Take 14: New Year’s Resolutions

T14 NYResolutions ContUp

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new year! (I still don’t know why we couldn’t sing the song.)

But in any case, we made it to 2018! Welcome! Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions yet?

Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition that dates back to Roman times when people believed that the god Janus had two faces—one looking forward and one looking back. So the new year became a symbolic time for people to make promises for the coming year and to forgive troubles of the past (hoping Janus would bless their future and forgive them for their wrongdoings at the same time).

And why not? New Year does represent a change. A clean slate. A new chance. It’s no wonder so many of us choose it as a time to make big changes; to make promises to ourselves about how things will improve in the coming year.

Apparently, the most common New Year’s resolutions are:

  • To stay fit and health/ lose weight
  • To enjoy life to the fullest
  • To spend less and save more
  • To spend more time with loved ones

Well, they all seem rather good ones. I recognise a few of them off my lists. I suspect, however, the ancient Romans would have had different priorities…

But apparently, only 8% of people who make resolutions at New Year actually follow through on them! Huh? Only 8 out of every 100 people actually DO stay fit, get healthy, save money, improve relationships, and enjoy life more?

So why do so many of us subscribe to the idea of New Year’s resolutions when it has such a high rate of failure?

It’s sexy. It’s cool. We love the idea of snapping our fingers and changing our lives. But I guess life doesn’t work to deadlines.

And that’s why so many resolutions are found on the scrap heap by the end of January. We want it all, and we want it now. We set all-or-nothing goals. We have unrealistic expectations and forget that we’re human and might need time and room to achieve them. We accidentally set ourselves up to fail.

It turns out the one-step-at-a-time approach is a much better way to reach your goals. Start small. Take your time. Enjoy the process.

So are New Year’s resolutions just a waste of time? Not at all! A cold January afternoon is the perfect time to snuggle up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea and think about how you want your next 12 months to look. But while you do, embrace the fact that you are human and the journey is half the fun!

Sounds good to me… the blanket and cup of tea bit, especially. But I only made one New Year’s resolution this year and the longer it takes me to achieve, the better the year will be!

Do you want to practice talking about New Year’s resolutions? Download the lesson notes!

T14 NYResolutions Lesson Notes ContUp

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