They rarely work for anyone. This much we all know. Every January 1st, we all make resolutions, and two weeks later they've been shot to hell. I've been thinking a lot about this in the last month, and have formulated a theory as to why this is. Maybe the theory comes from my unwillingness to let go of the psychologist side of myself, or maybe I'm actually on to something. Maybe, just maybe, someone else has already had this theory, and I just didn't know about it! I'd like to know what you all think.
Bottom line, I think it's too much pressure. We make these resolutions, and announce them to the world. Then we think we have to live up to them and perfect them immediately. When we're not seeing the change or results we want to see in those first couple of weeks, we buckle under the pressure, and fall back into our old ways. In our world of instant gratification, we also want instant perfection. It's just not realistic.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a complete perfectionist. I stress myself out and drive myself completely batty over the littlest, stupidest things. Sometimes the result is a gorgeous scrapbook that I've been working on as a gift for a loved one, but sometimes the result is me coming home sick from work with a fever and sore throat like I did last Friday. I put a load of pressure on myself to excel, and it has really had it's effect on my health (anxiety attacks and teeth grinding to name a couple of things). I've been working really hard over the last couple of years to calm down and not let myself get as stressed over the little things. I've made a lot of progress, and learned two very important things.
First, baby steps are key! Learning to accept that everything comes in small doses has really saved my sanity, and has helped me to stick with some of my goals for more than a couple of weeks. My weight loss is a prime example. Granted, I had some other complications that needed fixing when it came to that, but I also had to learn to accept the fact that the process was going to take a long time, and that it would be months before I really saw results. To date, I've lost 40 lbs. in the last nine months. It hasn't been easy, and there have been days where I've given my doctor's plan the middle finger and completely blown my diet. This leads us to the second thing I had to learn.
It's okay to be imperfect! No one is perfect. No one is ever going to be perfect. It's okay to mess up every once in a while. I've had to learn that it's not okay to just throw in the towel because I slipped up a few times. Those days when I threw the plan out the window have been few and far between, but I always try to remind myself that tomorrow is a new day. You just have to make the decision to get back on the wagon if you fall off. I still have a hard time with this sometimes, but again with the baby steps.
Last year I tackled my biggest health issue, and now that I have that under control, it's time to concentrate on some new things. I have a few things up my sleeve for this year. I don't want to jinx anything just yet, so I'll fill you in as they come up. I have a feeling it's going to be a year of positive changes for me, and I hope it is for you all as well. Just remember....take baby steps, and also remember that you aren't perfect, and you don't need to be!