This Is Why New Years Resolution Does Not Work
If I made my new years resolution this year, it would include the following.
minimize my TV time;
stop playing games;
read one book per week;
be more organized;
and etc, etc...
At the start of the year, I will keep updating my plans and to-do list on my Evernote. The question is for how long can I keep doing it?
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Greetings wonderful read readers and friends. It's almost the end of January. Who among you here is still sticking to their New Year's Resolutions? If you are, then that is wonderful and I congratulate you for your commitment!
However, if some of you have already forgotten about your new year's resolution, don't bash yourself... (and me for bringing this up.) You are not alone. According USNews, 80 percent of the New Year's Resolutions fail!
The question is why?
Why does New Year's Resolution Fail?
I'm not going to answer that question from an expert's point of view since I am no expert in this department. However, I will answer that from my point of view based on my observation and with a little help from some articles that I have read.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote the article :"Do Not Make Your New Year's Resolution". Why? because in my experience, new year's resolutions could be a good start at the beginning of the year, but usually fades away after a few weeks.
Old Habits Are Forcing Their Way Back
You probably have heard of the idiom "Old habits die hard." I believe this is the main reason why New Years Resolution does not work or fail after a while. Once a habit is formed it is difficult to "unform"
Habit: : a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way
Thus, a habit, whether good or bad, is part of our behavior. It's something we repeatedly do and I might add, sometimes automatically.
Law of Inertia
Have you ever rode in a speeding car that suddenly stops? The car stops, but our bodies tend to continue moving forward. And if you are unfortunate not to wear a seatbelt, you might find yourself flying through the windshield (heaven forbid). That's inertia.
Image source: Unsplash
Newton’s first law: the law of inertia
Newton’s first law states that if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force.
This law is not restricted to physics alone. It also applies to our behavior. Our psychology.
Have you observed how hard it is to get up in the morning? That's inertia in our behavior. And once we are in "motion" we don't want to stop. I mean, if we are doing something repeatedly for a long time (our habit) we don't want to change that.
When we want to change direction or stop, we still tend to continue moving in the old direction.
Habits are formed by repeated actions.
Habits are formed. Sadly though the easiest habit we can form is doing nothing! PROCRASTINATION! And anything else does not require a lot of effort to accomplish. Why should I spend a couple of hours in the gym when you can lie down for two hours binge-watching a couple of episodes of "The Walking Dead"? We always want to do the "easy" things.
Image Source: Unsplash
I admit, after three weeks, I felt my old habits forcing their way back to me. In the past few days, I have wasted about two to four hours a day watching TV shows and playing games. I wasted almost my whole morning playing games.
The question is, how can we stick to our resolution? In the first place, I don't call it my "New Year's Resolution", I called it, or them rather, "my goals for this year". And how do I stick to my goals?
At first, I thought a constant reminder of my goals and what I need to do is the perfect solution. However, since yesterday, I did not even look at my goals. Moreover, I did not update my to-do list, again!
Look for Fun Ways Towards Your Goals
Here is what I learned today from Psychology.com. The main reason that resolution fails after a few weeks is we don't enjoy the experience.
Here is an excerpt from that article
"Another strategy is to make the activity fun. One study found that when people resolved to listen to an audiobook they enjoyed only when they exercised, they exercised more. The researchers called it “temptation bundling” because it involves adding a temptation, like an addictive book or a trashy TV show to something you ought to do."
The fact is, sometimes, when I jog, instead of listening to musing, I listen to motivational speech compilation or to an audiobook. I guess I am on the right path.
I believe discipline is still the key. However, the temptation to go back to my old habits is too strong to resist. However, the key to kicking old habits permanently is to form a new habit. As the second part of the Newtons Law of Motion says:
"...it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force. "
Meaning, we have to be deliberate at first in forming a new habit. Thus in the first few, weeks, we need to force ourselves to do new things. Perhaps to make it easier to form a new habit, we find ways to make it fun.
Thanks for reading.
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I don't make any resolutions, I'll just do my thing each day to be productive, and improve.