I’m a terrible psychic, but one thing I can predict is a good number of people who set New Year’s Resolutions will end up with the f*ck-its (not a clinical term).
Now the f*ck-its can happen any time of year, but I see them most often around the new year, when people fall prey to all the aforementioned “New Year, New You” pressure and set really intense goals with no planning or preparation. They jump right into action (remember the 5 stages of change?), giving up alcohol, sugar, carbs, the couch, Netflix, porn — everything they’ve deemed “bad” —without much, if any thought about what’s driving their use in the first place, how they’ll ride out urges or what will happen when they start to feel feelings they haven’t felt in a minute.
What’s going to happen if your only “coping skill” for navigating distressing emotions was numbing out with booze, porn or Netflix? And now you’ve given that up? How are you going to get through this distress?
Between “Slay This” and “F*ck This”
It always starts so well.
You’re full of motivation, hyped up on inspo from your friends, family and influencers (who talk about their own journeys and transformations). You’re crushing your goal and basking in the glow of possibility.
Hope can be a very potent drug.
But then it happens. Something sets you off. t’s inevitable. It could be a stressor at work, a change in your schedule or routine, lack of sleep, a fight with someone, business trip. omething either trips up your mood or your routine, and you slip off course. If it’s a change in routine, you may be able to course-correct and get back on track tomorrow.
If you tend toward all-or-nothing thinking, and you’ve determined you’ve already screwed up (and it’s only 8 am), what happens? Chances are, you may say “f*ck it” and throw in the proverbial towel. That’s the moment when you decide to ditch being a vegan and eat donuts, delete all your apps and stop dating forever, take off your gym clothes and binge Netflix and put off starting your new venture and take a nap.
You may not be someone who gets the f*ck-its (I envy you). You may be more of a whack-a-moler. Remember that game at Chuck-E-Cheese where you’d have a soft hammer and moles pop out of different holes? Every time you’d get one, another one would pop out? You had to see how many you could whack in a given amount of time. A whack-a-moler (again, not a clinical term) is the person who quits booze but then starts abusing weed. When they notice this, they give up weed and start misusing porn and food and on and on.
Whether you whack a mole or say f*ck-it, ask yourself, “is my behavior an attempt to regulate internal discomfort?”
Whether it’s from feeling disappointment, fear, vulnerability, boredom, worry, anxiety, burnout, frustration or some other emotion, I’m guessing that’s the real issue. And, in an attempt to get rid of it, you’re likely following a familiar pattern of avoiding.
Do I Need to Give Up New Year’s Resolutions for the New Year?
Here’s the deal: whether it’s on January 1st or April 4the, I am all for self-improvement and goals if they are realistic and approached thoughtfully. I would not be in the business of helping people change their behavior if I didn’t believe people could make meaningful changes in their lives. I just want you to have a process by which you can be successful.