It’s over, the NEW YEAR’s Eve has passed and now we have to battle and embrace the reality of the new year! Some of us are drinking aspirin while others are trying not to drink too much coffee on the second day of the year.
But enough with the daunting and moody predictions here, because we have a secret weapon, something quite obvious but hidden in our sleeves in order to keep us motivated. That’s right, we will talk about the RESOLUTIONS’ list and why it matters so much to us! I know you have your list as I have mine!
Fun fact, did you know that January is named after the Roman God Janus who has two faces, one looking always at the past and the other gazing towards the future. It is somewhat symbolic, isn’t it? And quite useful, to be able to look at your past and learn from your mistakes, but Janus is more than that he symbolizes the new beginning, the renewal, he holds the door to Heaven open. Anyway, with Janus two-faced God we embrace the beginning of the new year and we declare widely “New year, new me”.
But, here it is the twist, it is not so simple as we have imagined it to be, or is it?
According to a study, almost 90% of our resolutions are thrown away after January, they may have an expiry date I guess!
The average person would rate himself from one to ten scale –it would be seven, this is called “illusory superiority”. Put it simply, we overestimate our qualities and abilities, it simply tricks us into thinking that we are above average. Another fact, people who struggle with depression have a more realistic version of themselves and do not experience the illusory superiority, which explains the positive effect of the latter on our self –esteem. So, with our above average level of seven and with the approach of the new year, we want to aim even higher and reach nine for example (why not?!?) and here it is our resolution list, we are ready to make our bullet points.
Here is the trouble, with our lists in hand and with our motivation we can continue achieving the “nines’ until the first week of February, (most people do, but some of us keep going!) and we start to make some exceptions such as “Nothing would happen if I skip yoga/gym this morning!”, and then we put our exceptions on shuffle and before we know it, we form a habit out of it! (How did I end up eating so much carbs this month?!?).
As a result, we start to torn ourselves between guilt and our levels of self-esteem, we wanted so badly to be nines that we just throw everything away and forget about the ‘sevens’ which is probably the real goal we aim for (but we don’t realize it yet). That’s why we hold rather unrealistic expectations and when we fail to achieve them, we abandon our goals altogether.
However, there is a hope, psychologists advise us to keep our goals as simple as possible and to be patient and realistic with them. Whatever it is, from cutting carbs to saving money, tiny baby steps can make a big difference!