Proclaiming New Year’s resolutions ought to be removed from everyone’s consciousness starting today! I believe New Year’s resolutions do more harm than good and primarily because most often they are set with good intentions but without a plan on ways to achieve the particular goal.
Resolutions are goals but without a detailed plan to guide the progress toward the goal. It’s similar to driving in a new town without a roadmap. You have no clue whether you are moving in the right direction. I find when someone makes a New Year’s resolution, during most of the year they end up chasing the new version of themselves. But if there is no plan in place for making the change, there will be disappointment.
If you think about it, roughly 8% of people keep their resolutions and fulfill their goals, which also equates to a more significant number who don’t fulfill them! That’s a whopping 92% who will come across their list mid-year and become filled with sadness for not having met their resolution.
Chasing a whole new you through a New Year’s resolution isn’t self-help, it’s self-harm because it’s unrealistic, inauthentic and it sets yourself up for a colossal pitfall into the abyss of low-self esteem, a place where you loathe who you are and your abilities to evolve because you could not hold yourself accountable.
Accountability plays a significant role when you are setting up to become a better version of yourself, and when you don’t hold yourself accountable, you start living life in a pool of excuses.
Resolutions just make you feel bad when you break them. I know that the New Year doesn’t hold any magic to make me better, no more so than any other day does. However, the one thing I do know is this, “we all get the same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them!” Nothing much distinguishes January 1 from December 31, except maybe the morning of the 1st brings a severe hangover!
A few years back, I became an NYC Certified Recovery Coach, and one thing I took from that experience was the understanding that to make a difference in your life, having an open-mind is the key. When a person remains closed-minded, their state of consciousness remains the same. When a person has an open mind they are able to welcome new view points, ways of doing things, are open to trying new things, and are ready to accept when something is not working. That does not mean a person changes their beliefs entirely; it just says they are learning new skills and thought-processes to be a better version of themselves.
Another important aspect of evolving has to do with habit formation. People debate whether or not repeating a task for 21 days can form a new habit. I have found it certainly helps and Oprah and Deepak have their meditation series scheduled for 21 days at a time. Whether it’s 21 days or not, there are phases to habit formation. On Forbes.com, Jason Selk pointed out three phases of Tom Bartow’s model of habit formation: The Honeymoon, The Fight Thru, and Second Nature. I agree with his point that “Great habits are formed daily. Truth be told, good habits require consistent commitment.” I would also say that good habits require a plan along with the commitment to fight through the stages to ultimately be successful.
To evolve means to “develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” People evolve as they learn more about themselves, develop new viewpoints, and become better versions of themselves. Rather than setting fleeting resolutions each year, which don’t come with a plan and can lead to disappointing results, people should commit to a plan of forming daily habits which will help them evolve as individuals.