At the beginning of each year, most people set New Year resolutions all with good intentions. As it happens it is already that time of the year where life returns to normal and the new year resolutions no longer apply. This is the time where suddenly you can find parking at the gym and the water bottles in meetings slowly reappear.
I often wonder why that is the case? What is it about the beginning of the year that has an effect of awakening our best ambitions and life goals are somewhat brought to the fore? I do not know what is it about us as a human species that makes us to be conscious of our longevity and survival that comes to being at the beginning of a new year. Let me attempt to answer this at least from my perspective and with the biggest disclaimer that I am not a prophet or someone who professes to know what drives human behavior. For what is worth let me offer my thoughts.
We are creatures of habit – As people and a species, we follow habit and do certain things because we have always done them that way and it becomes second nature. Coming up with new year resolutions is one of those things we do every year and it has become habitual behavior. Part of the journey is to break the cycle and do things based on intention as opposed to habit.
We are social beings – As social beings we tend to go with the flow and have a big need to belong. We, by virtue of being human do not like to do things on our own and would rather be counted as ‘one of’, we often have a need to do what others do. We need to respect this phenomenon as a big factor of who we are and our social conditioning often determines what we can or not do.
How to change this?
I would like to offer a few key suggestions that will help us to keep our resolutions and these are:
- Our resolutions must be congruent with our values – the more our resolutions are in line with our values the higher the chances of us keeping and achieving them. Our values determine who we are, hence it is important to ensure the alignment.
- We need to live on purpose – this requires us to dig deep and determine what our essence and mission in life is. Drawing up a personal mission statement goes a long way in assisting us with living on purpose.
- Write our resolutions down – there is power in having things written. It creates a connection between thinking and doing. The more resolutions are written down and read every single day there higher the chances for execution.
There could be more to keep us thinking and keeping true to our own commitments to ourselves, the three suggestions made above could help.
Pam The Coach