It’s now February of 2021 and right around the time people start throwing away their New Year’s resolutions like trash into a garbage can. We know that it’s hard sticking to a resolution and that you’re often tempted to quit. You have good intentions, but you ditch them all. This is common, so you don’t have to feel too ashamed. It’s natural to not get things right the first time. It all comes with practice and patience.
To make you feel better about your not so resolved resolutions, we’ve taken 3 common New Year’s Resolutions and analyzed why they are broken so easily. This way, you can be better prepared to tackle that resolution the next year!
Giving Up on Exercise
At the end of the year, when we’ve just come out of the holidays, it’s more than likely that you’ve put on a few pounds that you’d like to work off. Of course, you might not be used to working out or even going to the gym, but you still feel the need to do it because it was your resolution for the year. Though, it’s after you start working out “regularly” for the first week that things start to hit the fan.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
The first day of your first week you are doing great and you got to your goal number of sit-ups or push-ups. The third day of the first week though, you don’t quite meet your goal, but you tell yourself it’s okay because there’s always next time. On the fifth day of your first week you get a late start, and barely even work out. Things seem like they’re not going as planned, so by the seventh day you’ve thrown in the towel and go back to being a couch potato.
This is usually how the common exercise resolution of the year starts and ends. The number of days and exact workouts vary, but they all end the same: by giving up. You fail at this resolution because you often don’t have anyone to hold you accountable but yourself, and let’s be honest, you suck at keeping yourself accountable. It’s not because you don’t love yourself. It’s because you have yet to acquire discipline.
Accountability and discipline are the key to conquering almost any New’ year’s Resolution, but especially this one. According to Forbes, “the right kind of helper can help you see what you cannot about yourself and to connect with the highest version of who you are”. To fulfill this need, you should find yourself an accountability partner for the next time you exercise. Your partner should be someone who knows a little more about exercising and can push you when things get rough, which it will. This partner will also teach you the discipline you need by keeping you consistent with your workout and goals.
So, the next time you work out or head off to the gym, get someone who can help you. This will increase your chances of fulfilling this New Year’s resolution.
Giving Up on Giving Up
This common New Year’s Resolution is all about giving up on something you should have given up a long time ago. All the bad things you love so much like junk food, smoking, social media, trashy reality TV shows, and more. Though these things are unhealthy for you…. you had a hard time giving them up. You’re in too deep and your love for junk food and cigarettes has become an addiction that makes you hate.
To fulfill this New Year’s Resolution, this too requires accountability and discipline. But more importantly, you have to change your thoughts towards your vice before you can change your behavior. Your vice is a stimulus for you. It causes you to want to revert to the behavior you’re trying to break. So, you must change how you think about your vice in order for it to no longer be a stimulus. You should start by associating good thoughts with not giving in to your stimuli. By that logic, you should then associate bad thoughts with giving in to your stimuli. With quitting smoking, for example, you could associate happy thoughts with not picking up a cigarette and bad thoughts when you do the exact opposite. The thoughts you associate with cigarettes will help you to avoid that bad behavior the next time you see a pack of cigarettes.
If you just aren’t able to change your thoughts about the behavior you’re trying to quit, then you should try to avoid the stimuli completely. Avoiding the junk food aisles of the store or turning off notifications for a certain app are good examples. By avoiding temptation you’re less likely to give in to your vice the next time you try to quit.
Giving Up on Saving Money
You’d imagine that saving money would be one of the easiest of resolutions for this year since most of us are still working out of our homes. Yet, you somehow still ended up overspending at the end of January. How is this possible?
Well, just because we are at home, it does not mean that we are unable to buy things we don’t need. Amazon, Instacart, Doordash, and Ubereats are all just a click away and can eat into your paycheck like crazy. The temptation to overspend might be even greater for some while at home because of how bored people might feel.
This resolution, thus, requires budgeting and financial discipline to achieve. Budgeting is simple and has been around for centuries. It’s the act of subtracting your necessities from your paychecks and finding out how much leftover you’ll have for savings. Keep in mind. Necessities are not a new pair of shoes or a $15 cup of coffee. Necessities are bills, groceries, gas money, etc.. Things you’d need to survive. And no, you don’t need HBO Plus to survive. Try to stick to just one inexpensive streaming service and not several, if you truly want to save money.
This will require financial discipline in the sense that you’ll have to resist the desire to buy unnecessary goods. It will be hard for you to do this at first, especially with some of the apps you have. If it will help, temporarily uninstall some of the apps on your phone that tempt you to spend. These include all the shopping and fast food apps you may use excessively.
Penny-pinching is hard. Trust me. Once you get enough saved up for your next vacation though, you’ll be incredibly grateful you did this.
Don’t Feel Bad; You’ll Get it Next Time
You might have quit on your New Year’s Resolution this year, but with these tips, you’ll be better next time. Next time can be anytime you’d like, even tomorrow. However, as long as there is a next time and the desire to change is there, you’re definitely gonna turn things around at some point.
If you are interested in more wellness articles, you might enjoy this article on 3 Ways to Start Your Self Improvement Journey in 2021.
If you’d rather look into articles related to money, this article on How to Start Fixing Your Relationship with Money is also a good one!