The E.I. Behind New Year Resolutions- Why Do Some Work and Others Don't?
The 1st of January is known as the traditional time to set new resolutions or goals with aspirations for the year to be amazing or even the best yet! World-wide research shows that, approximately 80% of people set a new year resolution with Australia following this trend at 79%. On average, less than 10% of people achieve these resolutions or goals. Why?
Why do some people succeed and others not?
Why do we even set them in the first place? Surely, we learnt our lesson from last year, and the year before that….
The desire to attach a goal or resolution to the starting of the new year is an interesting one. We know that these goals can be created any month, any day or even any minute, so why wait till the first day of a new year?
Why the 1st January?
New year resolutions are said to have begun with the Babylonians over 4000 years ago with promises to the gods for the past year mishaps and asking to bestow favour for the future year. While date of the start of the year changing through history the resolutions moving from resolutions to gods or others to resolutions to ourselves, the underlying purpose is still there.
The new year brings with it a sense of a fresh start or a clean slate. It feels like we can package up all of the challenges, poor choices/decisions and mishaps from the last 12 months, put them in a box and put them behind us. From an EI point of view, this is clearing our emotional stack.
If you can picture every time we feel a specific emotion it adds a layer to that emotions stack. So let’s use anger as an example. Picture that stack having a fuse up through the middle of it. Each time we get angry, we add a layer and the fuse grows shorter, meaning it takes less to trigger anger in us. When we ‘clear the stack’, there are no layers built up and our fuse becomes longer again. It then takes a lot more to trigger anger in us.
'We can talk about wanting to do something as much as we like but until we put a specific time or moment that it will occur, it is unlikely that we will do it'
Picking a date or moment in time to start a goal, regardless of whether it is 1st January, provides commitment for our subconscious mind. We can talk about wanting to do something as much as we like but until we put a specific time or moment that it will occur, it is unlikely that we will do it. It takes a signal of specific commitment for the subconscious mind to latch onto and then support us to make this happen.
On the flip side, setting new year resolutions can lack ownership. By bundling everything from the last 12 months into one basket and blaming any negatives on the year, it lacks us owning the role we have played in it either happening, our initial reaction/response and subsequent choices made.
We really don’t get enough years in our lives as it is so writing off a whole year for some pockets of time is a waste and limits our ability to make the most of who we are, our purpose and our learnings. Own it.
Why do the majority of resolutions not succeed?
There are 4 key reasons why many resolutions do not make it through the year and reach the measure of success:
It is common for those people that don’t set goals regularly or at any other times in the year to not succeed in their new year resolution. This is simply due to goal setting being a new thing and the goals not being set right in the first place.
So to really make the most out of your New Year resolutions:
If you are really serious about personal growth and making the most of what you are truly capable of, don’t wait till the new year to set goals. Set goals regularly throughout the year, review them, tweak them and start challenging yourself every day of every year.
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