High expectations curse resolutions

After all the balloons have been released, the confetti has been thrown and the kisses shared, ringing in the New Year puts pressure on those who subscribe to the rules attached to resolution.

Every year it’s the same thing. People vow to eat better, lose weight, reconnect with lost friends and a assortment of other goals that are often too lofty to reasonably attain.

What’s worse is that the retail world tries to cash in on these resolutions. Chains and department stores put everything from sneakers and free weights to yoga mats and coordinating work-out outfits on sale hoping to boost after-holiday business.

So what always happens? People start strong for about two weeks. They eat grilled chicken and broccoli and go running every morning. Then life sets in and people get busy. Before we know it, those resolutions have been quickly forgotten and replaced with disappointment. Why put yourself through it?

Sure, getting healthy is a noble goal; so is donating blood or volunteering. But tying it in to New Year’s and putting the title of “New Year’s resolution” on it seems to set people up for failure. There is an easier way.

Make New Year’s resolutions that are easy. If we lower the bar and make simple goals, then if we succeed we feel better about ourselves. And if we don’t, then it’s not as big of a deal because the goals were small, and maybe even meaningless.

One friend of mine vows every year not to get arrested. Six years running, she has yet to break her resolution. Another friend says every year she won’t spit out her gum on the sidewalk, a very noble and very attainable goal.

This year I vowed to start flossing on a regular basis. It’s simple and it’s good for me, and I’m proud to say that five days in, I’m still going strong.

For those of you who still want to try to get healthy or drop 15 pounds, I still say go for it. But don’t call it a New Year’s resolution. That will jinx you. Make a realistic plan to workout or cut out sweets and start on Jan. 15 or even Feb. 1. That way your goals won’t be cursed.

But remember to allow yourself a little wiggle room in your plans. Give yourself a day to eat something really bad for you or give yourself one morning to hit the snooze button and skip the gym. If you start off too strong, then you could fail that much faster.

Resolutions are a good idea. We can’t go wrong when we set goals to better ourselves. But there is a crazy stigma surrounding New Year’s that leads people to fail more so then if they made a change in their lives in March or July.

I’m not saying that those people who did pledge to change when the clock struck midnight should abandon their plans. Keep it up. I welcome you to prove me wrong about my anti-belief in New Years resolutions.

I’ve just found through observation that resolutions and New Year’s shouldn’t really go together. How successful can a person really be when he or she pledge to drastically change themselves immediately after consuming champagne and a variety of other drinks?

To me, that just seems a sure-fire way to taint the resolutions from the start.


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