So here it is, a new year with new beginnings and new pressures to be your personal best. Aside from the fact that the whole concept of “new years” is debatable; I’ll just reflect on the resolutions for the sake of the argument. So here is some food for thought on these golden goals that rise in January.
1. Chance of drop-out is 50-50
That’s right, as we draw nearer to the end of the month, only a little more than half of us will be sticking to their new-self promises. Something must be wrong for us to give up and give in , we can’t simply think of 55% of those participants of University of Scranton’s research to be inherently quitters; maybe we’re just fooled from the very start of how magical the resolution will turn out to be.
2. The dark side of Marketing
Trust me when I say this from a marketer’s confession; we are quietly queued into the shops to bag those fitness tools for the most common resolution for most; a healthy fit start for the year. Sure we’ve just been played into stuffing the turkey whether we celebrated the holidays or not; but now comes the time to shed off those extra pounds, on waist and in pocket. Out with the old, in with the new extends to anything money can buy. Many would think that new year’s resolutions are just a trick to part with our cash is a tad too sinister conspiracy theory, yet evidence suggests otherwise.
3. Are your goals SMART?
Mostly they’re not… We either over list more than 10 resolutions, or go over-board with unattainable perfect pitches like person-of- the-year awards. If indeed we need to set goals they need be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. When you set off to lose weight, break it down to actionable tactics such as exercise, diet and lifestyle; and don’t expect model figure after week one!
Of course the emphasis on such resolutions differs across cultures, but even back home there was a folk-song “shaabi” how the guy will quit smoking and take up weight lifting come the start of January (in Arabic it’s such an earworm 😛 ). The point is quite often, we find ourselves cornered into what people expect of us rather than what makes us happy or what’s right for that matter. For example we wouldn’t commit so much to boring old baby steps as we would to flashy displays of success. It can be depressing if the new norm is a size four for example and you’re just a healthy fit 12. Or it can be failing for the forgotten heroines who do the school runs who just fall short of society’s expectations.
5. Tomorrow is a new dawn
Any given day is a great day to start on your personal plans for development; as long as you keep your eye on the pursuit of happiness and pursuit of Paradise. Much like the same word is used for pixels, the higher the resolution, the bigger the picture. Try to motivate yourself to improve without either self obsession or self loathing. Stay true to your priorities no matter how unrewarding they may be in payoff or prestige; there are greater goals for greater good that are only rewarded with gratitude and grace; not glitter and gold.