Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why Can't People Stick to their New Years Resolutions?

This morning, while walking to Tim Hortons for some coffee and a breakfast sandwich, I reflected a bit on the year so far (a whole whopping 3 days). So far, so good. I'm making smart food choices and have worked out. Also, my mental attitude is strong. I also reflected on other people making New Years Resolutions. I've seen long lists, I've seen individual mandates, and most of them have one thing in common: they are ambitious.

Now why is that a problem? After all, shouldn't you be trying to be the best you can be? Why not shoot for the best?

Yes and no.

Because we live in an instant gratification society (think Twitter, fast food, airline travel) people expect results instantly. Combine that with millions of people having been raised by parents and teachers who told them they were perfect and could do anything and you have a recipe for disaster.

Think about it. How many people do you know that have crashed and burned with their resolutions after the first week? I'm imagining someone right now who by the end of this week will have had 6 great days of dieting and exercise, and 1 bad day, and instantly throw it all away because they failed. Change is hard! Change isn't easy! Us humans, we aren't normally receptive to change as it is. So to change your mindset about something dramatically is tough to do.

T also had a great point. She said a lot of times, people set their expectations way too high. They have incredible goals that would be extremely admirable to achieve. Problem is, they aren't realistic. Think about it. Say your goal is to be debt-free in 2012. And you have $10,000 in debt with a $30,000 income. That means 1/3 of your pay is going to pay down debt. With living expenses and things the way they are in our economy, it's just a very difficult goal. I'm not saying it can't be done, but realistically, it won't happen.

Same thing with weight loss. Most people say they want to lose x pounds. This should be a goal over the course of the entire year, and I think they start out that way. But somewhere along the road, the person has a bad day, week, or month, and they give up. Why? Because they can't keep the big picture in mind. These are NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS! Not JANUARY resolutions.

What I'm trying to get at here, is the big picture must be kept in mind. Please, continue to set goals and please keep trying to better yourself. But don't set yourself up for failure either.

That is all.

1 comment:

  1. I figure people don't stick to their NYR because if they were easy, they would have already done them so they take this Jan day and say I'll do it then. Then when it comes, uh-oh it's still hard.

    Brandon, when I was running 1/2 marathons, I didn't know how to train for speed, but I did know how to just run for distance. I was running an average of one to one and a half hours a day. My 1/2's were done at about a 7:15-30 per mile pace. That's why I still believe in distance over intensity. At least that's what worked for me.