(NOTE: TODAY’S POST IS A CONTINUATION OF YESTERDAY’S. TO START AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS ESSAY, SCROLL DOWN TO PART 1 AND MOVE UP FROM THERE.)
6. New Years Resolutions can be an excuse to wear rose colored glasses.
Think about it: The moment you “resolve” to change something, you already feel better, right? You already breathe a little deeper knowing you’ve taken the first step down the road toward your goal.
Never mind that you may never actually implement it. Never mind that even if you do give it a shot you’re going to peter out after a few weeks or even a few days. By making a resolution, you took that first step, right? You made a resolution about it, therefore you’re well on your way. You practically carved your goal in stone, thus it’s a given that you’re going to reach it. You verbalized an intention, which is tantamount to success itself.
Sounds wacky, but our minds really can work this way. Unfortunately, sometimes the most we ever get from a resolution is the feeling of accomplishment that surges inside of us as we are first making it. We allow ourselves to be carried along by that feeling until eventually it’s faded and forgotten, our situation completely unchanged.
I’m not the pot calling the kettle black here, not by any means. I’ve done this myself time and again, not just with resolutions but also with trips to the bookstore and the library. “I bought a great book about dieting,” I tell myself, “so that means I’ll be skinny real soon!” Or, “I found a wonderful guide to housecleaning! Once I finish reading it, the hard part will be over and all I’ll have to do is implement it.”
If only it were that easy!
Do you use New Years Resolutions this way, for the temporary high of verbalizing your best intentions? If so, I urge you to rethink this strategy and consider how destructive it can be in the long run. Look back over my full list of reasons why I think New Years Resolutions are a bad idea—and see how many of them are made even worse with this rose-colored-glasses syndrome. Then stop making promises you have no intention of keeping, even if that means forgoing the temporary thrill of stating your goal and raising a glass while others cry, “I’ll drink to that!”
BE SURE TO COME BACK TOMORROW FOR THE NEXT PORTION OF THIS ESSAY.