As 2016 rolls in, we begin to hear that infamous question: What’s your new year’s resolution?
Many people have told me that it is difficult to follow-through with the goals that they have set for themselves. Additionally, commercials and other media outlets set the expectation that most people will not carry out these goals (think of the commercials we see around this time for work-out gyms).
It is common for us to set big expectations: go to the gym every day… completely remove bad vices or habits… get rid of all debt. Although these resolutions sound positive and can absolutely change our lives for the better, they set us up for failure. When setting such big expectations, we don’t keep in mind the fact that we are human. Life happens. Just because you skipped a day at the gym, had one cigarette in a moment of vulnerability, or paid back most (not all) of your debt does not mean that you have failed. Our all-or-nothing thinking is what gets us into trouble.
The key to success in attaining your goals is positivity!
- Change the words around: For example, instead of setting the possibly unrealistic expectation that you will go to the gym every day, agree to join an exercise class that meets three times per week. If you go more often than that, good for you!
- Rather than remove things from your life, try adding some! For example, find a new hobby, decide to volunteer your time once per month, or start cooking more foods “from scratch.”
- Be grateful! Embrace the positive things in your life (both big and small)! One idea is to create happiness jar. Over the course of the year, write down all of the positive moments that occurred in your life and keep them in a jar. At the end of the year, go through all of the pieces of paper have collected and remind yourself to be grateful of the positive things in your life. I started mine. Will you start yours?