It's the last week of 2018. Time to reflect on last year's resolutions, and to commit to a new one for 2019 - or not. What if we just didn't do the whole resolution thing this year? What if, instead, we decided to coast through 2019, without expectation?
It is estimated that under ten per cent of us will actually follow through on our resolutions. The other 90 per cent will likely fail, forget or lose interest by mid-January.
Prospects are high early January with self-imposed conditions like 'losing the Christmas weight.' Other popular goals include reducing workloads and stress levels, taking control of finances, spending more time with family and traveling more often.
What are the repercussions of setting the bar so high, especially if statistics tell us we are inevitably setting ourselves up to fail?
"Science tells us that most weight loss regimens, through dieting, are not successful," says Registered Dietician, Suzanne Dietrich. The self-professed 'non-diet' dietician goes on to say, "people (85%) regain the weight they lost - and sometimes more - within three years. Not to mention the shame and guilt and feeling of failure that these diets usually bring on for most people. Dieting can also lead to disordered eating and eating disorders."
Dietrich suggests, instead of creating unmanageable resolutions, "consider basing your goals on body and mind respect rather than shame, guilt or judgment."
Rather than working towards weight loss she encourages promoting a more positive relationship with food "focusing on self-compassion and self-care."
"What can you do to feel better mentally and physically? How can you respect what your body needs? Does this include going to bed 10 minutes earlier at night? Does it include moving your body for an extra 10 minutes a day in a way that you enjoy? Does it include planning meals for the week? Do you need to find some help regarding body image?"
Dietrich also advises "small changes can make a big difference."
"When we focus on weight loss or trying to change our body shape these plans are often unsustainable and our body fights back. Most importantly New Year's Eve is often a societal pressure to change something. But if you aren't ready to change anything then that's okay too. Personal change will come easily, when you are ready, there is no need to put extra pressure on yourself."
Still hoping for achievable happiness in 2019? Set a goal to be more mindful.
"Often we can set these hefty goals that we want to tackle all at once," says Martha Adams, Certified Financial Planner with TIER One Investments. "This can be the cause of our failure." She suggests that we become conscious of our relationship with money. "We can talk about goals, budgets and objectives until we're blue in the face, but if our mindset isn't in the right place, we guarantee failure."
The solution includes "looking to a friend or "study buddy" for help and accountability. Utilizing your financial power team is another great option too."
Becoming the eight per cent
They say that life is about the journey, not the destination. A resolution can be defined as a commitment to take action. Enroll in an online course, learn to skate, find a cause you believe in and start a campaign, explore hobbies that could create monetary gain.
Set aside the unrealistic ideologies and expectations and commit to a goal of finding what truly makes you happy - only then will you be on the road to viable, unpretentious self-change.