Spring Is Here: Now, About Those New Year’s Resolutions

Spring Is Here: Now, About Those New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like us, then you surely have New Year’s resolutions that you committed to in January. Perhaps challenges surfaced or life simply happened. Now you realize that nothing has changed.

Maybe some of those resolutions were impossible or too hard to fulfill, and so you backed down. However, the desire to be better serves as encouragement to strive toward success. This is why it’s important to set objectives that are achievable as well as enabling growth.

There is a postulation, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” It is originally attributed to Aristotle, but many scientists and philosophers from Rabelais to Galileo to Descartes have also talked about this phenomenon.

You might be scratching your head about now, thinking, “Why am I reading about vacuums in nature?

Frequently when New Year’s resolutions are made, you unwittingly create a “vacuum” for yourself, and thereby assure failure. Think about it! Let’s say one of your New Year’s resolutions involved reducing your time watching television by three hours per week. It’s a great idea! However, if you stopped there with your resolution, you set yourself up for failure without even realizing it! What are you going to do with your weekly three hour “vacuum”? If you’re like most people, you revert back to watching television during that time.

A better approach to your resolution would be establishing a substitution, such as “I’m going to watch less television by reducing my weekly viewing by three hours and I’m going to use that time to . . .”

  • Take a walk in the park (if fitness or weight loss is important)
  • Talk with my spouse and children (if better relationships are the goal)
  • Enroll in an online course (if additional education is what you want)

Now you’ve created an exchange of behaviors, instead of a “behavioral vacuum.” Your plan is now to reduce behavior A and put behavior B in its place. The likelihood of you succeeding with your New Year’s resolution has increased enormously.

Spring is here! Why not use this season known throughout the centuries as a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and regrowth to recommit to your New Year’s resolutions or make new goals? Either way — recommitment or new commitments — create substitutions this time, instead of “vacuums” to promote your successful change.

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