Switching Lanes: How to Succeed at a New Years Resolution

Emily Guerra

The new year is a wonderful time for realization. The new beginning for the world at large makes even the most depressed believe they can change themselves for the better.

Then defeats mount up and interest in self-improvement is soon gone. Last week’s strong commitments become ‘I’ll get to it later,’ then never happens.

The problem here is having high hopes that lead to poor results. According to Finders.com 86.9% of millennials said they would make New Year’s resolutions in 2020, and 54.4% of them believed that their resolutions were doable.

However, according to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t succeed. The percentages are almost identical.
The goal here is not to get scared at the challenges ahead but to find out what will result in the mindset to put you into being part of the 20% that do succeed.

Everyone expects too much to change too fast. People love it when a new something comes easy and fast, with little effort required.

Making a New Year’s resolution is not about making a commitment that comes easy. If the resolution had been that simple, it already would have been done with no need to reflect at all.

It is certain to never happen with that way of thinking as there is no preparation for that most essential step towards reaching that heavenly goal just over the horizon: failure.

The word sends such a chill hurdling down our spines. We imagine a permanent state of not getting any action right.

When the first failure comes, as it often will, the shock drives the average person back to old habits. The safety of the old way of thinking surrounds like a comfortable, suffocating blanket.

Time is also a big factor. The time a new skill or healthier life choice will take to master is mostly unclear.

Many have no idea how to manage our time on this planet. When hit with that burst of inspiration, there is so much that seems possible that too many commitments are taken on at once.

Lives also rarely start over with the new year. Previous responsibilities to family, friends, work and college still must be balanced.

Goals that were vague in the beginning become even more obscured by the fog of the endless days and weeks that lie ahead.

There is no sustainable way forward, giving way to doubt. This leads to the biggest type of failure: giving up all together on self-improvement.

The way to get out of this cycle of wishing too big then being devastated when it all falls apart is planning out your time with reasonable goals.

How does one plan to do anything if small steps are not taken to realize your vision for yourself?

Imagine a driver yanking the wheel and hoping for the best when moving into a new lane of traffic. Anyone who has taken a driving course can tell that this would lead to the driver wrecking his car more than safely getting to his destination.

Most know a driver who is calm, signals to the other cars around, checks where he or she can fit in and then moves will find more success.

Applying these steps to a New Year’s resolution is easier than one might think.

Take a deep breath and calm down when the frustration starts to build.
Getting emotional at the problem will only lead to even more mistakes and never learning.

Then signal the change that is needed.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talking to other people you trust will give the best results. This problem is more common than you think.

Don’t just keep saying that a change is coming. A driver who keeps signaling for hours on end will just end up annoying everyone else on the road.

There needs to be a plan that can be acted upon.

See where a small new change can fit, maybe one that takes an amount of time as small as 10 to 30 minutes.

When hitting those bumps in the road try not to panic, but to look at the situation. The failure could be because the goal was too big or because you are just inexperienced at it.

Give this new part of your life time to grow, and celebrate every small success with a reward to yourself. Each success will build on the other and before too long the goal will easily come to be.

Life and car rides are similar in that the journey is more important than the destination.

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