Hands up. How many have broken their new year’s resolutions, already?
Okay, you can all put your hands down. Now, for some reassurance - there is nothing wrong with you. It’s just at this time of year we tend to suffer from a rather serious disconnect between expectation and reality. There is no shame in losing to reality.
Even modest resolutions require extreme adjustments and enormous willpower. According to a 2007 University of Bristol study, 88 percent of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail. Maybe we can come up with something better.
Rather than making resolutions, I commit myself to learning a new skill or improving on an old one. First, I will own up to one of my failures. Last year, I downloaded an app to teach myself algebra. What was I thinking?
Here's a success story: Three years ago, I made a commitment to getting really good on the didgeridoo. In the process, I discovered my inner musician. The personal and social payoff has been huge.
On a more modest level, every year I endeavor to come up with one or two totally new gourmet masterpieces. Past successes have included home-made potato chips and chocolate truffles. My most recent triumph was a veggie Wellington.
An important psychological dynamic takes place here. Learning something new involves lofty challenges that appeal to our higher natures. Contrast this to the more negative mindset of resolutions:
Losing weight vs learning a new language. Cutting down on drinking vs taking up photography. See what I mean? There’s a question in this:
Forget the resolutions. What new skill are you going to learn this year?
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Published On: January 06, 2014
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