Top Five Ways We Wreck Our New Year's Resolutions


New year, new you, right? The time to "start over" and, this year all my dreams will come true. It's going to be life-changing. Except, it's probably not. I'm not trying to wreck your positive mindset or be a Debbie Downer. Reflection at the year's end can be a healthy thing. Mr. Bish and I always do this at my birthday dinner in December. We talk about the year, what we improved upon, what we still need help with, yadda yadda. We even used to pick a word for the year until I chose "unapologetic" for the second year in a row. Then we decided to pick each other's words: I chose "proactive" for Mr. Bish and he picked "joyful" for me, which ended in a huge fight, so we stopped. Reflection is a good thing if you do it right, and even making goals can be great. So, why do we always see the jokes about resolutions happening in January and ending the next month? The gym is full of people for three weeks and then back to empty. I decided I was going to be a calmer person one year and January 2 I lost my mind at something so just gave that up altogether.

Why do I do that? I've got five ideas as to why I do this and why you might do it, too.

1. We make a new year's resolution

 Makes sense. You can't give up on a resolution if you don't make one, but that's not exactly what I meant. I can't take total credit for this thought — my sister pointed it out to me the other day and it totally explains why I "fail" every year. It's not about the "new year." It's about the daily grind, right? The day-in, day-out, hamster running on a wheel, grind. We're all just toiling on until we're not. I can choose to make a change for the year or I can choose to get up every morning and execute the change I want to see. Which one is more "do-able?" It doesn't mean I'm going to win every day, but I'll win more days with this mindset than I would if I'm looking at an entire year. I'm not saying you shouldn't look at the big picture (it's one of my favorite things to do). I'm saying it won't make a bit of difference to set a goal for the year without choosing to meet that goal head on every. single. day.

2. We're giving the year too much credit

The year is not going to do anything for us. We've all had rough years, but that doesn't mean the next year is going to magically erase all of the problems faced the year before. They'll still be there. They might even get worse. Or you might realize that you were super blessed the year before and just didn't realize it until the next year got ahold of you. There are only two entities that can affect change: people and God. The year has nothing to do with it. The "fresh start" mentality isn't necessarily bad, but putting too much stock into it could cast us headlong into 365 days of disappointment.


3. All or nothing 

THIS. IS. ME. I'm going to give it 150 percent or I'm just not going to do it period. So every year I say, "Ok, I"m going to be the fittest, happiest, most patient, best version of myself. Then I eat a cookie the next day or yell at a kid and it's all over — or I do both on the same day because my son threw all my makeup brushes into the toilet. This is how you fail. Believe me, I know. You can't give it 150 percent every day. You just can't. Life happens. I'm trying something I call the "75-percent rule." I will achieve healthy eating 75 percent of the day. I will work out 75 percent of the week. This has been more sustainable and helps me keep my sanity. No idea if it's what you're supposed to do or not, but if you're this type of personality and extremely hormonal/emotional to boot, it might help you like it helps me.

4. We're on our phones 

Sometimes when I'm on Facebook I see a lot of happy, perfect people posting multiple times a day about all the awesome stuff their family is doing or stuff they're doing and I get confused. How are you enjoying the moment if all you can do is document it? Are you really present in the moment that you're proudly splashing all over the place? Because it looks like you're on your phone. You make a resolution to spend more meaningful time with your beautiful daughter that you're so proud of, yet you're so busy "documenting" the time you're spending with her that she may not even know what your face looks like anymore without the cell phone blocking it. Sounds harsh, but man, I just don't get it. And I'm not going to lie, I've been guilty of it before. You are having so much fun and you're so proud of something and then you want to share it with the world. Nothing wrong with that. But every five minutes? You can't possibly be enjoying yourself and your family — you don't have time!

5. We rely on ourselves 

It's amazing to me how much I try to control things. I've never thought of myself as a control freak, but lately, due to some harsh self-reflection, I totally am. I think it goes back to the all or nothing personality I've got. I don't' want to fail, but in the back of my mind, I know that if I mess up it will be all over and categorized as a failure. So then I try to control it. Every single aspect of it. If I've made a resolution to eat better and find myself in a situation where I'm not prepared, I get angry and then I don't enjoy myself or the company I'm with. If I work myself to death to keep my kids well and they get sick? Oh man, you do not want to be around me.

I'm not in control. And that is a beautiful thing because I am one self-sabotaging basket case and should never be in charge of myself. Good thing I've got a Savior who takes care of all I need. And he's provided me with some amazing friends who I should lean on more.

So this year, I'm not making resolutions. I'm going to wake up every day and choose to fight depression, anger, sinful behavior, self-deprecation. I'm going to choose to fight for the improvements I so badly want to see in myself EVERY DAY. Wonder what I'll say about 2019 once it's over, given this new mindset.

How about you? How do you feel about new year's resolutions?



-KB

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