Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions sound great in theory. The whole “new year, new you” concept is everywhere for the first couple weeks of the year.  By the time the middle of January rolls around people are already starting to bemoan their broken resolutions. Ya think that maybe the whole “no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, run 10 miles a day, first one in the office, in bed by ten, and be perfect in every way at all times” resolution might have been a bit much?  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great to want to improve yourself.  I just don’t think that making huge & unrealistic resolutions is the best way to go about it. The problem with a resolution is that you either succeed or fail, and if you slip up it is all too easy to just say “oh well, I blew it. Better luck next year”. 

Stop making New Year's resolutions
My New Year's resolution

I am a much bigger fan of setting goals. Goals can be reevaluated and adjusted. I’m also a fan of having sub-goals. For example, if you are a couch potato & want to take up running don’t set yourself one goal of running a marathon. Set up smaller goals that you will meet along the way. Maybe your first goal is to visit the doctor for a physical or to run around the block. Along the way you will build your sense of accomplishment by reaching intermediate goals like running a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon.  

Another resolution alternative is to set a “word of the year” or theme word. This isn’t so much about setting a specific resolution or goal. It is more about having a guiding principle for the year that covers multiple aspects of your life. For example, you can choose the word “joy” to remind yourself to embrace all that is joyful in your everyday life or “transformation” if you are going through some big changes.  The point of your word is to choose something that resonates with you personally and helps you to be mindful.

Regardless if you are a resolution maker, a goal setter, or a theme word enthusiast don’t forget that the New Year is not the only time you can work on self-improvement. There is nothing wrong with setting a monthly resolution, a weekly goal, or a word of the day.  The important thing is that you choose a system that works for you and moves you toward the live you want to live.

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