire.
Re-evaluate the goal or resolution and decide if you actually do want to do it, if not replace it with something you do, that spark interest or excitement – or bin it!
It’s not reasonable
What does this mean – well it simply means that it is not reasonable to achieve this goal. The goal may be too big and need breaking down into smaller steps. You’ve gone vegan but really you adore meat and cannot possibly live a life without. (if you’re saying the same thing about alcohol then that’s something completely different 😊). You’ve signed up to a weekly class that starts at 7pm but you don’t get home until 6.30, starving hungry and it just isn’t going to happen. Whatever the reason for it not being reasonable, it means that you are unlikely to stick to the tasks needed to achieve the goal, therefore, you’re going to fail.
It’s not ecological
Simplistically this refers to it fitting in with your current lifestyle. It means that you have not considered its impact on those around you, your friends, family, work. It’s no good saying you’re going to run a marathon in 3 months’ time but you are already committed to other projects which result in there not being enough time to train or by training, you spend no time with your family and they are left resentful.
It’s not achievable
Is the goal you have decided on costly and you can’t afford it? Is it time-consuming and you don’t reasonably have the time? Is it not realistically achievable in the first place? Does it rely on others?
There are many goals that people set that are simply not achievable – most commonly around weight loss, muscle gain, fitness levels and not to be forgotten – those goals that are reliant on other people’s input – you are accountable for your own actions but cannot guarantee those of others.
You’ve set yourself up to fail
Have you set the bar too high? Are you a perfectionist striving for what, to others, is unrealistic?
Over time these kinds of goals will eat away at your self-esteem, lending you to beginning to believe that you are no good, that you fail. An unhealthy and problematic way of setting yourself goals. If this is you then ask yourself, would (then pick a person you respect or hold in esteem) set themselves this goal and consider themselves able to achieve it?
Before you set the next goal use this framework to give you the best chance of success
What do I really want to achieve?
To be answered with positives and be specific.
When do I want to achieve it by?
Setting timescales gives you focus, omitting this allows goals to be ‘when I get around to it’.
What’s the first step?
Breaking down goals into steps makes them even more achievable, congratulate yourself on achieving those steps.
Is it reasonable?
Skydiving with osteoporosis may not be a reasonable goal. Learning to fly a plane is costly, initially and to continue, can you afford it?
Is it ecological?
Will I end up divorced, unemployed or void of friendships if I do this? Does it fit your life well enough, with acceptable adjustments?