How Not to Fail at New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day.  What a day, it signals not only the end of the holiday season but the beginning of the new year.  It is time to start the year with resolutions, good intentions, high hopes, and happiness.

There are many ways to celebrate New Year’s Day, you can watch a parade, a football or hockey game ( we never miss the Winter Classic in our home), or if you are a member of the Polar Bear Club, you can take a dip in the outdoors.  Me, I am much more likely to take a dip in a hot tub with a glass of wine.

You can also cook a traditional New Year’s Day meal, which is said to bring you good luck in the upcoming year.  I’m going to have to try this, I would love some extra luck coming my way.  Some of the things that are considered part of a traditional  New Year’s meal are Hoppin’ John, collard greens, Black-eyed peas, cornbread, and pork.

Another take on a New Year’s Day Meal is more international and consists of grapes, pomegranate, rice, fish, soba noodles, Kransekage, which is a Danish cake tower I am going to have to try.

Grapes

New Year’s Resolutions ~ How not to Fail Miserably

New Year’s Resolutions… what worse way to start out the year than with a list of items you can never succeed at. You have just written down a plan to fail in the upcoming year. Why? Well, because you asked I will tell you. Thousands of years ago it was a way for people to make promises to their gods that they would return the things they borrowed and pay back any debts they had. These promises held a lot of weight as they did not want to face the wrath of God if they were to break those promises. After all, eternal damnation is a pretty severe punishment for not returning that casserole dish you borrowed from your Mother-in-Law. These days, resolutions are not so much promises to God as promises we make to ourselves. The problem with this is that we make very large, broad resolutions with no clear plan of action. Broader solutions are ridiculously easy to make but almost impossible to follow through with. You have no plan of action. For example, “I will lose at least 50 pounds this year.” This will be one of my resolutions, by the way. What is the problem with this though? It is a broad resolution with no actionable plan.

How to Manage your New Year’s Resolutions

What I will resolve is this: “I will lose 5 pounds per month this year.” Now I have 12 small, achievable goals. There is a huge difference between the first, large goal and the 12 smaller goals.  There is a valid reason for this. It is far easier to lose 5 pounds than 60, and that is a fact we all can relate to. You will be far more likely to stick to the second goal of losing a mere 5 pounds per month. Every month you succeed is a win and a much quicker win than having to wait a year to see if you succeed in your goal. Don’t put it off for months until it is too late to achieve that goal.  I can break this down further by writing down how I plan to do this specifically.  “I will walk more”, “I will exercise for 15 minutes 3 times per week”, “I will cut out that second cookie.”

Think about some of your past resolutions, they were doomed to failure from the start, weren’t they? You would lose weight, you would quit smoking, you would learn a new language or learn cake decorating. Did you have any plan in place for these things though, or were they just wishes? This year, come up with resolutions but put thought into your plan for success. For example to quit smoking… “I will not smoke tomorrow”. You tell yourself this everyday… then every day you don’t smoke is a win you can celebrate. A backslide is not a fail, it is simply a chance to start again the next day. After all, if we all quit trying every time we made a mistake, we would still be living in caves.

 

Other Holidailys today

Hangover Day
Polar Bear Plunge Day
Bloody Mary Day

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