Ah, New Year’s resolutions. The season of promising change and rewriting bad habits is upon us. As you are probably already aware, most people’s New Year’s resolutions don’t last all too long. Some studies have shown that as many as 88% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve the result they’d had in mind. The problem isn’t so much that people don’t want to change or even that they aren’t capable of changing. It’s that people tend to make the wrong types of resolutions.
If you’re making an effort to do some things differently next year and want optimal results, here are 3 types of resolutions to steer clear away from making.
1. 180º Resolutions
You’re a human, filled with brilliant attributes and flaws just like the rest of us. If you want to make some long-lasting changes, you’ll need to change like a human, not like a machine. We can reformat a machine by simply adjusting a preset, switching a button, or turning a knob. Humans, on the other hand, don’t typically change like this. For many people, gradual change is more successful in the very end. So instead of telling yourself that you’re going to make an immediate and extreme change, try setting your goals with a progressive and step-by-step mindset instead.
2. Disingenuous Resolutions
We are not defined by our behaviors. Our habits can, do, and will change if we devote enough time, attention, and effort to them. What you cannot change is who you are at your core. Many people make the mistake of creating New Year’s resolutions that are disingenuous to their core selves (and make no mistake, sometimes we can get a glimpse of that core self through our existing habits). If your core self is an artist, you shouldn’t necessarily promise yourself that you’ll suddenly learn how to be a good businessperson next year. Business might not be your strongest suit, and that’s okay! Any resolution that flies in the face of who you actually are is doomed.
3. Immediate Gratification Resolutions
If you set a goal on January 1, you probably shouldn’t expect to arrive at your goal by January 31. With few exceptions, most resolutions people make for New Year’s take time and a full lifestyle change as well. All too often, people get discouraged when they don’t see results by the end of January, but the truth is that much of the changes people want to see require an ongoing effort. Instead of expecting immediate gratification, try instead to create a six-month or year-long plan that will help you reach (and celebrate) milestones along the way to your goal.