We are officially one week into the new year, and it’s very likely that you or the people around you have already failed some aspects of your 2018 resolutions. Haven’t we all been there?!

One of the more obvious reasons for this is that setting a lofty goal for the whole year is too open-ended. So, the goal of “being happier” is too wide open, what does it look like in terms of what I can do today? Or we say we are only going to eat healthy in 2018, but that’s way too extreme. One macaron and you’ve failed for the whole year!

A similar trap is when we know we have all semester to work on that final paper, so we procrastinate by going shopping or dillydallying around the house, then all of a sudden the paper is due tomorrow and we will be pulling another all nighter. Another example is after going to the dentist we floss will for a week, then not again until our next appointment because the time frame of when we are accountable is too dang long! Check out our post on optimal goal setting to see how to get past these New Year’s resolution ‘traps’.

Other New Year’s resolution traps way we may fall into are, you guessed it, due to our Limiting Beliefs (L.B.) and Dysfunctional Needs (D.N.). If we don’t believe that we are capable of doing challenging things, at the first sign of failure we give up. If we need to be perfect to feel good enough, that creates all-or-nothing, and black or white thinking.

For example, I ate that one cupcake so the whole week is a write off, but I’ll start again next Monday. We may say this on a weekly basis, constantly making excuses, and getting no where with our resolution. Before we know it, 2019 is around the corner and we are still eating all the freaking cupcakes!

Another example of this playing out is how that new hobby gets dropped because not being good at it makes it so DAMN FRUSTRATING… and where’s the fun in that?! Hobbies are supposed to be fun, right?? See how fast we can unwittingly talk ourselves out of things?

How about resolving to be a better spouse, but your need to be right overrides your conviction to be patient. Before you know it, you’ll be correcting your spouse again, then beating yourself up for being an ass. And furthermore, beating yourself up for failing your big 2018 goal.

You may have resolved to be easier going and spontaneous, but instantly catch yourself fretting over plans of how to make that happen, then anticipating and worrying about failing at it. There’s that pesky need for control kicking in again, and preventing you from going with the flow.

You may aim to give up alcohol, but all the stressors that led you to drink in the first place are still there, so you replace it with smoking, marijuana, candy, or even excessive exercise. You want to worry and stress less, but feel anxious and overwhelmed because you haven’t done enough research to know the exact optimal way to do it. Or, you simply feel too depressed or burnt out to have the energy to make a healthy freaking meal, alright?! I work hard, I deserve this pizza!

So at Shift, we look at getting out of those New Year’s resolutions traps by throwing the L.B.’s out of the window so you can finally learn to play that guitar you bought for your 2017 resolution, actually lose the 10 pounds you intended, practice being more patient, and put down the booze before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s eve 2019!

Lindsay Sewall

Lindsay Sewall

Registered Therapist at Shift Psychological
Lindsay’s trained in: Anxiety and mood disorders, stress, trauma, relationship issues,
Lindsay Sewall

Latest posts by Lindsay Sewall (see all)