I made the same new years resolution for several years: opening myself up while doing things out of my comfort zone. And I failed every single year… I did do things out of my comfort zone, but once I was out there- in unfamiliar territory – I completely shut down. Turns out: I just simply can’t do it (that’s why I stopped making those new years resolutions and will only be focussing on being as happy as possible, that -at least- I can do ;).
And I know I’m not the only one: somehow we think we will be more perfect in the future, making smarter decisions even though we failed up to this point. There’s this one study that’s very illustrative: they made people choose between a healthy and unhealthy option. An unhealthy piece of chocolate or a piece of fruit. What to choose? It turns out the time frame played an important part. If people had to choose what they wanted to eat the next week, they choose a piece of fruit. So far so good. There was only one problem: when they had to choose what they wanted to eat now, they choose the mars bar.
Yep, we humans are losers at hearth. It’s better to admit defeat and look for ways to fool the system, a.k.a. yourself. Want to reach some goals this year? Try to intervene. Eating healthy is not fun when there’s this coffee place with crazy good cheese cake, try to understand why you fall short and incorporate methods to avoid failure. Only bring cash with you in the exact amount you need for your coffee for example. I always ate incredible amounts of chocolate (I still do, but I used to eat 200 grams of chocolate every single day. Disturbing, I know). The trick? Buying the darkest, purest chocolate I can find. Two small pieces still my chocolate craving. Sometimes it’s that easy.
And for those more difficult goals (such as being completely yourself while freaking out…)? Just give up and forget about those goals as quickly as possible. Happiness should always be #1!