Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Making and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions is the topic of this episode of Coffee Break With KA & Dana: Meaningful Conversations From A Lesbian Perspective

According to entrepreneur.com, “a lot of people have great resolution ideas to achieve their goals, like automatic bank transfers for saving money and a new smartwatch to help with weight loss. However, statistics show that only 9.2 percent of people ever achieve their New Year’s resolutions and break free from their bad habits.”

In this episode, KA and Dana discuss the topic of resolutions:

  • why we make them,
  • why we find it difficult to keep them,
  • and what we can do to be more successful.

KA is an author of lesbian romance with degrees in counseling, psychology, and social work. She writes stories about lesbians, burdened by past trauma, who find healing in the love of a soul mate.

Dana is an avid reader, a recovering alcoholic, a fisher-woman, and a graduate of the school of hard knocks.

As co-hosts, they’re quite the duo. Connect with them online at www.coffeebreakwithkaanddana.com.

Music in this episode (Lucky Way) is licensed for use in various multimedia applications by Melody Loops. 

Listen to this episode here

Transcript

please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

Music] welcome to coffee break with KA and Dana were brought to you by the lesbian talk show I’m KA a lesbian romance author and in my past life a counselor and a social worker and I’m Dana an avid reader coffee connoisseur recovering alcoholic and a graduate of the school of hard knocks grab a cup of coffee pull up a chair join us for a meaningful conversation from a lesbian perspective it’s a new year and many of you made the decision to turn over a new leaf you made a new year’s resolution or resolutions and some of you may have discovered that they’re really hard to stick to according to the Business Insider the psychology behind why we can’t keep New Year’s resolutions a study from 2016 published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin investigated New Year’s resolutions and found that 55% of resolutions were health-related about 20% had to do with getting out of debt these are tricky things to do at any time of the year let alone in the month after the holidays in this episode Kay and Dana will discuss New Year’s resolutions why we make them why it’s difficult to keep them and what we can do to be more successful won’t you join us for a meaningful conversation all right so we are back after a break and we’re talking about resolution they usually come in the form of lifestyle changes but they could be different strokes for different folks but I suppose before we get going we should wish our listeners a Happy New Year absolutely it’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone they go they go quicker the older you get at least that’s what I find Oh amen I know they do here it’s you know it’s hard like with our granddaughter because you know when you see her every day you don’t realize the changes that she’s made but if you look at the pictures from a year ago it’s like wow and you know this that’s what happens at the holidays and then I mean you look back over the previous holidays sometimes and compare Christmas pictures standing by the Christmas tree or around the turkey or whatever you do or if you don’t do Christmas whatever your holiday is we often use those as milestones so it’s easy to see growth or deterioration depending on your circumstance so resolutions do you do i do do resolutions that hold her I get for the last 22 years my resolutions been not to drink for the year and and that’s gotten easier through the years but in prepping for this episode I got to thinking about it and I think that for this year my New Year’s resolution is gonna be just to be kinder to myself then see you know I think once you see it and write it down it makes it a little bit easier well yeah and later in the show we’ll talk about some some tricks to being successful so being kinder to yourself that’s that’s good I mean that that’s good you know I talked and a little bit about some researching and what that study showed is that for participants that saw some enjoyment or you know found some joy in the resolution or sought is important they were more likely to be able to keep that resolution so is this an enjoyment thing for you part of it’s a necessity for me but yeah I think I could get more joy if I was just kind of to myself it’s really easy for me to be kind to others but it’s really hard for me to be kind to myself that I mean that’s a great resolution you know so many so many resolutions fall into either health or lifestyle which kind of falls into into health that’s that’s cool that kind of steps outside the box and does something good for you which will end up impacting your health right because if you’re kind to kind to yourself and you feel better you’re gonna be healthier I found this quote from Ben Franklin and it says how few there are who have enough courage to own their own faults or and/or resolutions enough to mend themselves yeah I mean that’s wise words from a wise man like and I think that’s just it you know resolutions were trying to improve ourselves in some way and I think a lot of times that’s why they fall to the wayside because we have strict this is what I’m gonna do and I’m gonna buy you know there’s no graduation in two different steps of the resolution you know I think you’re I think you’re right that that is one of the one of the reasons that it’s difficult to keep resolutions as we set the bar so high for yourself and then we’re disappointed when we can’t make the bar that will unrealistically high in the first place so I like your idea may you know steps smaller steps which kind of falls into the last what we’ll talk about last on this show you know I I read a lot of websites and you know in researching this and you know statistics rights are easy to find and not able to back up a lot of them but what I found is 45% of Americans usually make new year’s resolutions what about the other 55% are they perfect well you you know so I so I probably fall into that another 55 I used to make resolutions I used to do it and it used to be related to to health it was it was like one of two things or sometimes both a diet those always start in January and more exercise better exercise more strenuous exercise more consistent exercise so I done I do what many do set the bar unrealistically high do you set steps like in the in the first week I’m gonna do a B or C I did not and this is when I was younger I was younger so no no steps and and in fact I’m not you know I eat for the diet it wasn’t oh I’m going to lose a pound a week it was going to lose it was I’m gonna lose 25 pounds so needless to say it worked a little while and sometimes I fell off more quickly than others and sometimes I hung on a little longer than others but eventually I stopped making resolutions but but this year’s different but it’s not gonna have anything to do with with health because that’s just not it’s word count for me it’s word gap a certain number of words each day period no excuses word cat and what happens if something comes up and you don’t get your word count is that is the word count you have a failure because you didn’t meet your expectations yes probably it’s probably going to be like the I lose 20 pounds or forget it kind of thing so I’m right there with the rest of you I’ve I’ve not had the best of success with resolutions but you know the last Tyler show we’re going to talk about some ways to be successful and I think I’m going to incorporate a couple of those this year so I found a list of why resolutions fail one we make too many at one time too we don’t do the hard work to actually achieve them three we don’t get started right away but instead procrastinate that would be me in a nutshell we adopt someone else’s resolutions not ours we aren’t willing to fail while we’re trying to achieve and last we just quit you know if I want to lose 20 pounds in two months and I don’t lose 10 the first month I’ll quit oh my gosh if you want to lose 20 pounds if I want to lose 20 pounds and I don’t lose one or two the first week I quit at bad but and you know just like I just said what you shouldn’t do beat yourself up we’ll talk that we’ll talk about that you know I I’d like those I like those and the and I found many of those those the same points with resolutions but the other thing I found is that for some it takes something radical like a medical diagnosis for a new year’s resolution to really take hold and be successful you know you get you get bad news from the doc and all of a sudden you scare yourself into do them what you need to do yeah but even at that it’s it’s a lifestyle changing it’s not gonna happen all at once no no it’s it’s not although fear will keep you on the wagon you get good and scared about something and you’ve got that motivation but but if you’re if you’re not I think you’re right without those steps you’re you’re kind of kind of doomed maybe not failure but certainly have some problems so we’re gonna talk about how to be successful which obviously the listeners now know I need some tips on you may have this more down pat I don’t know but so I don’t know we’re we’re next up we’re gonna talk about how to be successful so what did you find on that did you did you find how to be successful little gold nuggets in doing your research right well I found a few one thing that really struck me is until we change our insights we cannot change our outsides what do you think about that one well yeah I could take that all kinds of different ways but what I see that as kind of my motive the core of motivation really I mean I’m not sure how they meant that exactly just let it resonate with you but here’s the question or you know either when ya know I don’t know I just just caught my eye so when you’re making your resolutions have you ever asked yourself if you achieve it will that make you happy no I am NOT have you well not until I started doing this podcast but you know that’s a good point what if you keep your new year’s resolution and you lose 50 pounds is that gonna suddenly make your life great grand and glorious well if you don’t have one of the serious medical conditions that you really need to lose your 50 pounds no probably not not in and of itself probably ties back to your other point about changing the inside the key to setting effective New Year’s resolutions is to be clear about what you want for example if you’re trying to take better care of yourself this year what does that look like write it down why when where and how so you know exactly what you want so be smart when you set your goals be smart ID be specific realistic okay and and we’ll throw in that one we talked about a little earlier reasonable steps you know so when you’re writing things down maybe that’s something to jot down to the steps to achieve your goal okay that’s a good point what else did you find well in the bottom line is we just need to be realistic it’s not I like it so I don’t like the term resolution I would like it to be you know we’re gonna make wishes personal personal goals yeah because a resolution is you’re gonna do this and this and this bite this time and there’s no margin for error yeah I think you’re I think you’re absolutely absolutely right and resolutions do not have to happen in January well look at lint you know when you’re supposed to give something up for 30 or 45 days I’m not sure how long it lasts you know how many people set goals for lint we have a friend who used it every year give up sodas and chocolate and she’d make it about 4 or 5 days yeah and it’s just she she’d been better after she gave up sodas or chocolate you know good then I think that’s where people some people go wrong too is it’s too much they set too many and then it’s hard to focus if you set one and set your steps and really focus on it you’ve got a better chance of achieving it and the other the other thing I found to for myself when there’s something that I want to work for I’d take a little three by five card write it out and I just stick it in my bathroom mirror so every morning while I’m you know brushing my teeth wash my face you put my context in I see what my intention should be for the okay so like like little reminders where you’re gonna see it and little reminders that are positive not negative right well we’ll help you the other little reminder is it’s not exactly a reminder but it could be tell someone that you’re that you’ve made the resolution talk with your family talk with your friends tell someone that you’re you know you’re working on losing weight or you’re trying to quit smoking instead of just doing it in private and because with that support you’ll be something more successful I’m always more successful when I have an accountability person or people you know this is what I’m gonna try and do and then because and then periodically if they see changes they’ll know that I’m working on that and they will comment and positive positive feedback not always sometimes you know it’s when you love somebody it’s hard to point out false or if you haven’t met your goal but I have people in my life who will look me in the eye and say you’re not doing so hot maybe you should reconsider some things or readjust things you know instead of losing 50 pounds in two months how about if I lose ten pounds in two months you’ll make it realistic and be able to reevaluate whatever your solution is if it’s not going as or how about if you simply lose right all right take better care of yourself which includes you know he’s gonna die eating healthier that I I think I think all those things are good for us that’s why that’s why most people who set resolutions set health-related resolutions I mean it’s because we know we should do whatever you know we’ve we’ve resolved to do but you know when we think we should that should is another piece of not being successful if you think of it in terms of what you will do as opposed to what you should do you’ll be more successful that makes your plan more realistic I mean I’m like everybody else last January my wife and I bought memberships to the y-you we’re gonna work out three days a week in January we went zero days February zero days bar to cancel our yes and you and how many other people matter of fact my wide memberships over the years they’ve always took occurred during the first month or two of winter and as I think maybe they related to a resolution I don’t know but but how many do that I’ll bet a lot and you know was three days a week realistic with our lives in our schedule it was doable we just didn’t make the time and have a plan so we said this is what we’re gonna do and when we didn’t do it was not something you enjoyed and it wasn’t important enough now if if you threw in a medical diagnosis or something that’s when you see people make major changes all the sudden someone will drop a whole bunch of weight or they’ll you know though they’ll start walking or whatever they do but that motivation okay so bottom line here though is you’re gonna be more successful if you don’t beat yourself up over it so if you if you want to quit if you if your resolution was to quit smoking and you had a cigarette oh well get back get back on the horse and go if your resolution was to quit drinking and you had one what you might need a little more help than just doing it on your own which we talked about in previous shows but if if you don’t have a major problem and you want to quit drinking oh well you had one get back on and go there’s no such and my wife would would be the first to tell you this that perfection doesn’t exist that nobody is perfect so don’t expect perfection out of your resolutions well and I think that’s good all year long to not expect that I’ve spent years trying to get there and it goes back to it until I changed my insides my outside is that like a self-esteem thing that has to do with not beating yourself up or what does that mean to you because I can look at it like internal motivation or self esteem or I look at it so many different ways what does that mean to you until I changed my thoughts and my actions nothing’s gonna change on the out basically it it is not feeding yourself up right and just being you know kinder not only to myself but to others you know I have to have that internal gratitude and you know we’ve talked about gratitude before and you know I do my gratitude lists and I have an accountability partner who you know I send my gratitude list to and she sends me one back and you know when I can remember to be grateful for what I have the other stuff falls over does and grateful can also that grateful to be grateful is to be more positive to be thankful for what you have to consider your blessings as opposed to the bad things that have happened to you and when you do that you feel better and when you do that about your resolutions you’ve got a better chance of achieving the goals you set for yourself absolutely right hey on that note great discussion my friend it is good to be back in the show saddle again and while I look forward to our next one absolutely you’ve been listening to coffee break with KA and Dana meaningful conversations from a lesbian perspective brought to you by the lesbian talk show be sure to like us on facebook follow us on Twitter until next week work hard be kind one another and watch amazing things happen in your corner of the world [Music]