One of my New Year’s resolutions was to add an advanced yoga class that I found difficult into my repertoire. So last Monday, I woke up, yoga geared up, and went all guns blazing. In my enthusiasm I over did it and hurt my back. Needless to say, for the rest of the week, I was limited to working from bed with a hot water bottle on my back; the last thing on mind was taking another yoga class, New Year’s resolution or not! This is how easy it is to give up on good intentions.
A study published by University of Scranton showed that 77% of people give up on their new year’s resolution after a week! So, one may ask, why even bother?
On the other hand, Einstein said that, ‘If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not people or things’. Those of us in pursuit of a happy life can’t help but keep going after goals. The problem is not the setting of the goals but rather the goals that we set.
Your goals should be aligned to your values if you are to stand any chance of achieving them.
There is no point in pursuing a goal just because it is fashionable and everyone else is doing it. If your goal is to get to the next rung on ladder at work, but you hate your industry or think you are in the wrong profession, you are just setting yourself up for failure. You will run out of steam at the first hurdle, because you are fighting yourself even before the start of your pursuit.
If you don’t value health and I don’t see why any sane person would not (some people are yet to work out that wealth is their health), then setting goals of eating well and getting up at the crack of dawn to exercise will get you nowhere. Eating well takes effort. You need to increase your knowledge about food and try out things that you might not initially like. It takes being organised and planning meals so you can shop around them. Not everyone wants to put in that investment. They will be happy with the next TV dinner because they haven’t figured out that with a weak body, everything else is hard work. Until they get this understanding and work this into their values, they will not put in the effort required to achieve their goals in any area.
For you to stand a chance of being happy by tying your happiness to a goal like Einstein suggested, first of all, you need to know yourself, that is the only way to work out what you value.
Your values can of course change; as you know better you do better. Additionally, as you change as a person, your values change. The things you valued as a teenager are not necessarily the same things that you value now. When you are the parent of small children all that you want is a chance to get an uninterrupted hour to yourself. When your children leave home that changes because you have all the time to yourself and you can’t wait for them to visit.
Some values stay with you for life, and some change as you go through life. Know yourself, know what you value and then tie your goal to your values; you will be surprised what you can withstand in pursuit of your goals.
As for me, my back is better, and I will be back to my yoga class next week. I will be less guns blazing I promise, but I value a strong body and toned legs so I will not be one of 77% giving up.