It’s another New Year. It’s time for you to take stock of your life, look into your past, and forecast your future.
We know how most resolutions go. We go into the new year with grand ideas. Life this year will be different. Things are going to change. And all we need to do is make a resolution and the ball will start rolling.
Then about a week to ten days later, we’re back to the way things were before.
There are three good reasons why resolutions fail.
The first reason resolutions fail is that we don’t enter them seriously. What I mean is when we decide to quit that bad habit, like smoking, we take a “try it and see” approach. We think to ourselves, “What do I have to lose?”
Then the wall comes. We hit it hard. Since we’ve done no more than express a preference and called it a resolution, we retreat to familiar territory.
The second reason resolutions fail is that we haven’t counted the cost of making it happen. This is clearly illustrated when we “hit the wall”. The wall represents our resistance to change. It is the crossroads where you have to decide, “Is this a wish or am I genuinely serious about changing?”
Among the costs of change is the temptation to give up, retreat, and go back. Well-meaning friends will express their discomfort with the change you want to make. The familiarity of the past will beckon you to give up. Counting the cost means that beforehand you’ve decided how you’ll face setbacks.
Another cost to be counted is how painful making a big change can be. If you’ve depended on something you’ve now chosen to go without, how will you cope with the emptiness that void will create? What will you fill it with when it inevitably comes?
The third reason resolutions fail is we forget the biggest battle is with ourselves. Nobody else will have as much influence on your resolve as you will. Will you be your own cheerleader or your own saboteur? You alone make that choice.
If you want to succeed at carrying resolutions through to the end, remember these roadblocks. If you think your desires through, commit well, and plan for the inevitable struggles, you’ll succeed in making a better you.