Why It’s Time To Celebrate Those Failed Resolutions From 2018

Posted: January 5, 2019

More than the goals, it’s the journey that matters. Here’s why you deserve applause even if your 2018 resolutions are ‘failed resolutions’. 

I love the last week of December – more than the first week of January or even New Year’s Eve. Somehow this last week of the last month of the year is the time I find most peaceful. The workload is lighter, the environment merrier and most people are out of sight already taking a dip in the pool of cocktails in anticipation of a grand new year.

It wouldn’t be right to say that I enjoy none of this, but what I particularly relish about the year ending phase is the burst of mixed emotions. I see this as an opportunity perhaps, to look back at the year gone by and rewind the hits and misses.

Also, for me (and for many others) this is the time when we are all set to reunite with our ‘old and dear friend’ – The Resolutions List.

I don’t remember exactly when I started building my new year resolution list (maybe it was in High School or something), but over a period of several years I felt that these resolutions were nothing more than a shot of vodka! The initial kick is strong and makes you feel on top of the world – but much as you want it to last, the effect tapers off with time.

And why not? Achieving your sales target is what earns you gold during the mid-year review, not some dumb push-up sessions in the gym!

The reasons could be many. The fact of the matter is – most new year resolutions don’t last more than three months. But does that give us the license to beat up ourselves emotionally and tag ourselves as failures?

Here are the reasons that will give you an opportunity to celebrate your underachieved resolutions from the past year.

You took that first step

Howsoever small it may sound, translating your aspirations onto a small piece of paper takes courage. You make a choice – to not to keep cribbing about things going wrong in life, but to get up and choose and identify ways that could make things better. You chose to identify those small gaps and take corrective action.

You certainly deserve some applause, my friend!

A small percentage goes a big way

At the beginning of 2018, I had a minimum of five marathons on my mind and promised myself to pen down at least 100 articles. The actual results were far away from this – one marathon (that too a dream run) and merely seven articles. It might be disappointing but it’s definitely not disheartening.

You aimed to lose 30 pounds but you could do only 10 or maybe there were only 2 travel destinations instead of 5. So what? It’s small, but important. My first marathon in 2018, was an overwhelming experience. But I am a step stronger and better prepared for 2019.

Celebrate your under-achievements, for these are the stepping stones to the future over-achievements.

As in the words of Napoleon Hill, author of the bestseller Think and Grow Rich – “Millions of people go through the life hoping for favourable “breaks”. It was a favourable “break” that gave me the biggest opportunity of my life – but twenty-five years of determined effort had to be devoted to that opportunity before it became an asset.”

So nothing’s wasted – not even that first morning walk which did not happen again. Brush off the setbacks, and give it another shot.

A learning? Of course!

That week-long session in the gym when you learnt burpees and dead lift. Or that one solo travel to Shimla has taught you the dos and don’ts for a woman travelling alone to the city. It was short and maybe too small to to hit the finish line. But it has added value – to your knowledge, experience and personality. Don’t underestimate these small learnings that appear minuscule.

Perhaps, a foundation set

The best decision is to not leave behind your last year’s resolutions, because you have already begun working on it. Understand that it’s not just a step in the right direction but is also setting a strong foundation. Yes, this might take a little longer than expected – but it is still far better than trashing it all and planning to start from scratch on a whole new set of goals. Also, do remember, things that were finished in four hours last year would be easily done in less than two this year. It’s a matter of practice you see. Keep going, my friend.

So, cheer up and celebrate what was left incomplete, and take it to the next level this year. There is no fun if we are ever bogged down by temporary setbacks (not failures).

Reminds me of Albert Einstein’s words (overused, but extremely powerful): “I have tried 99 times and have failed, but on the 100th time came success.”

Happy New Year!

First published here.

Image via Pexels

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