Happy New Year!
We have officially entered 2017, and that is super exciting. With the start of the New Year, I’m seeing a lot of posts on social media and a lot of people talking about New Year’s resolutions—especially the whole, “new year, new me” concept. Honestly, I find all of the talk about New Year’s resolutions to be rather ridiculous, and I have a problem with the idea of New Year’s resolutions.
It sounds harsh, I know. The sentiment behind New Year’s resolutions is fantastic. Setting goals and using the New Year as a fresh start to go after those goals is a great concept. However, there’s a huge trend of people who set resolutions every year and don’t follow through in working to achieve them. For example, take the gym. At the start of the year, it often becomes overwhelmingly crowded with people set out to improve their health (which is fantastic). However, after about a month, they give up and it’s back to the regular crowd. The gym is only one example. The same could be applied to eating better, being more financially responsible, getting organized, etc. Generally, resolutions have a way of not sticking with people. Why the heck don’t they stick?
The truth is, most people are lazy, and they don’t know how to set proper goals.
Most of us want things (relationships, health, financial status, etc.) to improve with little work. We say that we’re willing to work for it, but after a while, things become difficult and it’s easier to throw in the towel than to keep going. We lose sight of the purpose of making the resolution in the first place, and come up with excuses. Now, this is definitely not everyone, so I don’t mean to generalize here. But, it’s common for people to give up once things get hard, and resort to old habits.
That being said, I have good news. This doesn’t have to be you, and you CAN achieve your resolutions. The problem that I have with New Year’s resolutions is that they connote that we need a whole new year to make a positive change in our lives. Not so. You can make a positive change, set a goal, or make a resolution for yourself ANYTIME. At the start of the New Year, on Dec. 31, literally anytime! If you put off trying to make positive changes until the new year, you’re already putting off working towards your goal and setting yourself up to make excuses when the new year does indeed come.
Another big part to achieving goals is to set goals with a plan. Just saying that you want to “eat better” doesn’t help you change your eating habits. The best way to actually find success with resolutions and goals is to stay away from the broad and general. Get specific. HOW will you eat better, HOW will you get organized, HOW will you improve your fitness, etc. etc.
Making a plan for how you will go about achieving your goals will not prevent obstacles that make the journey difficult. When those come along, instead of giving up, show grace. Forgive yourself if you feel as though you’ve messed up or lost track, and KEEP GOING. As long as you keep going, you will get to your goal. As soon as you give up, you lose.
You don’t need a new year to become the best you possible. All you need is a plan of action, and the willingness to fight for what you want.