By Sean Delaney
Many of us get bitten by the “Inspiration Bug” every January, but that rarely translates into long-term results. If you find that you get excited for new, healthy habits just to lose steam midway through the month, the good news is, it isn’t just you! There’s a reason why resolutions fizzle out and you remain the same hopeless degenerate year in and year out - and it’s backed by science!
Inspiration ≠ Resilience
Inspiration is the beginning of all good things, but inspiration alone cannot sustain a new habit. A common rule of thumb is that it takes 21 days for a new habit to form. If your new habit is to gestate into a beautiful long-term butterfly, it needs to survive this three-week incubation period. It should be ambitious without compromising too much of your existing problematic lifestyle.
You’re Still You
“New year, new me!” Actually, no. Biologically speaking, you’re still the same person you were yesterday. That does not bode well since you’re the same person that got yourself into this mess in the first place. So things are already not looking great.
Most Things Fail, Eventually
By February 1st, 75% of New Year’s resolutions have failed, and by March 1st that number grows to 100%. By April you’re back to eating your way into an early grave and this close to having to live under a bridge and ask passersby to solve riddles for a living. And that’s just the numbers on resolutions! 55% of marriages end in divorce, 3 endangered species go extinct every hour, and the Cleveland Browns miss the playoffs every goddamn year. (Besides this year. They don’t suck nearly as bad for once, but you still do.)
Time Isn’t Real
Time, as it is commonly referred to, is an illusion based on human perception. Our brains are highly evolved; capable of memory, emotion and complex thought. However, we are incapable of perceiving more than three dimensions, which does not allow us to recognize that time is a flat circle. Anything that has ever happened (or will ever happen!) has already happened. This means your resolutions for next year have already failed.
Write Down “S.M.A.R.T.” Goals
A goal that has been written down is 40% more likely to be accomplished. Additionally, it helps to make your goals Specific Measurable Attainable Repeatable and Time-Related. The next time you set goals remember to make them “S.M.A.R.T.” you dumb, miserable bastard.