Ever wonder why your New Year’s resolutions fade away somewhere around March? You started off with enthusiasm and zeal, only to find yourself in the land of “eh, who needs it?” and “what was I thinking, anyway?” a few weeks down the road.
There are lots of reasons for that, the primary one being complete lack of reality-thinking. For example, the classic “I’m going to lose 20 pounds by next month!” without planning just how those unwanted pounds are going to disappear. “I’ll exercise!” Uh-huh. When? Doing what? For how long? And so on.
You know this already, but one aspect of New Year’s resolution failure you probably haven’t considered is – polarization. It’s something we see in the political world these days, whether in the US or abroad. It seems there’s a lot of “for” and “against” with little room for common ground, which makes it challenging for anything to move forward.
Well, polarization is what often trips you up in the resolutions department: part of you is “for” the resolution, and part of you is “against.” You certainly think your entire self is lined up for “lose those pounds,” or “get that promotion,” or “start my own business,” but usually there’s an equally vigorous part of you that doesn’t want to drag yourself to the gym before/after work, or doesn’t want to learn the new software/put in the extra hours toward that promotion, or deal with the hassle of LLCs and start-up funding for a new business. And that’s why you stall. Within you are two opposing forces, polarized against each other. Stalemate.
The answer, although simple, isn’t necessarily easy. Yup, you have to get all of you on board. The most efficient way is to provide the “for the resolution” side of yourself adequate resources and support. Which makes it harder for the “against” side of you to prevail.
For example, if you enroll in a group Pilates/cycling/dance class to help you shed those pounds, you’ll be more inclined to actually go do the necessary exercise. If you block out a dedicated time-slot toward doing whatever you deem necessary to earn your promotion, and give yourself a small reward once you finish your allotted time, you’ll find it easier to actually put in the time. Create a vision board for your new business, set intermediate goals for what needs to be done, reward yourself all along the way.
In other words, turn your resolution into a reality by making the steps to getting there equally real. Be aware of the “against” side of yourself (we all have one, I should know!) and counter it with “Not listening to you!” as needed.
Whatever it is you’ve set forth for yourself this New Year, you can do it. You know you can! Just get your whole self in gear and watch yourself succeed.