It’s almost a brand-spankin’ New Year, which means it’s time to write those all-important New Year’s resolutions! Except … hang on … you did that last year, and didn’t stick to them longer than January. Woops!
So – is there any point in continuing to set resolutions, after they’ve previously fizzled out year after year? Absolutely! Although it pays to really consider what resolutions you’re setting – and how realistic they are.
Although “practice yoga every day, meditate every night, volunteer weekly, drink all the green smoothies, eat all the vegetables, progress in career, buy a house, travel the country and solve world peace” are all admirable resolutions (and probably sound familiar to a fair few of you), there’s no specifications on them – and no incentive to stay motivated. So, for 2019, it’s time to reframe our resolutions into something more tangible and defined. A life plan, so to speak.
Why should we bother setting them?
Without having a plan, we risk living by default. We coast through life, then another year slips by and we wonder what on Earth we’ve been doing for the past 365 days! You may be thinking “goal setting can be done at any time – why wait until New Year’s?” And if that’s what’s going through your mind, then great. Set your goals now. But for many of us, a New Year symbolises a fresh start, and if that helps add a bit of motivation, then I’m all for it.
How to set achievable New Year’s resolutions:
Scale it back to an achievable level
Don’t overload yourself with 20 resolutions. Chances are, you’ll stick to them well for a couple weeks, then like every other year, your initial gung-ho will start to go. Pick three to four main ones (perhaps in different areas of your life, e.g. personal, financial, career, health), then identify the actionable, measurable steps you need to take to make ‘em happen.
For example (because we all love a good example), say you want to spend more time with friends and family next year … in real life, not just catching up over Facebook posts! So now you need to break this down into achievable steps – and give yourself a due date. Write it all down, so that you have something to stick to. Perhaps you could:
- Set aside dates in your calendar at the beginning of the year to socialise
- Set aside one night every couple of weeks to contact people you haven’t seen in a while and set times to catch up
- Write a list of everyone you want to see more often, and at the beginning of each month go through and look at who you haven’t seen in a while
This may seem a bit overboard, but how many of us say to friends “we must catch up soon”, then six months later realise you haven’t seen them?
Think about WHY you’ve set them
Any time we want to change something in our lives, it’s either because something is missing in our lives that we want, or something is present that we don’t want. Have a good hard think about your driving factor behind setting your New Year’s resolutions, and how achieving them will benefit your life. If you feel demotivated, go back to those reasons for change, and visualise yourself and your life after you’ve succeeded.
Enlist a support crew
You don’t need to announce your resolutions to everyone on social media (although if you want to, go for it!), but letting a few close friends and family know what you’re trying to achieve can be a massive help during moments of weakness. Think of them as your personal cheerleaders who are waiting to celebrate your success with you.
Expect – and embrace – setbacks
Changing any part of your life involves a bit of forwards, backwards and sideways moment. Progress is hardly ever linear. So, expect that from time to time you’ll have a setback in your resolutions; and when they do happen, forgive yourself. Then pick yourself up and keep moving forward as soon as you can. Detours in your road to success may unexpectedly take you past some beautiful new unchartered territory.
Life is busy, and years can go by in a flash – so setting resolutions is a great way to ensure you make the days count. Use them as a way to plan what you want to accomplish each year. 2019 is your year, girlfriend! What are you going to achieve?
Written by Bunny T
A mama of two who advocates for mental health awareness (yes girl!), Bunny is a badass babe blogging about womanhood, motherhood and the adventures that happen in between. You’ll usually find her exercising (running after kids), partying (drinking coffee) and rocking out (sleeping).