New Year’s resolutions-almost everybody had it. We tend to think of losing weight, socializing more, cutting our drug of choice, saving up and what not. However, more often than not, we also tend to suddenly stop sticking to these goals, leaving us disappointed and feeling helpless. This can lead to the crippling pain of self-loathing and the constant bad feeling for what we’ve become.
Well, researchers say that indeed, chances are when we think of changing, we’re only fooling ourselves. There’s just too much punishment now for the potential rewards much later! But, really, are we that helpless?
Psychologist of the University of Chicago, Oleg Urminsky, might have an explanation and a possible solution. Thing is, when wanting to change, for instance, when one imagines a svelte and sexy self in the future (which is completely different from the presently “loser” self), there’s some certain gap between oneself who’s still currently going through a dreadful diet and exhausting workout routine, and the perceived future self. This imagined self is probably what is really sabotaging your goal.
According to Urminsky, in order to achieve our long-term goals, there should always be a sense of connectedness to our future self. And since the gap between the present and future you is too great to span, it most probably wouldn’t work.
So, what should you do?
Preliminary studies suggest this certain strategy might be effective: Instead of imagining directly the swimsuit body you’ve always been longing for, you can just start imagining your present self as being a few pounds lighter or fitting into clothes one size smaller. By keeping this image in mind, you will be able to you achieve short-term goals. From there, you can then take the next step forward and the next after that, and so on until you achieve a healthier future.
While we might always hastily want to attain whatever we have in mind, know that patience is truly a virtue on every goal you have. So, next time you write down your New Year’s resolutions, always put this in mind: increments.