The Futility of New Year Resolutions: Your Questions Answered

The Futility of New Year Resolutions: Your Questions Answered

You know what it’s like. Every time the new year rolls around, we decide it’s time. For what? Well, for everything.

Time to start that new exercise regime. Time to lose that extra weight. Time to go vegetarian, or eat clean, or drink more water. Time to sleep more, or find more time, or do that thing you always wanted to do. The future is bright!

 

Why is it so hard to keep my resolutions?

January rolls around, and you’re super enthusiastic. But by February, your dedication starts to wane. By March you’re struggling to even remember what the resolution was.

That’s the problem with resolutions – they are a false target. There isn’t actually anything special about the 1 st of January. It may seem like a nice, tidy way to get into something new, but the truth is, relying on a ‘new year’ rolling around to find a ‘new you’ might well be a recipie for failure. Because when the ‘newness’ of the year fades, so does the excitement of your ‘new’ resolution.

 So...what now?

Pic Credit @Keiramaison

So when’s the best time to start something new?

The truth is, the best time to form a ‘resolution’ is just... anytime you are ready. Mentally, physically, emotionally. It can be anytime of the year. You don’t have to wait for the ‘new year’ to begin - or even a new week or month.

Especially now, when we live in such odd times. The global pandemic has forced us all to slow down and rethink our way of living. Many of us have changed our mindset and moved away from the usual rat-race resolutions - lose weight, get a raise, buy a car - and established more self-loving goals. Indulge an old hobby, or discover new passions. Take online classes for a skill you never had time to physically travel to learn. Geographical limitations dwindled in 2020, and will continue to do so in 2021. 

So the best time is always - when you’re ready. At your fingertips now are thousands of online courses, classes and teachers - some are even free. Whenever you’re ready, any time of the year, week or day - press Play.

I want to achieve my goals - but my family doesn’t seem too keen.

Yes, we all know the feeling! You’re ready to start a whole new regime and become a whole new you. But then your loved ones ask - why do you even need a ‘new you’?

First, it’s possible they have a point. Believe me, there isn’t anything wrong with the current you. No, really, there isn’t. You are who you are, shaped by the circumstances of your life, your choices, your past and present situation. Whatever you look like, whatever stage you’re in, it’s all valid. It’s all part of what makes you YOU.

Sure, there are probably things you’d like to change – about your health, your appearance, your lifestyle. But that’s not a ‘new you’. That’s just a better version of the same you – wiser, stronger, fitter, more well-rested, more mindful. But you can’t get to where you want to go, if you don’t accept where you are now.

So forget ‘resolutions’. Whatever change you want to make, get yourself in the right frame of mind to do it. It may be an urgent change (for instance, a health-related change); or it may be something you just want to get done. Think about your motivations (it can be helpful to actually write them down). Fix them in your mind. 

Pic Credit @Keiramaison

But what about your spouse and loved ones? Well...who says a change for the better can’t embrace your whole family? Creating goals together can bring us closer. Instead of deciding ‘I’m going to eat healthy’, get the whole family on board, and make small steps together, as a group. Help your loved ones understand why you’re making these changes, and allow them to slowly adapt. Change doesn’t happen overnight!

Sounds great! But we’re all  different ages and lifestyles - how do we get started? 

An important thing to do is to create a roadmap. What is the destination - the ultimate goal? Then break down a plan that will help you get there, bit by manageable bit. 

Create goals together - and separately. What suits you may not suit your spouse, and vice versa. As long as you all have the same ultimate goal in mind, you can each find your own way of achieving it, in your own time. 

For instance, if you both want to get healthier, don’t start with a huge goal (like ‘LOSE 20KG’). Instead, create little goals that will get you there, like:

Step One: Try a dance class this week

Step Two: Wake up early this Friday for a walk

Step Three: Change my morning Ovaltine to herbal tea

And so on. These little steps are easy to get to; and if you falter along the way, it’s fine – it’s not the end of the world.

 Pic Credit @KeiraMaison

Soon, you’ll find you’ve formed habit – a good habit, one that is slowly creating the change you want, and one that doesn’t need that much effort anymore to keep going. And you didn’t need to ‘start’ in the new year – you just got started, and kept going!

What if I don’t achieve my goal?

You know what? It’s not that you haven’t achieved your goal. 

You just haven’t achieved it yet. 

That’s why setting a time and deadline to start and end a ‘resolution’ can sometimes backfire. Try changing your mindset around your goal. Instead of saying “I’ll lose X amount of weight”, try “I’m going to get healthier and fitter”. Instead of “I’m going to control my temper”, try “I’m going to set aside time to rest for myself so I’ll be less irritable”. 

Remember, ultimately, the goal isn’t about being something. It’s about finding that balance within yourself, so you can go out there and tackle whatever life throws at you.

As Deepak Chopra once said: you alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

This January, Canvas & Weaves has a lot in store to keep you inspired. We’ve introduced a new men’s line, and are welcoming new designer Chokhi Chorri and artist Richa to the family.

 

Explore Chokhi Choori 

Explore Richa 

Have a happy new year, and a wonderful 2021!

 


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