Why do our New Year resolutions often fail?

Why do our New Year resolutions often fail?

As we bid adieu to 2021, everyone seems to be complaining about the pace with which the years are passing away. It seems like time is running with supersonic speed, years are passing like months, months like weeks, weeks like days, and days like hours. Some people call it one among the many signs of doomsday. Others, like me, have their own logic behind this fast pace of time. It is because people are quantifying the years in terms of number of days instead of measuring it in terms of productivity. How productive we have been in the past year should be the gauge for measuring our time instead of just counting days.
In this age of information and technology, machines are slowly overtaking the role of humans, which ultimately has led to decrease in productivity of human beings with each passing day. Now to keep pace with technology and stay more productive, we have to change ourselves as per the changing times. New year 2022 is going to come up with new challenges that we have to face by leaving our past behind, as we can’t turn back the clock to undo the mistakes that we have made; we need to move on and concentrate on the present for a better future. The New Year occasion presents us with new opportunity to forget our past and make new resolutions for a better time ahead. On the eve of every new year, we tend to make new resolutions in the month of January for ourselves for the rest of the year. Initially in a state of excitement, for the first one or two weeks of January, we tend to follow these resolutions in letter and spirit, but with the passage of time our commitment to follow these resolutions decreases and in the month of February, we are back to square one. Why does this happen, where does the fault lie? Does it lie in framing of our resolutions or in our own shortcomings?
The reason why we don’t stay true to our resolutions is that we just keep on changing our resolutions on paper instead. We don’t change our mindset to follow these resolutions. We change our goal posts instead of changing our ways to reach the goal post. Einstein has aptly said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. We have to make changes in our ritualised routine for good things to happen in our life. Change comes at cost of sacrifice and we have to pay the price in the form of pain and leave our comfort zones as success always lies beyond the comfort zone, but unfortunately we are not ready for it, we always see pain as painful but we must remember pain can be sometimes pleasurable if it’s meaningful.
Take an example of the habit of waking up early in morning. This habit can have a drastic effect on making our life more productive than others who tend to wake up late, as has been proven by research and well documented by author Robin Sharma in his best-selling novel, ‘5 AM Club’. Suppose in our new year resolutions, waking up early is in the list of many such resolutions. For waking up early we have to change our circadian cycle to make this change and for this we need to decrease our screen time and increase our sleep time. If we are not ready to give up watching screens till late night, then how can we wake up early by leaving the comforts of our cosy bedroom for this resolution to come to fruition.
In our resolutions with regard to our career goals, we need to be more pragmatic than idealistic. We don’t set our target by taking our strengths into consideration; instead, we start chasing the rainbows and end up nowhere in the end. Thus our resolution deflates like an aerated balloon on pricking. This happens when we start living in a fantasy world. We need to set tangible and reachable goals to cherish success while keeping our own pros and cons into consideration. If we start judging fish by its ability to climb the trees, we will live our whole life believing it is stupid.
Lastly, in this age of digital revolution, human beings have become the victim of a disease called INSTANT GRATIFICATION. We want everything available at the drop of the hat, as technology has made us habitual to it. We have lost the power of patience. Let us take a simple case to understand this. These days young boys join gyms for body building. For one or two weeks they start exercising hard in gym, but after seeing no change in their body contours, which takes time, they resort to shortcut methods of body building by taking steroid supplements that are more harmful than useful in the long run.
I want to finish this piece on a positive note that we need to frame our resolutions as per our strengths and then need to stay resolute to follow these, no matter how painful it may be.

—malikjavid86@gmail.com

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