Read This if You’ve Slipped Up on Your New Years Resolutions Already
How have the past few weeks gone? Are you on the path to fulfilling the goals you set at the beginning of the year? Have those resolutions stuck?
Or, have you slipped?
Statistics say you probably have. Your life history and experiences say you probably have. You’ve been through this cycle more times than you can count. Even if you’re one of the people who has committed so far, this advice is going to be useful for you if and when you slip.
What advice? Pretty much the same pieces of advice I’ve been giving you for as long as you’ve read my work. The recipe is the same and it has to be applied over and over and over again because you’re so prone to slipping.
Once you understand that, by default, you’re set up for failure, slippage, you’ll actually learn how to fight the uphill battle it requires to get momentum in your life. Get it out of your head that you should be productive, that you should get ahead, that you should be well on your path.
No, based on your wiring you should only be doing two things — avoiding death and having sex to create future generations. Fear and love, your two main drivers, are all you technically should worry about.
So, the trick? Learn how to use your nature to your advantage instead of fighting it.
When you slip, don’t make it some sob story, just understand what happened and use those insights to try again.
Slipped on your diet? It’s not because you suck at dieting, it’s because your ancestors craved sweet and fatty food due to how scarce it was. Now? They’re no longer scarce but you’re brain still thinks they are. Remove the additional context, remind yourself that your brain wants you to eat certain foods, and use the knowledge in the right way — eat foods that are healthy yet also taste good, rid yourself of the idea that you’re going to get dry chicken breast and veggies every day. Not gonna happen.
Slipped on getting your business off the ground? Makes sense. See, the main reason why you don’t work on that life path business goal thingy is that you’re deeply afraid of rejection. You’re afraid of rejection because rejection meant death. Don’t fight it. Stop trying to not be scared. Stop trying to feel immune to criticism and rejection. Accept it and move forward. You also slipped because you’re wired for short-term gratification. Accept it.
I could keep going on with examples here, but you get it. Self-help advice only tends to work for a small percentage of people long-term. It takes a lot of repetition. Simply the process of reminding yourself of what you already know. That’s fine. Look at it this way — you know upfront that you’re trying to become the exception to the rule. You know it’s hard. You know the process is rife with obstacles.
That’s okay. You can accept how hard the process is and start over and over and over again until it works. I had several failed businesses and self-improvement journeys before I finally got my last one to stick. I’ve gained back weight and have gotten out of shape a half-dozen times, but I just start over on day one of a new path knowing that I’ll get the results I want eventually. I don’t spend my life beating myself up for slipping because I can do nothing with the past.
That’s another major lesson too. If you slipped, you slipped. It’s done. What’s the next move? Wasted three weeks of January so far? Oh well, looks like the journey begins in late January then. Stopped working out? Oh well, looks like you’re going today. Didn’t write that article over the weekend? Oh well, looks like you’re writing it today.
That’s all you ever have — a series of todays. You win today by wiping the slate clean over and over until it works.
Ayodeji is the author of Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement