‘New Year, New You’ and all that. Happens every year – beating ourselves up, followed by resolutions, resolutions, resolutions. We do it again and again though somehow few of the resolutions actually bring forth that splendid new, revised version of us.
December’s a busy, stressful and an expensive month, January, the darkest and coldest month of the year – and some bright spark thought: ‘this is the time to change some of our most ingrained habits; those most comforting and de-stressing ones like snacking, spending more money than you intended, biting nails – you add to the list.’ And how will we do that, Bright Spark? ‘By stopping.’ You would have to be some optimist, or masochist, if you were to ask anyone else to do the same.
The time for cold turkey is over. Literally. No need for an extreme solution with frustrating and stressful feelings, missing out of daily comforts. Besides the moment we say no to something, it’s all we think about….and 88% of us fail*.
Instead, to improve your lot, find good ways to feel comforted and de-stressed, and re-place them for the ones you want to get rid off. Enjoy learning something new and creative, only read books you really enjoy, find or create images of what you dream off, enjoy the best quality you can afford in anything, or maybe just decide to take a 10 minute cat-nap at lunch.
Still stuck in the ‘no pain, no gain’? Ok – cycle to work then, fix some outstanding repairs, tidy a drawer/wardrobe/a shelf or a couple of boxes – just tidy a little area for 10 minutes every day. Do something for someone else or ask someone along to help you get going. It’ll raise your spirit and the sense of achievement will motivate you to do more.
It’s time to stop doing the same thing yet expect a new outcome – let’s make that our New Year’s resolution!….oh…..it is indeed hard to break that old habit! But just be nice to yourself. You have my permission to give it your best shot. Whatever you do – remember what Billy Connolly says: Don’t die until you are dead’.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_resolution A 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.[
Quoting Frank Ra (author of the new year's resolution book "A course in happiness" ): “Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions”.