How to Passionately Fail in Your New Year’s Resolutions

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By Ariel Minter

In a few short hours, many of us will be celebrating a whole New Year. Some will do so in the comfort of their own homes, others popping champagne, others going wild. 

Regardless of how you welcome this New Year, many will make resolutions. I am a big advocate for setting goals. I think it is extremely important to write down what you are wanting, to make a vision board, to talk and plan and prepare. These are the things that drive us towards the beautiful union of success and happiness in our own lives. 

Like many of you, I resolve to eat healthier, lose weight, be more active….the list goes on. Did you know that 88% of New Year’s Resolutions FAIL? Eighty eight percent! That means that it takes a very limited and very dedicated TWELVE percent of people to successfully follow through. 

I know someone who is apart of the twelve percent, and to tell you the truth, I can’t even look at her Facebook page without feeling totally depressed. She is absolutely astonishing in how she lives her life. And the shadow I let it cast upon my own life is just not something I choose to dive into. 

It comes down to the big question: What’s the point? If I am just going to go back to the same weight (or even GAIN MORE!), if I am just going to end up living in the same vices that keep me trapped in this cycle of sameness, why even set resolutions? The feeling of failure is icky. It is guilt. And guilt can easily slide into shame. And shame is the only toxic emotion you can harbor. 

I am NOT an advocate for guilt or shame. I am an advocate for goal setting. Therefore, I am an advocate for New Year’s Resolutions, even if they fail 88% of the time. 

Now, let me give you some old-as-time-advice: baby steps. Set resolutions that are ridiculous and out of this world (in your opinion), and set them at the BOTTOM of your list. Work your way from there. What are some REASONABLE activities or things you can do weekly to get to that point? You know what you are capable of more than anyone else. Be realistic. Have your big resolutions be the ultimate goal, but maybe make your resolutions more about the steps you can actually make time/have the energy for the REAL goals. 

Ultimately, goals and resolutions come down to one thing. Discipline. That is the D word that can make me cringe. I have a hard time limiting myself to a reasonable bed time, to a reasonable amount of food on my plate, to a reasonable amount of drinks to have when I go out, to committing to folding my clothes right when they get out of the dryer and not just dumping them on the “clean clothes section” of the bedroom. 

I struggle immensely with self discipline. But screw the STATISTIC that says 88% of my goals/resolutions will fail. Now, to get all corny on you….there is absolutely no shame in not meeting your goals if you truly, whole heartedly, take baby steps to get to where you want to go. 

Fail passionately. Fail forward. Just don’t stop failing, because that means you are actually doing something. Proudly join the “88% of failures,” because that is a helluva lot better than not even participating in the statistic. 

And to you 12%, keep on keeping on, you highly-motivated-crazy-alien-human-beings who seem to work miracles in your sleep :) 

Happy New Year!

POST SCRIPT:

After posting this blog, I was thinking more about the 12%. I began to question what separates them from the other 88%, and I came to the conclusion that perhaps the 12% (or at least a percentage of the twelve percent) of those who keep their New Year’s Resolutions are the ones who create goals for themselves that are actually attainable.

For example, every year I make a bit of an extreme goal, like losing 10-20 pounds. This is pretty radical. I know my body. I know the average weight I carry and my BMI and what is healthy, etc. If I were to lose even 10 pounds, maintaining that would consist of me being in the gym EVERY DAY for at least an hour and eating a very limiting diet. I am all about making healthy food choices and exercising, but I also know that that particular “goal” isn’t only unattainable, but dangerous. 

So, perhaps it is time to join the 12% (or at least a percentage of the twelve percent) and actually create goals that are reasonable for who you are.  

What are your thoughts on the 88% that “fail” vs. the 12% that succeed? Do you really know what goals and choices are healthy and GOOD for who/what you are, or are you setting yourself up for failure because of the types of resolutions you are setting for yourself? Comments can be completely anonymous, I would love to hear your thoughts on this!