It's 2018, and I can barely believe we made it out of 2017 alive. Between the politics, the allegations, and an overabundance of negative media influence, it's a miracle we've come into the new year, and with that celebration, inevitably comes the new year's resolutions for us to be the "best versions of ourselves".
Not to start off on the wrong foot, but it often appears to me that these proclamations to "do better" and "be better" are doomed to fail. New Year's resolutions are an excellent example of how setting high expectations for ourselves can only set our expectations up for disappointment upon meeting reality. For example, take one of the most common New Year resolutions out there:
The "I Wanna Get In Shape" Resolution
You look in the mirror, and you hate what you see. Maybe it's a one too many rolls around your middle, an extra chin you never accounted for, or just not enough muscle to your liking. Despite it all, you've deemed 2018 to be the year you're in the gym 24/7, no, 25/8, you're that into it, and this time, nothing's going to get in your way!
Why it's doomed to fail: When's the last time you've been to a gym? What even are those machines you're supposed to use? Are there for your legs, your arms, or your abs? These questions will surely jump into your mind, but ensure one inquiry stands apart from the rest: Why rush?
We often set too high a goal to reach, such as an inordinate amount of time in a gym or a strict dieting regimen that, when you stumble once with, believe ourselves too far gone to continue. This resolution goes hand in hand with "I Wanna Lose Weight", and suffers from the same malady. In effect, we are setting ourselves up for failure by raising our own expectations beyond measure.
The solution: Take it one day at a time; resolutions can be remanded after all. Start with, "I'll go to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday this month", and gradually increase the time allotment as needed. Realize that body change takes time, and so 2019 may come around before you are fully content with the results, but it will be truly worth it! Setting higher expectations like "I have to look a certain way by a certain time" or "lift this amount by this time" only serve to cause anxiety over the proceedings.
Just because your resolution was made on the first day of January, the first day of 2018, doesn't mean any metaphorical hourglass has just been turned over. It's the first day of the rest of your lives, and you can make the (New Year's) resolution to ensure it is the best life you'll ever live. Here's to 2018!!