New Year’s Resolutions, are they possible?
The simple thought of a new year produces a sense of hope, of change, of renewal. We all dream of improving our lives and the beginning of a year seems to be the perfect time to start the projects we have had in mind for some time; we must prove that we can accomplish and that we have the drive to carry them out.
Our resolutions can be about feeling we can lose weight, eat healthy, stop smoking, play sports, read more, learn a new language, travel, or save more money every month. The ones that are repeated the most are related to health, money, and personal relationships. We feel unstoppable, we are full of energy, and we want to transform each of the areas of our life at once, everything should change from the first day.
Trying to cope with many changes at once, and then finding ourselves at the starting point in February, generates great frustration and a feeling of failure. We will have to analyze how many times we have made those same resolutions at the beginning of a year, because there are patterns that are repeated and will make us relapse.
The objectives that we set ourselves with such joy, end up becoming a weight that does not let us advance, leaves us a sense of stagnation and what in its beginning was a motivation becomes a huge feeling of guilt. As you fall into discouragement, anxiety comes into the picture. This generates a feeling of restlessness and tension that interfere with each activity of daily life, in addition to hindering decision making.
So far frustration, guilt and anxiety come into the picture and an unhealthy outlook begins to develop. However, frustration is a transitory state, and therefore, reversible. By acting on a plan, frustration subsides, and taking one step at a time would be of great benefit.
Guilt coexists with depression and obsessive disorders. It is vitally important not to become obsessed into achieving something because this could become a more serious problem. Who would think that something as simple as an unfulfilled New Year’s resolution could lead to an emotional health and behavioral problem?
It is best to map out progressive and assumable changes. Willpower is like a muscle that can be worked on little by little. But it arises from the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is overloaded and can be depleted easily. What works best is to link positive emotions to new habits, and condition yourself to new behaviors, which will require training.
One way to achieve this would be, even if we live in the digital age, to handwrite our resolutions from a positive statement, for example: I am able to exercise three times aweek or I can read four hours a week. After setting your goals, establish a weekly schedule including the activities you require to reach your final goal.
Change the way you set your purposes. The beginning of a year does not define the beginning of a change in our lives. Each day is a new beginning.