So, we’re halfway through January and we have a question for you…
What are your New Year’s resolutions going? Are you still feeling positive and enthusiastic about the goals you set for yourself? Or is it the total opposite? If it’s the latter, we’ve got an idea for you how about we completely turn this New Year Resolutions thing on its head… try making anti-resolutions instead!
That’s right! Anti-resolutions.
It makes perfect sense! New Year’s resolutions can be kind of like like an annual exercise in self-torture. We set lofty health and wellness goals that usually fall by the wayside even before January draws to a close.
We rip the laminated list off the fridge and stuff it in the back of a draw. We throw out all the diet books, self-help guides, and abandon our carefully laid plans for a calm, happy and contented year.
Resolutions are meant to be positive, but in reality they’re just too much like hard work.
And really, if you were already getting by just fine without them, why bother?
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they tend to be things that really do bother us, either on a conscious or unconscious level. They’re important to you. For example…
You know you need to lose weight, for your health, for your confidence, for that baby you crave, or simply for the joy of wearing the clothes you love that are just a touch too tight. There’s an ideal in your head, a particular size. Maybe it’s the size you used to be in your twenties. Maybe it’s the size of the models sporting your favourite brand. Maybe it’s the size your doctor tells you is essential for your diabetes, your heart condition, or your fertility treatment?
Whatever the origin of the ideal, it’s there, and it tells you one thing:
“Anything less than this and you’re not good enough.”
And so when your thoughts turn to what you want to achieve this year, that treacherous ideal rears her head again and taunts you, “One year from now you could be like me! You can do it!”
So you set your goal. You will lose two stone, five stone, ten stone, or twelve. However many it takes to reach the target weight. You will subsist entirely on smoothies, practice yoga every day, join the gym, hire a personal trainer, read every diet book going, and you will lose that weight.
All of it. Every pound.
This is your New Year’s resolution.
But are you really going to succeed?
In fact, is your goal even healthy? What will you really need to do to reach your goal? Eat less? Eat more veg?
Stop eating entirely?
When your target is so incredibly difficult to achieve… when you have told yourself that it’s this or nothing, anything less and you’ve already failed. And your mindset is the main victim.
You will no longer be capable of celebrating your achievements, because you are focused entirely on your perception of failure.
Of course, weight loss may not be your personal demon. You might be focused on your physical fitness, the desire to become a master yogi, run a marathon, start a daily meditation practice or gain a black belt in karate.
Or is your education or business the source of your goals? Perhaps you vowed to hit £50K turnover this year and you only managed £20,000. Sure, last year you were barely earning enough to pay tax, but that’s not the point!
The nature of goals…
Goals are funny old things. They can spur us on, help us to be really clear on what we’re doing and why, help us to focus, plan, and consistently achieve greatness…or they can blindside us and blow all our efforts right out of the water.
Not because we’re incapable of reaching them, but because we have been unrealistic about some element of them, and it’s usually time.
New Year’s resolutions come with a built-in expiration date. You have 12 months, not a day more. You hit your goal in that period or it’s game over.
And because we have size six fashionistas, master yogis, pro marathoners, and self-made millionaires in our head (and our social feeds); because these are the goals we set ourselves, we are almost doomed to fail from the start.
Worse still, you commit wholeheartedly but after month or two you realise your progress isn’t anywhere near fast enough… You’re never going to be able to reach your target.
So you might as well give up now.
What’s the point in trying when it’s so utterly impossible?
And that’s not self-care, it’s self-torture!
Even with the best will in the world, the likelihood of success is slim from the get go.
Anti-resolutions and reality…
So what’s the solution? Should we abandon New Year’s resolutions?
What if we all decide this year to do things differently?
What if we made anti-resolutions instead? What if we flipped the focus of thoughts, and concentrated on transforming the resolutions we do make into something less dangerous, more realistic, and more nurturing?
This could be simple…
How about this for an anti-resolution…
“It’s unrealistic to believe I can lose five stone in one year. My health might suffer, and I’ll never maintain it. I’ll aim for two stone instead, and lose more weight next year.”
Or, even better, how about making peace with yourself as you are? Something like…
“I’m going to spend 2019 focusing on eating wonderfully nutritious food, and learning to love myself more.”
What if we set ourselves realistic, achievable goals to begin with?
- Lose one stone, maybe two;
- Start weekly yoga practice;
- Run regularly and finish a 2.5K (or even a 5K!) before the end of the year;
- Take pilates lessons and advance beyond beginner level;
- Boost your business turnover by £5K;
Doesn’t this sound better? And much more achievable!
Let us support you with your anti-resolutions!
Whether you’re looking to get fitter or more flexible, be more mindful, give up an unhealthy habit or get out of the house and met new people we’ve probably got a therapy, treatment or meet-up that’s perfect for you! Why not explore our website to find out what’s on offer?