Most people start off the new year with good intentions, new goals and a feeling of a fresh start (after the initial hang over that is). Time is a concept created by man to have a structure and a feeling of control (yes I just said time is a concept – I am that person and yes I am usually late to things). Hence, the feeling that there is a shift, a chance to start new is totally valid and rather a romantic concept. Technically we are ever changing, but it’s nice to have one day a year we feel in empowered to change for the better.
What is also normal is to hit the New Year slump. Our resolutions, even though fueled by good intentions and exciting at first, have a hard time sticking. Reason is, life usually remains the same as before we set the intention. Basically, you just gave yourself more to do. It might work in January, but as the usual routine kicks in, it begins to become harder to stick to the new resolution. Change is hard, especially when so much outside of our control. Working hours, obligations, public transport – so many things stand in our way of leading the ideal life we want. It’s easy to give into these external forces. Well to be frank – it’s easier to give in then trying to make them work for you. So we find ourselves often sooner than not giving up on our resolutions. We find ourselves demotivated, noticing that even though it’s a new year, nothing is actually any different to what it was before. A feeling of defeat and helplessness kicks in.
Here are some tips that might help with that:
- Learn that change doesn’t have to be constant. So what you didn’t go to the gym for one month – who says you never have to go to the gym again? Who says you have to give up on your goal now because you didn’t follow it for a bit. You can bounce back any day it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You haven’t failed your goal, you are just trying out how to fit it into your existing life.
- There are many ways to achieve a goal. Want to learn a language – perhaps an online program is better suited than a in person class or joining a meet up. There is no one way fits all and there is no one way fits you. If you want to get into shape, you might enjoy various types of exercises, not just running for example. Give things a go and see what sticks.
- Chunk it. Ok – you want to get fit – set yourself a small/ easy goal, one you think you can achieve and one that is hard. And try out which fits. It might depend on the week, it might be too easy or too hard. But this way you are always achieving your goal, its just different variations and shapes of it.
We tend to be too hard on ourselves. Give yourself some space to make the goal fit to you, trying on other’s people’s shoes feels weird – and that’s what goals feel like too if you don’t make them yours.