Cultural norms define that the start of year is the perfect time to start on new goals. It is the reason that gyms advertise and cut prices at the start of the year. It is why suddenly, you can’t seem to find a treadmill or a bench to work-out on. Now, that we are in the middle of January, the gyms have emptied and the trails are clear. Many have given up on their resolutions.
Maybe I can answer this question. I never made a formal list of resolutions but in my mind, I had a few that I wanted to accomplish and I already have broken in the first few weeks of the new year:
Less Sugar– I am a sugar addict, I can’t just eat one cookie or one piece of candy. Within a week of coming back from vacation to work, I had already broken down and had basically eaten all the sugar within sight.
Less Caffeine- I have reached the point where I need 2 cups of coffee in the morning to get going-one at home and one at work-typically before 9 a.m. My plan was to cut down to one a day but again halfway through the work week-I needed the caffeine crutch.
Less Beer- My plan was to only drink at beer chasers (a drinking group with a running problem) but I drink socially ( a six pack of beer will sit in my fridge for a good 3 months without being touched) and thus when I have 3-4 social events in a week I got way off track.
Weight work 3x a week- Mostly, this one I just never started.
Now, I could just give up completely on these goals or I can rally. The issue I have with New year’s resolutions is that they set the arbitrary date to start a new goal and if you haven’t made progress towards within the first month-well it feels like you failed. Earlier this week, I was listening to a podcast and they made a good point-you don’t have to wait until the new year to start a new goal. I’m taking it one step further, you can restart on your goals everyday. Just because you fail one day, doesn’t mean you need to give up.
So why do people give up so quickly? I would suggest it is cultural norms equating one misstep as failure.
I’m going to restart my goals and rally.