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Why new year resolutions fail


New year, new you. This time you mean it. This year will be different. You’re going to achieve your dreams, live the life you want to live, get that job, buy that house (yeah, right!), quit smoking, eat healthy, write that book …

Except that new year resolutions usually fail. They don’t even get past the starting blocks. What’s going on here?

Something that struck a cord with me is the idea that Spring is really the new year and we’re more likely to make changes when surrounded by change ourselves. There’s nothing like a new green bud to inspire us to start something. And maybe better weather puts us in a more optimistic mood. I’ve never been excited about new year’s eve and new years day. I stay in to avoid the drunks, often go to bed early, and when I wake up in the morning it’s still winter, the Chrissy decs are still up, and when they come down everything is so dull because it’s January. So yeah, I’ll hibernate for now and when nature springs into action, so will I.

But surely I’m in control of my own destiny, not to mention my environment. I have electric light and heat and while TV-binging is an obvious way to spend hibernation, our industrial-capitalist society is waiting for me to pay my bills so I do need to buckle down.

So what is your resolution? Are you making it for the seventeenth time? What will you be doing differently from all those other times?

Is it something that you’re doing because, you know, you should, for your health, because. Is it something you really care about?

Are you checking in with yourself? What progress have you made? If you haven’t made any, what steps are you taking to get back on track?

Are you ready for the change it will bring? Would you rather stick with the safe and secure devil you know? Is that satisfying enough for you?

You can have what you want. You can make those changes - You do need to want it enough.

So, what do you want? And why don’t you have it already?

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