New Year’s Resolutions. With the new year and the promise of a whole new start just days away, it seems like the perfect time to take all those life changes we’ve been contemplating and put them into action. Except, no. While I’m a huge fan of making positive changes in your life, I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions and I’d like to explain why. First of all, many people decide that the first of January is the ideal day to overhaul their whole life. Does this look familiar? There are reasons why this approach isn’t usually successful. Setting and achieving goals requires a degree of self-control. Let’s call it willpower. What we know about willpower thanks to the work of psychologist Roy Baumeister, is that it is a finite resource. In other words, if you use too much of it, it runs out! ‘Willpower’ is the same energy resource that is used for:
- Getting ourselves to do things we don’t want to do (like exercise)
- Refraining from doing things we do want to do (like having another piece of chocolate); and
- Making decisions.
- Rather than attempting to make several life changes all at once, choose just one goal at a time, work on it systematically, and as new habits are formed and your willpower muscle grows, move onto the next goal.
- As much as possible, reduce decision fatigue by building routine into your life. If you say you’re going to meditate (or exercise or have an alcohol free day) three times each week, then every day you are faced with deciding “Is this going to be one of the days or isn’t it?” Decide the days in advance, or better still, choose to do engage in healthy habits EVERY day.
- Don’t expect to make good choices on an empty stomach. Keep your willpower reserves stocked up with regular food and rest.
- Why I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions but prefer to set goals and intentions for the year ahead
- Why slip-ups don’t mean failure and are an important part of the change process
Join my inner circle
I’m excited to be offering a small group, intensive coaching program for women who are ready to hone in on their unique strengths, get more clarity around what matters most in life and UPLEVEL the joy, meaning, and sense of purpose in their lives. If this sounds like what you need right now, you can get your name on the waitlist and I’ll be in touch with more details soon.