Girl Talk column: Making resolutions that will stick
January 17, 2014
We are firmly rooted in the new year. We have started our new beginning and taken our opportunity to do things differently. How are you faring? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves at the end of every year to create these things that we will do differently in the year to come? The New Year's resolution …
Some stats about New Year's Resolutions from statisticbrain.com:
• 45: Percent of Americans who frequently make New Year's resolutions.
• 8: Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolutions,
With this over-arching failure rate, haven't we learned that these resolutions just don't work?
I think the whole resolution thing would be different if we could accept ourselves for all of the successes and failures we have had. In fact, the failures we have make us better equipped to not make those same mistakes again. At least they should! However, every year, we know we have a very low success rate at keeping our resolutions, and yet we make them over and over. We go gangbusters in January, start to lose steam a little in February, and by March, we have gotten busy in our lives and lost focus on those changes.
So stop doing it! Stop recreating failure in your life every year.
Let's change the way we do things and make our lives truly happier. Some thoughts I have:
My birthday is my absolute favorite day of the year, and one day that actually signifies change in my life. Every birthday I am fortunate to celebrate, I am a year older. This is a true milestone. I can look at my year and acknowledge my accomplishments. I can see things that I would like to do differently, and eat cake! A birthday is a far greater milestone than going from December to January. That's not even a change of season.
There are four seasonal changes every year. Let's make our goals a little more achievable by using quarterly goals, like a business. There is a reason that businesses report based on quarters. If one quarter is not great, and the next exceeds expectations, then they cancel each other out. Why not do the same with our own personal resolutions? For example: "On this Autumnal Equinox I resolve to stay on top of the laundry." Then, if we really haven't worked that out, then we can always try again at the Winter solstice. After all, here in Colorado, the seasons are very distinct in terms of clothes, and the summer solstice is a great time to achieve that laundry goal. Less clothes!
What if we approached each month the way we do at the end of every December. Every month we have a chance to make things right for ourselves. Think of all of the self-reflection we could do at the end of each month. If we really and truly took time at the end of every month to acknowledge the things we would like to change, then we would be such nicer people. A month is not that long. And if you get sidetracked, then you can start again in a few short days.
More importantly, however, is that we just need to do a better job with ourselves in general. I'm not talking about how much we weigh, how fit we are, how little or much money we make. We get one shot at this life, and it is such a shame that we spend so much time wasting it with the negative voices in our heads. I would never treat anyone the way I treat myself. I am so much kinder to others than I am to me. And that is where the true resolve needs to come. If we unplug, slow down and just pay attention, then so much of what we wish for will come. We can learn to eat until we are full. We can learn to truly know the difference between what we need and what we want. We can learn to move our bodies every day so that they don't get stiff and old. We can drink, dance and love, and not feel guilty about it. We can live a life without regret, and without the desire to change who we are every year. Just be who you are and enjoy it. We are all we have in the end anyway, so let's learn to live with ourselves in peace and harmony.
Happy New Year!
Gabrie Higbie is the publisher of valleygirlmag.com. Valley Girl Mag is dedicated to smart, irreverent women living in mountain towns.