The Tricky Thing About New Year’s Resolutions
Setting New Year’s resolutions is a long-standing tradition, one that most of us honor in one way or another. While we might not sit down and write out a lengthy list of personal goals, most of us at very least contemplate ways in which we can improve our lives during the coming year. The tricky thing about New Year’s resolutions, however, is that – without even realizing what we are doing – we almost always set ourselves up for failure. This is because most of us either set the bar too high with unrealistic expectations OR because we experience a steep decline in motivation just several weeks into the New Year.
For example, say you want to cut back on your wine consumption next year. What used to be one or two glasses enjoyed over dinner has quickly become a bottle and a half every night. You know that if you don’t quit drinking wine, your tolerance will continue building and soon you’ll be up to three bottles every day. Not only can you not afford that habit – that’s really just a lot of wine. So you sit down on December 31st and write out a list of personal resolutions, which begins with, “Stop drinking wine.” Come January 1st, you are still strong in your resolution – you have not touched a single drop of wine since the night before. You decide to head to a friend’s house for a small New Year’s Eve gathering – just to hang out for a bit, watch the ball drop and socialize. Towards the end of the party, your friend starts handing out champagne flutes for a midnight toast. At first, you refuse. Then you start thinking to yourself, “Well, champagne isn’t really wine. I think one small glass of champagne would be fine. I’ll stop again after that.” The next day you head to the store to buy a bottle of champagne, convincing yourself that the two are not interchangeable