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Why You Shouldn't Write New Year's Resolutions!

1. You are Thinking Too Big

One of the biggest issues with New Year’s resolutions is that they often revolve around huge changes like adjusting our eating habits, getting more sleep, or becoming fluent in a new language. “Where we go wrong with New Year's resolutions is there's this idea that it's supposed to be some big, sweeping change, because that sounds kind of sexy,” Bly explained. “[But] as humans we’re not wired to make big, sweeping changes.”-from VeryWellMind

2. Why are New Year’s resolutions guaranteed to fail?

Your behaviors are not just simple habits. They have deep roots and are embedded in intricate psychological, social and neurocircuitry systems. Your behavior is a complex product of your personality and temperament, your various emotional and physical needs (both in the past and in the moment), your learned experience and neurochemical feedback loops well beyond your awareness.

Avoidance is an especially devious trickster. When you avoid something that makes you anxious or uncomfortable (e.g. that email inbox with 2,300 emails) you immediately are rewarded by a decrease in anxiety. If you face the thing that you’ve been avoiding, you immediately experience an increase in distress. In the long run, it's quite the opposite. Persistent avoidance increases overall anxiety significantly. And facing things you’ve been avoiding eventually leads to a sustainable decrease in tension and anxiety. But to face the things you've been avoiding you have to tolerate a short-term increase in anxiety. That is hard to realize and to do.-from Forbes

3. January is not the best month for change

Basically everything people commonly make New Year’s resolutions about—productivity, diet, exercise—are made harder by the lack of sun. And the farther north you live, the more likely you are to be affected. Those living farthest from the equator in northern latitudes are most susceptible. For example, in the United States, 1% of those who live in Florida and 9% who live in Alaska experience SAD. In Canada 15% of the population experience winter blues and 2 to 6% experience SAD. In the United Kingdom, 20% experience winter blues and 2% experience SAD.

This means that, for a good percentage of the population, January is one of the worst possible times to try to change your habits. And yet this is when many of us try, year after year, only to give up and not really think about self-improvement again until next December. Change shouldn't be an annual thing.

People think of the new year as their one chance for self-improvement. It isn’t. There are 11 other months in the year, and you can decide to make a change in any of them. Building new habits is hard; building a bunch of new habits at once certainly isn’t any easier. Combine that with how terrible a month January is for making any change, and it’s no wonder that most New Year’s resolutions fail.

So don’t make any resolutions. Skip the broad proclamations, which you will inevitably burn out on, and instead spend the early parts of January getting back into the flow of things. You’ve got all year to make yourself better.-Fast Company


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