How to avoid New Year’s Resolution self-flagellation

TrendsHow’s it coming along? Renewed commitments to good habits. Just say No to that extra glass of wine. Eat more healthy. Waste less time on social media or TV. Restart exercise program. Be nicer to so-and-so and whathisname. 25 days later, are we all still with the program?

The concept of a new year resolution goes back to ancient times. The Babylonians and Romans did this too. It was a time to reconfirm commitments and vows, return borrowed objects, reflect on wrong doings and make amends. Today the theme of most resolutions appear to be related to health and fitness, or personal effectiveness. According to a recent study by Statistic Brain, people in their twenties have a much higher success rate on follow through (39%), than people over 50 (14%), which is what leads me to this blog posting. 14%, really? What kind of role models are we for our kids? –that’s me in the 50+ bracket.

This year I’m thinking of new year resolutions as setting trends and directions rather than S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-based). The problem with these hard, black and white, on or off resolutions, is that we quickly dump them, or mercilessly beat ourselves up if we stumble and fall. I’ve abandoned great intentions, because of a single failure to stay on track. Given the numbers, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

Setting overall trends and directions is working better for me. Where am I heading? If I fall down today, I can still pick myself up and get back on my feet. All is not lost. If I take a detour next week, I can still get back to the main road heading in the right direction. Don’t throw the whole program out the window because of isolated set backs. This feels more smart to me, even if it’s not S.M.A.R.T., per se.

The spirit of my 2014 resolutions is: Keep on keeping on. Know where you’re headed. Stay the course. Watch the trend versus the daily ups and downs. Make tweaks along the way. That fits my definition of specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based. I think I can do this!


About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in Change Management, Health & Fitness, Holidays, Life Coaching, Personal Effectiveness, psychology, Simplicity, Society, Transitions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to avoid New Year’s Resolution self-flagellation

  1. Betsy says:

    The path to the goal is wide. A little weaving to smell the wildflowers on the roadside is not only forgivable, it is enrichingly reinforcing.

  2. tina doyle says:

    I like the message here

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