5 Reasons Why It's Actually Good To Break Your New Year's Resolutions

Yes, really.

15/02/2017 10:30 AM AEDT | Updated 05/07/2017 2:54 PM AEST
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As the clock ticked over to midnight the majority of us will have had some sort of resolution or goal in mind for the new year. Whether that was shedding a few kilos, quitting smoking, or finding a new partner. However, despite our good intentions, mere weeks into 2017 and there's a good chance that these resolutions may already be in tatters.

Statistics from 2016 reveal that only eight per cent of people achieved their resolution from the year before. And whether that's due to a lack of motivation, a loss of interest or unrealistic expectations, if you're feeling like failure for not keeping them -- don't. Instead, ease your guilt and read on for 5 reasons why breaking your resolutions could actually be a good thing.

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With resolutions, people narrow their focus, which can often actually lead to missing out on what you were looking for in the first place, this includes one of the most common goals: finding love.

"Often the goal of finding love is linked to a fear of not being enough or not feeling okay on your own," psychologist Dr Samantha Clarke said.

"This resolution is actually something we classify as an 'avoidance goal' and is unlikely to lead to success."

"Instead, it's far better to work on yourself and learn that you don't need someone else to create your own happiness," said Dr Clarke. "Only then will you potentially achieve the possibility of finding love, and it being fulfilling and matching your own values."

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"Turn failure into feedback," certified coach, hypnotherapist and founder of Quit With Nick, Nick Terrone said. "It's okay to break resolutions because its good to understand where you went 'wrong', which can help you adjust your approach for a more successful outcome next time."

For example, this is particularly true when it comes to quitting smoking. "Every time you quit you get better at it," said Terrone. "It's an opportunity to ask some deeper questions, such as 'what's the real reason for this?' and 'Am i stressed in some other area of life?'"

Terrone said that when you identify the root cause you can combat it by learning a stress management technique -- for example -- or by looking at areas of your life that are fuelling stress and addressing them.

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Made a resolution to save enough money for a house deposit in a few months? You've set yourself up for failure before you've even began, said registered psychologist, Scott Waters.

"Grand resolutions that shoot for the stars can set you up to fail," said Waters. "It takes a lot of motivation to keep them going. When you slip up, your inner critic kicks in, fuelling self-doubt and reducing your likelihood to stick with the resolution."

While it's great to be ambitious, a broken resolution is often an indicator to scale things back a bit. Many of us create goals for the new year that are too big, meaning they're almost impossible to achieve. Instead, Scott explained that taking this failure and turning it into a realistic mini goal with expectations about the speed and ease of achieving it that are doable.

"Start small, lower your aims and then build on that," said Waters.

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Try as you might, you can't suddenly become a new person overnight come January 1. Thankfully though, making resolutions at least signifies our desire to take a step towards positive change -- even if we are initially unsuccessful.

"Breaking a resolution takes the immediate pressure off the need to change with a new calendar year,"
said Life + Confidence Coach at Heart Sparks, Johanna Parker.

"It helps create more soulful thought into what we truly want in our life and for ourselves beyond our initial thoughts or desires," said Parker.

If you're feeling the philanthropic urge, then don't expect volunteering to become an instant, constant in your life. Recognise that you have a finite amount of spare time and ask yourself what's manageable. Be mindful, rather than looking for that quick karmic fix, take it day by day.

"Recognise that making significant changes in our lives often take time and a lot of hard work," said Parker.

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"Pain creates change, but pain also prevents change," life coach, Amy Green, from Green and Growing Coaching said. "And if something is constantly hurting, then you won't stick to it, which is why breaking a gimmicky resolution can be a good thing."

Referencing vows to get fit and changing eating habits, Green said that rather than abandoning plans after a failure, we should reassess and adapt a wellness plan that's pain-free.

"The key to achieving your resolution is to not apply the 'all or nothing' strategy, but to make small, achievable changes as times goes on." said Green "Try exercising two to three times per week instead of every day. Cut out certain foods, but don't go cold turkey on sugar, carbs and fat, all at the same time, or your body will rebel."

At Johnnie Walker, we love sharing stories of personal progress, innovation and spirit. And why wouldn't we? Our own story is one of a pioneering spirit passed on from generation to generation. It's this belief in the philosophy of perseverance and progress that allows us to continuously share inspiring stories to all.

In this series, we are shining a light on people who approach life with this same philosophy – one of a humane, resilient and optimistic mindset, especially in the face of adversity that enables them to Keep Walking.

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