I suppose all of your are more or less ready to face the new year, as the current one is ending as soon as tomorrow. After we’ve all stuffed our faces with festive delicacies, there is nothing better than sitting down with a piece of paper and figuring out what you really want to achieve next year, no?
Well, is it really though?
If you’re anything like me, you probably suck big time at keeping promises to yourself. With other people it’s easier – you’ve made an obligation, and now failing to keep it could result in loads of anxiety and guilt that is going to hunt you straight to the grave.
Of course, guilting yourself into doing things is not the healthiest way around getting things done, but we know it well, so let’s not stop there.
First, let’s focus on this quite well-known phenomena when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, or any resolutions at all in fact.
In a 2009 study briefly described herea group of four scientist talked about their experiment conducted with the help of two groups of college students. Both groups were supposed to write down the tasks they were supposed to take on in the following week, connected to one of their goals. Both groups were told that their answers were going to be reviewed One group was later told that nobody read theirs after all.
Guess which one of the groups did follow through with their weekly goals?
The latter, yes.
You see, as it turns out letting your goals out into the world puts you in a headspace where you are actually kind of there already. You’ve already written your dissertation, lost weight, gotten a better job, went to that one place you always wanted to visit.
So, if you’re kinda there, why bother actually going ahead with it?
I suppose that additional damage that announcing your goals can do is the pressure of those around you. You wanted to do this thing before, but earlier this goal was your own only. But if you do tell someone of this thing you want to do, they might pressure you to going ahead with it, causing you to feel anxious, because not only are you failing yourself now, but someone else as well. Plus, it’s possible many of you have seen memes about being told to do something when you were already planning on doing it, no?
Which proves that this feeling is universal for a large group of people.
So no, I’m not going to share my New Year’s resolutions with you all and tell you how you can succeeding with keeping your own. Everyone is different in what motivates them, and maybe instead of searching for solutions on the outside, it’s best to try searching for them on the inside?
That’s what I’m going to do for sure. Plus, this year I’m applying a “no pressure” policy to anything I could call a resolution. Priorities change at a rapid pace sometimes, and something that would make the top of your resolutions list today, in a month from now could only be a distant memory. And that’s okay. You don’t always have to be goal-oriented. Give yourself some room to breathe. Who knows, maybe for you specifically it’s something you’ve been needing to know for a long time?
Whatever you decide to do regarding your goals for next year, remember to take care of yourself. Without you, your goals would never be fulfilled. And if you won’t be in good spirits, then even if you have followed through with what you wanted to do, you might be so tired and fed up that you won’t feel any joy when seeing how far you’ve come.
Have faith in yourself, and a Happy New Year to you all!