The New Year is a time for all the sayings such as “new year, new me” or “time to make a change” to come out repetitively in Instagram posts or Facebook statuses. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that because there isn’t, each to their own. But this is also the time of year where we often publicly announce our New Years Resolution, a concept traced back to the Babylonians ‘Akitu’ festival and the Roman’s promise to their January god Janus (who is also the god of transitions, war, peace and new beginnings). In the contemporary times we live today it’s less of a promise to the gods and more of a promise to ourselves to make a self-improvement such as “my new years resolution is to lose weight” or “eat less meat”. Again, thats fine. But I won’t be making one and here is why.
Personally, I feel even saying “my new years resolution is…” is pointless because you are depending an act of change on a single day, rather than giving yourself more time to rewire your brain. It sounds limiting and it is limiting as it sets you up for failure. Even the word ‘resolution’ creates pressure to complete them and then knocks your self esteem when can’t keep it up. Instead I will choose to say “My end goal is” or “I am aiming to” because that way I can give myself more time to grow as a person and adapt to this new way of thinking. This leads me on to the second problem which is unrealistic expectations that go along with it, explained here by ‘Psychology Today’:
“Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified what they call the “false hope syndrome,” which means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth.”
Learning from this, I want to set more realistic goals I have a better chance of completing and will then spur me on to increase the end goal. So here it goes.
My personal goal is to try to go to the gym twice a week and feel better with every workout. I will also aim to work on my time management skills, so as to balance my personal, creative and educational time better. Anything else positive that comes my way will be a bonus.
I hope I’ve given you food for thought and you will join me in helping yourself along this year with, not a resolution, but an end goal.
Happy New Year!
Psychology Today Article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201412/why-people-cant-keep-their-new-years-resolutions