In Small Move, Big Change, you’ll learn why it is we so often fail to follow through with the changes in our lives that we so desperately want to make. Author Caroline Arnold explains that we fall short because we’re not crafting our resolutions in a way that is actually achievable. Instead, we should focus on “microresolutions” – small, easy-to-keep commitments that add up to big change.
Alongside sipping Champagne and counting down the seconds until midnight, one of the highlights of New Year’s Eve is sharing your resolutions with trusted friends, swearing to lose 10 pounds or quit smoking. You always say that this year – unlike last year – you’ll do it.
Yet inevitably you fail, year after year. In fact, some estimates say that people fail in keeping some 88 percent of the resolutions they make. But why is this the case?
In part, you fail because your resolutions are simply too overreaching.
On New Year’s Eve, for example, it’s easy to feel guilty about having spent the past holiday week lazing around and overeating. To make up for the gluttony, you vow to make huge, sweeping changes.
However, these changes are usually too broad, and therefore too easy to let slip.
Say one of your promises was to “get in shape and go to the gym.” This resolution is too broad, and leaves you with too many unanswered questions. When do you plan to go? How will you determine when you’re sufficiently “in shape?”
Broad, imprecise resolutions such as these will most likely lead you to slacking altogether, with excuses like: “I’ll skip the gym today and go tomorrow instead.”
Sometimes resolutions fail because you want things to happen without having a concrete idea of how to achieve them. These are wannabe resolutions, and are little more than commandments to make you a better person, rather than an actual change.
For example, if you’ve ever told yourself that you “want to be more organized,” then you’ve uttered a wannabe resolution. Sure, you may want this, but how do you achieve it?
There’s nothing built into your resolution that offers you a place to start – and if starting is difficult, then it’s unlikely that you’ll continue and reach your goal.