by Nadia Ramoutar MMM Communications Coordinator Ireland 03.01.2022
Almost every year once the over indulgence of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are wrapped up, the next tradition to face is the making and often the break of New Year’s Resolutions. Many people are so busy taking care of other people and doing good in the world, they have a hard time doing good things for themselves.
The heart may be sincere in the making of New Year’s Resolutions but the numbers are grim about actually sticking with it. Research shows that after one week, 25% of people are already done with their resolutions. By February 1st that number is increased again to 45 %. After six months, on average 46% of people who made a resolution will still be successful in keeping it.
What picture do these numbers paint for us? Well, what they don’t tell us is that for people who do not even try to make a New Year’s Resolution the changes are even less. An estimated 4% of people who don’t commit to a change will keep it.
If we go back to basics and look at the definition of resolution it means “a promise to yourself to do or to not do something.” So why are some people more successful than others in keeping a resolution than other people? Success leaves clues is a great phrase that tells us we can all learn new tricks – at any age. Our brains have the neuroplasticity for change but getting a brain to change its mind is not easy. To make a resolution and to keep it is a great way to build courage and confidence within ourselves. It is good for us to take care of ourselves so we don’t get carer’s fatigue or feel resentful.
To keep doing good work in 2022 we need to take care of ourselves. It’s a Catch 22… I think we may hear that a lot with the year that is in it. Here are some tips for us to consider so we can make resolutions that are designed to go the distance – all the way to 2023.
1) Try to make a resolution that is true to yourself. Don’t pick something that is not you. If you don’t like something then don’t expect you will change and be a radically different person. Pick something that you can do and enjoy even if it is for a short time. For example, I will walk ten minutes a day. That’s more true to you if you are not exercising at all than I will run! The ten minutes are easily accomplished and will grow.
2) Use your imagination to see how the resolution will be worth it. Get a vivid mental picture of you benefiting from the small accomplishment. Visioning the positive is the opposite of worry! See yourself doing this well.
3) Pick something that is specific yet realistic. I want to lose 20lbs. It can be daunting but I will stop eating after 7pm every day. It might be helpful if night snacking is a challenge. You might say I will write 30 minutes three times a week rather than I will write a book. Break whatever you want down into smaller bite size bits you can easily swallow
4) Be encouraging to yourself. Find ways to coach yourself positively and speak kindly to yourself. You’re doing your best. That’s enough. If you need the support, tell someone your goal and ask for their encouragement. We all need support but it’s important to silence the inner mean critic. It’s not helpful.
For some reason, it takes about 66 days for a habit to become permanent. Think of setting a resolution that you can sail through the time and then build on that. It will be much more likely to work for us.
As we enter into 2022, we know there is a lot of work for us to do in the world to share our healing charism and to make a difference. We cannot pour from an empty cup so let us fill our cups with good choices for our wellbeing. As Sr Sheila Campbell told me one day when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, if we don’t love ourselves then we can’t extend that to other people. This is the commandment to love our neighbour as ourselves. We cannot forget to love ourselves first.
Happy 2022! May you find joy in your resolution to be the best version of yourself.