FRANSEN: New Year, same impossible expectations
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One year, I decided I would become a vegetarian. It was less than a week later, after too many meals of pasta and cheese pizza, when I realized I am not a big fan of vegetables and I liked steak too much to end our relationship.
My resolution was unrealistic for me and I set myself up for failure with my own unnecessary standards, making my attempt doomed from the start.
I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution since then due in part to a fear of not reaching my goal, which tends to deter some people. But there are still those who believe in the power of resolutions.
People tend to dream big when crafting them, sometimes being impractical about their own capabilities. At the start of every year, aspiring to drop 20 pounds, spend more time with the family or get that promotion, many people set themselves up to either succeed or fail by setting often unrealistic expectations.
It’s great that people want to become more active, successful and interconnected, but sometimes our improbable New Year’s resolutions might be acting against us. Meeting goals can push us to work harder, but that is not always the best thing.
Gym membership sales at the Rec Center and Rec Plex, and also nationwide, spike in January, and for the first couple weeks, people use them religiously. Then, in most cases, a little thing called life gets in the way. People stop hitting the gym, settle for their job position and resort to monthly calls to family as other important things tend to come up.
Some people who stick with their resolutions can become obsessed with their goals and let it negatively affect other facets of their lives.
Those hell-bent on getting that elusive promotion could forget about their personal relationships, while someone with the goal of exercising every day may be neglecting their work life. Focusing on one particular resolution can be detrimental to other areas of importance and distract us from our priorities.
Though the possibility of a fresh start and chance to become our best selves in the new year is appealing, it’s not always plausible. Sometimes we falter with our resolutions and one thing, like a delicious steak, can make us lose our conviction.
If you are going to make a New Year’s resolution, make it something that fits realistically with your lifestyle but also pushes you to work at it. We want to be better in the new year, but focusing on just one goal doesn’t make the other problems disappear.
Resolutions are not one-size-fits-all, so if you want to try one on, find something that works in your daily routine and enables you try something that makes life more interesting. Big or small, resolutions done right give you a chance to form habits that stick with you. As we go through the year, we should continue to push ourselves, with or without resolutions, to continue growing as people.
With that in mind, maybe I will try cutting certain kinds of meat out of my diet this year. Of course, steak would not be one of them.