At the beginning of every new year, we reflect. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Am I headed in the right direction? Will those pants ever fit? The new year is a natural time to associate with significant life change. It’s refreshing to see a reset button, and we jump at it with visions of grandeur.
There’s nothing wrong with seeing a new you on the horizon, but only seeing the final product is dangerous. It’s essential to be realistic about how difficult actual change is. Doubt paves the road to confidence. You’re going to stumble, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I am by no means suggesting that you give up on your dreams. I am merely reminding you that by February, there are more abandoned resolutions than completed. I’m here to tell you it’s not because you’re too lazy, and it’s not because other people have better genetics. It’s because (if you’re like the 80 percent of Americans whose resolutions fail), you need a mindset adjustment.
When the Clock Strikes Midnight, You’re Still You
I’m not here to lecture you about your attitude. I’m suggesting the opposite. I wager you’re an exceptional person who works very hard and treats people with kindness. When I say you need a mindset adjustment, I’m referring to you fostering a more forgiving, realistic relationship with yourself. Stop telling yourself you’re going to get to the gym every day when you haven’t gone in three months. Stop telling yourself you’re never going to eat another M&M when you just finished binging on a whole pumpkin pie (personal anecdote).
Instead of beating yourself up for the first two weeks of January, thinking of all the momentous changes you need to make and how perfect everything has to be, ask yourself, “what can I do a little better today?"