The countdown to Christmas is on and with that, the countdown to the new year. It’s time to break out the pen and paper and write another variation of last year’s resolutions. Number one on that list could be to lose some weight and or be healthier. A close contender for number one is breaking some bad habit that you seem to remember only right around this time of year; i.e. bad posture, nail-biting, etc.
Don’t worry, I’m not judging you! I too am a player in this vicious game we play with ourselves and our consciences.
New Year resolutions seem to be a result of us feeling guilty about things we feel we should be doing to “better” ourselves but haven’t been. I’m here to show you that it’s all bogus. After all, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. So, if any of these sounds like something you’ve experienced, stay tuned.
Phase 1: False security
Phase 1 of the new year’s resolution process is making your resolutions. Imagine yourself a couple of days before or after the new year. You sit on your bed swaddled in blankets and sip slowly from your hot cup of tea. Your pen is gripped firmly in your hand and your notebook sits on your lap. You are ready to write your list. Some time passes and you now have 10 or fewer resolutions all lined up on the page. You smile to yourself and mistake that warm feeling from the tea for a sense of accomplishment.
Phase 2: The ruse
Phase 2 of the process requires a bit more effort than phase one but not that much. This is the phase where you truly feel good about yourself. You’re working out daily, your fridge is restocked with healthy food items, people on Instagram are complimenting you on your posture and your nails have even grown back! The confidence that has grown in you is unbelievable.
This goes on for the entirety of January and bleeds into March if you’re really lucky.
Phase 3: The silent decline
Phase three is where this journey takes an unexpected (not really) turn. You haven’t gone grocery shopping in weeks, but takeout boxes are not hard to find in your apartment. You don’t even bother painting your nails anymore because you can’t even see them and your posture puts Quasimodo to shame. You’ve noticed this, but nevertheless, it persists. It persists until all these habits once again become a part of your daily life.
Phase 4: The rebirth (or not)
Phase four, the final phase, is the one part of this cycle that you can effectively change with little effort. By this time, it is December and New Year’s is going to roll around again. As tempting as it may be, do not put yourself through this again. Either, stick to your plan or don’t make one.
A helpful way to stick to your New Year’s resolution is by first, not calling it that. Do not conjure up that list in late December/ early January. Do it whenever you feel like there needs to be a change in your life and when you are ready for that. Not when tradition says you have to.