It’s the first Monday of the year so everyone is talking about New Year’s Resolutions at the water cooler, in the checkout line, on Facebook, etc… We all think about them and, often, we share them with others – but should we?
It’s a tradition that seems to have been around forever and, usually, New Year’s Resolutions involve losing weight, exercising, or quitting smoking. While some people look at the practice with disdain, I think it’s a great thing. I think that we should always try to set a tone for every new year that we are alive. It gives us direction.
Still, so many of us fail at what we set out to do. Why is that? Is it because we aren’t really ready to make changes but want to say we have a New Year’s Resolution? Are we weak? Are we trying to do the wrong things?
It could be any one of those reasons but it could also be something else – oversharing.
You Think You’ve Succeeded
I recently wrote an article on SocialMoms.com discussing the research that shows that keeping New Year’s Resolutions private actually improve our chances of success. The reason is that we can get a false sense of accomplishment just by announcing our intentions.
“I’m going to lose 50lbs this year.”
“That’s great, Bob!”
“See? I’m already killing it!”
You make an announcement that you’re really invested in your weight loss this year. You’ve joined a gym. You bought a juicer. You’ve got My 600lb Life on series record. You’ve got a solid plan and feel more motivated than you have in years.
The first comment on your New Year’s Resolution announcement is perfect:
- “Wow! I’m excited for you!”
The second comment is similar. You’re feeling amazing till you read the third comment:
- “Your birthday is this month. Are you really going to skip cake?”
And then a fourth:
- “Good for you. I just enjoy bacon too much to eat rabbit food all day!”
And a fifth:
- “Who is watching the kids when you go to the gym? I always struggle just to get out of the house!”
Very quickly, what started with so much promise begins to crumble before your eyes. Suddenly, you’ve got doubts in your mind that you didn’t have an hour earlier and the feeling can be hard to shake.
A New Approach to New Year’s Resolutions
How can you avoid that? Keep it to yourself! Let the results be your announcement.
- Your weight loss will be obvious in your every day pictures. Resist the urge to give updates. Just thank people for the compliments!
- Your decision to leave an abusive relationship will become well-known when you share photos of your new apartment.
- That new career path? Let them find out when you update your place of employment on LinkedIn.
See a pattern? That way, the approval of others will matter so much less because you will already be succeeding. Keep a journal. Create a private blog. Do something to share your experience – just keep your New Year’s Resolutions to yourself for now!