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New Year, New You. But Are Resolutions Good For You?

As we creep ever closer to Christmas, it’s the time of year when we all start thinking about the year ahead, and how we would like to use it. This spawns all sorts of New Year’s Resolutions – promises we make ourselves to improve our lives, commit to doing something we’ve been avoiding, or just to lose a little weight. Every year, thousands of people make these resolutions, and every year a lot of them are very similar. But over the last few years, some people have been coming out of the woodwork with a controversial idea. That New Year’s resolutions, while admirable, aren’t actually very good for you. But why do they think that – and why might they not be a great idea?

They Deal With Absolutes

Often the resolutions we set ourselves are very firm, and deal with absolutes. For example, committing to going to the gym and working out three times a week is a pretty common resolution to make, especially after all the excess of Christmas. But that kind of resolution is setting you up for failure immediately – because you’re not always going to be able to go to the gym three times a week. Over the 365 days and 52 weeks in the year, there is bound to be at least one party, one parents evening or one anniversary that you can’t skip. There’s also probably going to be at least one week where the flu keeps you from leaving your bedroom – let alone your house. And when that does happen, you immediately feel like you’ve failed, and you’re much more likely to give up entirely. It also opens the door for our next point…

Risk Of Self-Loathing

Have you ever noticed that most people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions? Sure, a few people might, and others might be able to make it until the end of January before they give up. But most of us have abandoned our resolutions by about three weeks in. This is mainly because the resolutions we set are so lofty and grand, or so ill-defined, that it’s impossible to measure them or realistically achieve them. And so we give up. This opens up a cycle of self-loathing that can be incredibly damaging to some people. We think we haven’t managed to maintain or achieve our resolutions because we are failures, and we aren’t good enough. This can have a hugely detrimental effect on our self-esteem and generally make us miserable. And yet we keep doing it every year.

They Are All About the Negativity

Have you ever noticed that most New Year’s resolutions are grounded in something negative? People tend to focus on the things they want to change about themselves, the things they dislike about their lives and the least favourite parts of their body. For example – if you wanted to lose weight, you might set a resolution to stop eating junk food. But this is denigrating yourself before you even get started. This kind of thinking spurs a lot of negative emotions that can linger for a long time. And while some negative emotions can be good motivators, most of the time they aren’t. If you are set on having a resolution, its better to frame it in a more positive light, like ‘I’m going to eat healthier’.

They Focus On Outcomes, Not Progress

Very few things in life are achieved overnight. For the most part, there will be a journey to reach your goal, and that journey might be a long and gruelling one. And if all you are focussed on is the outcome, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. For example, if your goal is being able to run a marathon and you’re constantly focussed on that result, every day you run and don’t manage that distance, it’s going to be pretty demoralising. All you end up doing is comparing where you are now to where you want to be, instead of focussing on the journey.

Overall, we don’t think resolutions are an awful thing.  After all, making one means you’re taking the time to evaluate yourself and your life over the past year and think about what you would like to be different. Setting goals gives you something to work towards, and with proper goals set people can achieve remarkable things. But we do think that resolutions can be a bad thing if they aren’t done properly. All of the things we talk about above can be avoided, simply by being smart about how you set and manage your resolutions (and yourself). At Elle Courbee, our resolution this year is simple – keep providing women with shapewear and content that makes them feel confident, sexy and ready to take on the world! We’d love to hear about some of your resolutions, so please do tell us about them in the comments below.

From everyone here at Elle Courbee, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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