A new year is upon us once again, and many of us could not be happier. 2016 was a rough ride, but so much hope stems from a new year.
With the coming of the new year, comes the swarms of new year’s resolutions. Resolutions are absolutely an awesome, and positive tradition. Everyone does some soul searching, pinpoints something they’d like to change or work on, or ways they would like to grow, and then makes that a goal for the new year. How could that not be a positive thing.
I think the resolutions we see most often, are either too broad or too grand, resulting in an overwhelming feeling, causing the subject to give up almost before starting. Many resolutions fall flat before the end of January.
According to consumer reports over at Nielsen, the top three New Year’s Resolutions are Stay Fit & Healthy, Lost Weight, and Enjoy Life to the Fullest. This are absolutely wonderful resolutions with awesome intent! But let’s look closer.
Okay, so Stay Fit & Healthy and also Lose Weight. This is such a common and well-intended goal, but it’s very broad. Someone may wake up and think “today is the day I get fit & healthy”. Then they start throwing out all the bread and sugar and cheese, joining a gym where they plan to go 6 days a week. Then BAM! It’s way too much, they’re tired after two days at the gym, they slip up and buy ice cream, and now they’re feeling defeated and depressed, so they may give up already.
Start small! Celebrate every single victory. Celebrate even the first day at the gym! Celebrate giving up maybe just soda for the first week. If you set the bar unrealistically high, you’ll see it and think “I’m never going to reach that so why even try?” Set small, tangible goals daily at first, and then maybe go to weekly. Keep your goals at arm’s reach and you’re more likely to persist through the challenges.
Now, Live Life to the Fullest! Awesome goal, right? For sure! So you’ve set your goal to Live Life to the Fullest, you wake up January 1st, you’re feeling good, you head out the door, and… now what? What does living life to the fullest mean… to me? That goal, is grand and broad and unique to whoever sets it. To some it may mean quitting a job that stresses you out and traveling the globe! Which is awesome, but comes with some planning. To others, it may mean volunteer work and enhancing personal relationships. There is no right or wrong, as it is personal to the subject!
Before making this your resolution, make sure you’ve pinpointed what it means to you. After that, pick 2 or 3 much smaller goals, that will lead you to the bigger goal. If you want to quit your job and travel, you need to plan accordingly. So goal 1 could be planning your escape route. Goal 2 could be selling all of your excessive belongings to 1. make travel easier and 2. financially fund your excursions.
All goals are attainable, but we must be gentle with ourselves and set tangible goals along the way to the big goal! Make goals clear so you can celebrate when you’ve reached them. If they are not clear, you’ll wonder, did I make it? Did I reach my goal? If you want to keep going, great… but you need to stop and throw yourself a party along the way! Positive reinforcement my friend, you deserve it, and it will motivate and empower you!
Signing off I want to wish you the happiest New Year. Make of it what you will and celebrate how you like, there is no right or wrong. I also want to suggest, without taking away the power of the new year, that every day is an opportunity to set new goals for growth and positive change. So if you miss it today, that’s okay. When you are ready, the opportunity is always there!
Happy New Year, Fam.
Wake up tomorrow, in 2017, and do good things on purpose!