Get excited, it’s almost that time of the year again! That’s right, where we go out and celebrate the countdown to the end of yet another year while commiserating with friends about the good, the bad, and the ugly that presided over the last 364 days. How do we do this? With cheap champagne and miniature hot dogs but of course.
Think of it this way, New Years Eve is like the Control – Alt -Delete to your life, or, for you apple users, that’s Command – Control – Power.
Understandably, New Years Day and Eve have coincidentally become the most magical time of the year because quite frankly, it is the only time of the year in which the American people set more unrealistic goals and make more unrealistic promises than a current incumbent running for re-election.
If we go back to the great Babylonian civilization, the Babylonians felt that whatever a person did on the first day of the new year had a lingering affect all year long – hence, the birth of the New Year’s Resolution. Unfortunately for many though, spending January first hugging the porcelain throne, revisiting cheese cubes, crab dip and a sea of Brut something or another probably doesn’t bode well for setting a positive tone for the New Year.
(Photo: Property of http://www.hauteliving.com)
So why do we do it? Why do we always assume we need to set a list of unrealistic goals and resolutions on January 1st knowing that on average, only 12% of the population actually achieves their goals? That’s right, 12 out of every 100 people will actually accomplish something they set out to do for the New Year. That isn’t even good enough for baseball.
Personally I think the problem lies within the factors that motivate us to set these goals in the first place. If you take a second and think, the majority of New Year’s resolutions and goals come from some type of extrinsic factor, meaning – something from outside of us as individuals is causing or triggering this need for change or inspiration (i.e. environment, people, etc.).
Unfortunately, these types of motivators are usually extremely potent at first, but then dwindle down rather quickly several weeks thereafter. Really, it’s like the Viagra of motivation.
My suggestion for the New Year is to instead, set some New Yours Resolutions. Not something your family, friends, or loved ones want, not how you can please others, but rather, what will please you. Don’t turn back and don’t feel guilty. Just go for it! Nevertheless, make 2012 the year of you!
Here are just a handful of examples you can use for your New Yours Resolutions:
- Start your New Yours Resolution now. Instead of waiting for some magical date that officially says “hey, ok, now you can start working towards your goals”, get a head start for the New Year by starting today. You are more likely to stick with accomplishing a goal for the New Year if you are already working towards it rather than beginning on January 1st. Plus, you wont be as discouraged to get going when you run into your closest 6,000 friends at the gym on the first of the year.
- If you are interested in participating and completing your first race, pick a race in the first four months of the year that is enticing to you and sign up for the race as soon as possible. Start off small and then build your way up (5k walk, 5k run, 10k, short bike ride, sprint swim, etc.) The financial commitment makes it tougher to weasel your way out of accomplishing your goal and the concrete date turns your resolution into a SMART goal – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
- If you are interested in losing weight, purchase a dream outfit or set of clothes that are currently 1-3 sizes too small. The investment and desire to wear the outfit or clothes will provide you with additional motivation to accomplish your weight loss goal. Make it SMART by setting a date and/or creating a special occasion that lies within the first 3-4 months of the year to wear that outfit or specific clothing article. Work hard, stay motivated, and believe.
- If you are interested in trying to eat healthier in the New Year simply focus on trying to incorporate one additional fruit and/or vegetable in every meal before you get to or reach for the dessert. Aim to try 2-3 new fruits and/or vegetables each month. There’s a good chance you will end up finding new fruits and vegetables you like and lessen the amount of sweets or desserts you eat over the entire year. Don’t forget, it takes the average adult 10-15 tries of a specific fruit or vegetable before they really know if they like it. Enjoy!
I wish you all the best of luck with your New Yours Resolutions! Don’t forget, regardless of what obstacles or who tries to get in your way, keep on working hard to achieve your goals and dreams.
(Left: Mr. Boomer, Right: Mr. Cameron)
Best Wishes and Happy Holidays.