New Year Resolutions Don’t Work

I read an article before the start of January (not too different to this one) explaining why people find it so difficult to stick to their new years resolutions. I didn’t make one this year because I knew that I was doomed to failure thanks to my meticulous study of my own personal history. The study stated that unless your aims are something that you feel the need to pursue and that you are physically and mentally ready to change, you probably aren’t going to stick to it. Most people have to reach rock bottom before they make a life changing decision and most of us fortunately never reach that point.

Bob has the right idea.

So instead of taking on a mammoth task such as committing to a specific idea or change for an entire year which is both daunting and difficult to visualise, it’s a better idea to challenge yourself with smaller, more bite sized tasks that you can actually see yourself achieving. One method for this is monthly resolutions. At the start of each month, decide on something you want to challenge yourself with to see if you can achieve it and once you have passed the 30 or so days you might just find yourself with a healthy new habit. Either that or you’ll turn back to the crack pipe the minute the calendar hits the 1st of Smarch.

Another reason for resolution failure is that people generally set themselves unrealistic goals, if you have a full time job and a busy social life, stopping drinking, smoking or eating Double Down Dogs from KFC might be step too far for what you can physically achieve (don’t stop drinking, it turns you into a miserable bastard).

My plan is to post at least one thing on my blog each day of February. It’s not a particularly difficult task but I generally have trouble committing to anything that doesn’t provide me with an instant dopamine burst, so I’m dipping my toe into the shallow end. I’m not going to think about what I might do in March because that will take focus away from my current challenge and will make the task more daunting if I consider this as a constant rather than a short burst.

Oh and before you start trying to chase down the Double Down Dog dream, in reality it looks a lot less appetising, reality sucks, but you have to face it and stop dreaming, have a salad instead.

Update: I didn’t stick to this resolution, don’t listen to me.

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