Why you've already flopped your New Year's resolutions

It’s a new year and with every new year, there’s new resolutions and so much hope that the new year will be better than the last year. But now, it’s the beginning of March, and you’ve completely given up on your goals for the year.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

But I realised I was the kind of person that allowed the year to happen to me instead of happening to the year—basically, I wasn’t taking control of how I wanted my year to go. And I know you might be thinking, “yeah, I did take control. I did this and that, but it still didn’t work out.” I’m here to tell you that you didn’t want it that badly.

Yes. You didn’t want it that badly.

Sometimes, we set goals because we think it’s what we should want or it’s what we’ve seen other people do. And then we just expect it to fall into place, because we adopt the notion that whatever’s meant to be will be.  On one hand, this saying ‘whatever’s meant to be will be’ has some merit to it in the context of allowing fate to play its role in situations that seem out of our control. On the other hand, it seems to propagate a passive mental attitude towards things which is wrong.

You’ve got to want something so bad or else you’ll never get it done. You can’t adopt a passive attitude towards your goals. The sooner I realised this, the better my goal setting was. For example, I knew that I didn’t really want to go to the gym, I just thought it’d be nice to be toned but I didn’t really want to do the work for it. So I dropped it to the bottom of the list and made it next year’s goal. Sometimes, don’t try to do too many goals at once, you have to be able to discern which goals need to be achieved this year or the following year.

Ask yourself:

 How much do you want it?

It could be singing lessons, acting, writing, being debt free etc. Whatever it may be, you need to ask yourself this question and be very honest with yourself. Make sure that its things you really want, not things you think you should want or things other people and society think you should want. Then after you’ve reflected on your true wants, pick the ones that are actually feasible based on what you have at the moment or what is accessible to you. For example, if it’s something that’s going to require you to spend loads of money like travelling, then it might be more of a long-term goal where you actually start putting money aside towards it. Also, make sure it’s a realistic ‘want’, for instance, you might want to start working out but then if you don’t have the funds to pay for a personal trainer, you might consider taking classes which most gyms offer.

Then, why do you want it?

If you know your true motivations for wanting to do something, then it will help you when it starts becoming difficult to go after your goals. Personally, I knew I wanted to be a better writer and I knew that it meant that I had to write more because I literally cannot be a better writer without it. So, I started forcing myself to write every evening. I literally drag myself to my laptop and type whatever comes to my head. Most times, it’s pretty crap but I just do it anyway. Whenever I want to quit, whenever I’d rather watch a movie, I just think about that instead. I think about my why.

If you want to be a goal-getter, write a list of your goals and ask yourself these two questions, adjusting them where applicable. You might find that your list is shorter or that some goals might have to be shifted down the list as long term goals.

Then, take control of your year. It’s not too late to do so.

Remember: Don’t give up!

Anthea x