Will this be a new year and a new you? Or will it be the same January filled with half baked resolutions quickly leading into February of disappointment with the remainder of the year spent complaining about the state of your life elbow deep in a bag of Doritos?
I get it, I’ve been there. Pretty consistently actually. I even spent a few years refusing to make resolutions because I told anyone who would listen that you should be starting new habits when you felt like it not when society tells you to, which for me turned out to be never. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that by failing to set goals, you fail to get results. You can’t fail if you don’t try right?
So, do you want to look back at your year with some sense of achievement or are you content with making no considerable progress and dying where you sit now?
An incredibly simple way to start is to make a table of positives and negatives from the last year. This can be events, activities, or people. Then for the next year, you make more time for the positives and less time for the negatives. I would recommend saving this list and checking in once a month to see that you’re sticking to it.
Choose a theme for the year. “Joy” for example. If you feel that you need to make more time to enjoy the moment and have fun because you’ve become too focused on work. This may suit people who get frustrated with the idea of specific resolutions. I use this as a sub-header to go along with goals.
Be specific. Instead of; drink more water, eat healthier, lose weight, or be positive, write; drink 2 litres of water per day, stick to a meal plan, lose 5kgs by March 1st or take pro-active action in making more like minded friends. If you make resolutions that aren’t clear your results will mirror that. If you lose 100 grams over the course of the year you’ll allow yourself to feel success despite knowing that that isn’t good enough. It’s straight forward to determine if you’ve drank 2 litres of water in a day.
Be honest with what you really want out of the year. We tend to gravitate towards the same goals “Workout 3 times a week”, “Run 5K” but is that what you actually want? If the goal is to get fitter, then relate it to an area that you at least have an interest in. Running a set distance can be a good goal because of how many people run but it can also be really boring. Tennis or Wrestling might be a better fit for your interests.
Cut out the toxic. Often it’s adding new hobbies or doing more that makes the bulk of resolutions. How about deciding what to do less of. Stop complaining or spending time doing things you don’t enjoy with people who don’t inspire you.
Make primary and secondary resolutions. Highlight 2 or 3 really important resolutions and make these your main focus for the year. Your secondary resolutions will be less important but still areas that you want to develop.
Start now. Stop waiting for the right moment, there is never a “right” moment. Start exploring your options now in small steps before you’re forced to make the decision at a time when it doesn’t suit. You’re in control now. How many people thought about losing weight but didn’t do anything until they had a stroke? Make the decision for yourself before it’s made for you.
Your last option is don’t do a thing differently because you’re exactly where you want to be.
There’s no shame in wanting to be better or in not being where you want to be, but there is shame in not making the effort to make your situation better.