“Instead of starting, try stopping.”
New Year’s Resolutions are the worst. People make a New Year’s Resolution, get so amped up, maybe even spend money, put in an enthusiastic effort…and then quit.
The stats are mixed on exactly how many people quit their resolutions vs. actually adopt them as a new way of life but, overall, the research does not tell an uplifting story of success.
Why is it hard to keep New Year’s Resolutions? I have a multi-fold theory. If you are interested in more on this, specific to health and fitness New Year’s Resolutions, please read my previous blog.
The other part is what I want to talk about today. At its most basic level, the root of a resolution is about making a change. And change is hard.
Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
My resolution is to work out more. My resolution is to be more organized. My resolution is to start a morning routine. My resolution is to meal prep.
All of those are popular New Year’s Resolutions and all require a change in behavior to achieve. Depending on where you’re at, that change may be small or it may be huge.
More than the difficult act of making a change, these popular resolutions have one more commonality that makes them tricky to achieve. All are about proactively doing something that wasn’t being done before, adding one more thing to your day, your life.
We already know change is hard. Guess what else is hard? Doing more is hard. We live in a world where most people are already over-committed and stretched too thin with all the things.
Yet every year, people still make New Year’s Resolutions with the hope that, this year, this time, things will be different.
What Kind of New Year’s Resolution Should I Make?
I have an idea. We know doing more is hard. How about New Year’s Resolution that is all about doing less?
Resolving to stop doing something, that should be the new trend in New Year’s Resolutions. And it’s a trend that could catch on because it could work.
Resolve to stop negative self-talk. Resolve to stop spending so much time on your phone. Resolve to stop saying yes to every committee, event, and work assignment. Resolve to stop worrying about things you cannot control.
Is that still hard? Of course. In a way, we are kind of right back to where we started and not really that different than a typical resolution. It is all about making a change. And change is hard.
However, I believe it is easier to stop doing something that to add more. And stopping something that is causing distress in life is the absolute best kind of change to be made. So if you’re going to go all-in on a resolution, and you really want to succeed at your New Year’s Resolution, consider the idea of stopping something vs. trying to start.
What do you think about this idea for a New Year’s Resolutions? What could you stop doing that might not be too hard, yet could bring major positivity into your life?