New Year, New Focus: How Ignoring Unhelpful Habits Can Help Achieve Resolutions

Do you get excited to launch each new year with new resolutions? Or maybe you pick a word or theme as a focal point for the year. Some of us, especially after the challenges of the last few years, don’t even bother. Here’s our take on resolutions from E4D Technologies:

The Tradition of Resolutions

Where did this tradition of resolutions come from, and why has it persisted? I was surprised that the concept of annual resolutions goes back to the Babylonians around 2000 BC. This idea of starting the new year with new goals and objectives has persisted for thousands of years.

Perhaps it has such longevity because we all hope our futures will be better and brighter. We would likely give up if we didn’t believe that tomorrow could and would be better. Resolutions allow us to think about how to improve our lives and the lives of our broader community.

Why Do Resolutions Fail?

While most people do not fully keep their resolutions, only 9%, according to research, just thinking about our intentions to create a better us and a better world has a positive impact. It gives us hope and optimism. It gives us reasons to move forward.

Many resolutions fail because our intentions and resolutions are entirely unrealistic. Is it realistic to go from the holidays, where you are eating and drinking at every event, to a new year’s resolution to lose 20 pounds by March? Suddenly you switch from eating all those delicious baked goods to ONLY eating vegetables and chicken while measuring every bite and calorie. No wonder it doesn’t stick. But for those who are tired of the guilt and shame of having these resolutions and not living up to them, let’s try something different this year. What if we decided to STOP DOING?

Focusing On What’s Important

Recently I heard a podcast with James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, and he said something that made me reconsider how to look at new year’s resolution. He said, “Focus is the art of knowing what to ignore.”

What if we practiced ignoring those things that don’t serve us this year? No big goals. Just some baby steps to stop doing things that keep us from our best selves?

Maybe it’s starting by ignoring the calorie counter and strict, rigid diet. Instead, we may focus on leaving just a few bites on our plate every meal. That simple step would ultimately yield better eating habits.

Creating Better Habits for Yourself

Maybe it’s time to ignore that person who drains your energy EVERY SINGLE TIME. Instead, we focus on saying “no” to every other request for our time. One day it will get easier to say “no” all the time, or they will change their behavior.

You may ignore the guilt of about 30 minutes of daily exercise. Instead, you focus on prioritizing sleep, which is critical to all human functions. You could only do 5 minutes a day of activity. Once you have a good habit, even if it’s only 5 minutes, increasing the time is easier as you already have the routine.

So, as the wise proverb says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” instead of setting ourselves up to be part of the 91% of people who fail to achieve our goals, let’s start the focus on ignoring those things that don’t serve us well and just take baby bites. At the end of 2023, we will be surprised at how much we’ve accomplished. Want to learn more about finding success for yourself, both professionally and personally? Check out our blog today!

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