Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Didn’t Work (and what will!)

3 years ago

Having problems with your New Year’s Resolutions? How many times have you made them and then failed to keep them after only a few days, or in my case, hours?

In The Science of Willpower, Kelly McGonigal explains why your willpower is not the problem, your resolutions are. Typically, Kelly suggests, we resolve to do what we think we should do or what others or society expects us to do. Like lose weight or go to the gym.

All the willpower in the world will not hold us fast to those resolutions if they hold no meaning for us. Be brutally honest, do you really want to go to the gym? If being healthy truly is meaningful to you, find other more meaningful ways to do it. Perhaps shopping for fruits and vegetables at a locally run store and belly dancing. Or go on long walks in countryside with a friend.

Instead of forcing yourself to do something you think you should, ask yourself, what is truly meaningful to me? Kelly puts it this way:

“A very practical way is to ask: At the end of 2014 — on January 1st, 2015, looking backwards — what are you seriously going to be grateful that you did? Is there a change you know that you’re going to be glad you made? What would that feel like? That can tap into something that feels really authentic.”

Here’s a 30 second challenge; grab a pen and a piece of paper and write a list of things that are seriously meaningful to you, things you will be so grateful you did a year from now. There are no limits! Get scribbling. What did you come up with?

So forget the gym or the diet - you didn’t want to do that anyway and instead write that book, learn to sing, shop local, ramble in the hills, call your mother every week, or take up crochet like your grandma did. You’ll be happy that you did and you might just stick to it!



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