For some people the thought of New Year's resolutions is very motivating. It's exciting, it's new, it's refreshing, it's what they need to make some changes in their lives. And for some people, January 1 is just another day. Nothing changes, it's just a blip on the radar.
But for far too many of us, it's a time when we feel this overwhelming sense of guilt and shame based on what we should be doing with our lives... but aren't.
I think the reason that we "fail" at our resolutions is that we are unrealistic about them, and we place unnecessary burden on ourselves. So maybe this year, we should consider resolutions a little differently.
Take the next couple of days to look at this past year. Think about what went well and what didn't go so well. Of the things that didn't go well, what was in your control? What habits can you put in place to make 2015 better? Who do you want to be at the end of 2015? Whether it's physical, emotional, spiritual or practical - we all have things we want to work on.
Now that you've done the hard work of evaluating the year, take it one step forward. What's next? What steps do you need to take to get there? Make it a SMART goal, and give yourself smaller goals that will help you meet the bigger goal. Seriously, if you haven't read about SMART goals, go and check out the link. Sit on it for a bit, and then come back.
Know your motivations for your goal. Just saying that you want to lose 15 pounds isn't going to cut it. The first time you're tempted to sleep in instead of working out, or go to happy hour with your co-workers, you will fail if your only word is "lose weight". Why do you want to lose weight? How are you going to do it? When will you know that you're successful?
Breaking down the larger goal into tangible steps can help relieve that overwhelming feeling. Also, by digging deeper into the motivations can help you move from "someone else is telling me" to "I am choosing this" - which makes all the difference in the world to your satisfaction and ability to follow through.