Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail (Transcription)
Hi everybody this id Dr. Ron Kaiser with your December 2011 podcast from The Mental Health Gym. This is being recorded as we approach the holiday season of 2011 and the new year of 2012. It’s a time when people start thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. I’m certain that I’m not giving you breaking news when I tell you that most New Year’s resolutions get broken pretty quickly even though the intent in making them may have been very good.
I believe that the problem in making New Year’s resolutions in many cases is that the resolution is made from a position of weakness. In other words, the person will look at himself or herself and say geez! What is it that I’m not doing well or that I’m disappointed in myself about and what can I do better? So we think in terms of going on a diet or stopping smoking or moderating drinking or reading more or things of this nature but we do from the stand point of saying this is something that I’m disappointed in myself about and I’ve gotta work on doing it better. So we’re kind of whipped before we start because we are starting out being disappointed in ourselves and starting out from kind of a negative frame of mind. I believe that just the opposite should be guiding us at this time.
Some of you know from hearing previous Podcasts or reading Mental Health Gym Blogs that I’m a believer in mission statements. I think that it’s very important to think positively about the direction in which you are taking your life and then you try and fill in the blanks to get you in that direction. In that regard I think it’s very important to think in terms of the overall positive nature of what’s going to happen next year.
Come up with essentially a many missions statement for 2012 designed to get you going in a particularly positive direction whether it be becoming physically healthy or whether it be restoring certain relationships, whether it be, to become more outgoing, whether it be to improve intellectual endeavors, do more reading and so on. Now if we know the part of our mission is to lead a healthier life next year then it only follows that we would do some of the things that would make us healthier.
Smoker should attempt to stop. People who tend to eat in unhealthy ways or be frankly over weight can form a basis for developing a diet plan that gets them to a healthier position. People who don’t exercise can join a gym or develop their own exercise program but its part of a larger context of getting oneself healthier. If essentially we’re working toward restoring relationships with other people it is much more productive to think in terms of the fact that that’s our goal. It’s not gee! I don’t have a good relation with my mother or my sister or my friend who I used to be buddies with ten years ago.
That’s a negative. Let’s start out from positive. I want to become better at maintaining friendship, maintaining relationship with people who are meaningful to me and then the other stuff will fit in. so that if I have a good relationship with family members if I’ve been neglecting friends, I build that into the resolution process. If I’ve been spending too much time in watching TV and doing unproductive things with my spare time, maybe I will build in a reading program because my mission statement includes developing myself more intellectually or as a part of the community. These are all positive statements that help us accomplish the general goal of meeting a particular mission for 2012.
I know that some of you are listening to this and may just not have that registered you know what’s the difference between saying I wanna get healthier and saying that this year I’m really going to stop smoking or this year I’m going to do on a diet. Others of you may recognize that there is a difference between seeing your resolution as fitting in as being a step taking charge of your life. That’s really different than a negative of defining yourself that I have this weakness and I’m gonna it next year.
So I’m gonna propose that you at least try thinking those terms. Develop a mission statement what you wanna and then I think your resolutions would kind of fall into place so that every time that you’re tempted to break that resolution you can ask yourself the question, how is this helping me to achieve what I want to achieve for 2102. If a positive goal is what drives you I suspect that you’ll find, you’ll have an easier time keeping the resolution than you might have had in the past. As always I’d like to hear your thoughts on this and see if it makes any sense to you.
I also obviously encourage you to try making New Year’s resolutions from an affirmative stand point rather than seeing yourself negatively as you approach resolution process. This is Dr. Ron Kaiser and this has been your December 2011 podcast. I wanna wish you all a very happy holidays season and lets all plan on making a resolution of a more productive and healthy 2012. Talk to you next year.