Let’s start with some facts as to why we can’t ever keep our resolutions:
- The things people resolve to improve are often those that are the most difficult to change as they are often things that you do so habitually that you’ll have to change a big part of your lifestyle.
- The goals were too extreme or general to be achievable, such as “I’m never ever going to eat sugar again” or “I want to be more productive”.
- The temptation of procrastination is a real threat and it doesn’t help that most resolutions won’t have immediate results, so it’s easy to get fed up and give up on them quickly. This condition even has a name: Akrasia or Weakness of Will.
So with science and statistics against you, look on the bright side and accept that breaking your New Year’s resolutions can be a good thing. Here’s why:
Don’t start the year with negativity
Most resolutions are about giving up something, like the above mentioned sugar, or food in general. So most people are starting the year by denying themselves things that usually make them happy and content. But have you heard of the saying that we usually want what we can’t have? It means that you’ll end up craving these things even more. There’s no rule that you have to make resolutions at the start of a new year. It’s just a tradition and is completely arbitrary. Improving yourself or your business should be a long-term process and not a short-term resolution. Not keeping a resolution does not mean that you have failed, there are 365 days in a year after all, so you can always start over again.
A chance to evaluate your goals
Whenever you break a resolution use it as a tool to evaluate your goals. Ask yourself why you couldn’t keep your resolution and whether it was feasible in the first place. As mentioned already, unrealistic goals are often the reason why we break resolutions. Instead of saying you will cut out all sugar from your meals, resolve to have only one sweet snack a day, for example. Or maybe you have been following a goal that actually doesn’t have any benefits at all, or at least not as much as you thought. It’s important to accept this and stop following unachievable, or wrong goals. Only put your effort into goals that matter.
As we’ve already established, you shouldn’t strive for perfection in project management, nor should you expect perfection from yourself. The key is to anticipate and mitigate failure, and accept that failure is inevitable and learn from your mistakes. Breaking a resolution can be cathartic. Accept that it was unavoidable and that doesn’t mean the end of the world - you’ll be less disappointed and it will alleviate the pressure you’ve put upon yourself.