It’s January, and that means another New Year’s Eve has come and gone. By my reckoning, I could throw a stone and hit someone who’s already given up on their resolution. You and I are surrounded by people who are desperately trying to keep it up, or who didn’t give it a second thought once their hangover wore off.
If, you’ve given up on your resolution, think about why that is. Did you make a spur of the moment promise to yourself, or did you plan it after spending some time reflecting on the preceding months? My guess is it’s the former.
New Year’s resolutions are as bad as fad diets. They’re started in a bid for an ideal of a better life, or to recapture something lost, usually time wasted.  And, much like fad diets, people give up at the first sign of a hurdle or a mishap. Saying that you’ll get healthy and lose weight can be very easy, but it takes work. You can’t achieve it in a few weeks, particularly if you don’t plan it properly from the start.
If you’re going to set a resolution, be smart about it. It’s a goal like any other, and it shouldn’t be so outlandish that you can’t achieve it. Break it down and make each part of it a possibility. If you don’t, there’s a big chance that you’ll miss the first part and then give up.
To achieve anything in life, you need to set reachable goals, rather than goals which seem insurmountable.
If you do stumble, focus on the positives. “Slipping up” and eating Maccas once in three weeks compared with several times a week is progress which should be celebrated! Just don’t celebrate it with a sundae.
But what of those who didn’t set one at all? Well, perhaps those are the wise people who’ve got their life together, or life plans which aren’t reassessed only once a year. Perhaps they’re constantly assessing their life and making necessary changes and goals. That’s a much better way to go, because their life is a constant opportunity to focus and tweak areas which they need to improve.
Think about it. Why would a goal you set at New Year be any different from one you tried to set any other time, or worse still, didn’t bother setting at all? Statistically, only 8% of people who set them keep them. Those who have, were smart about it and broke it down into achievable parts, or made it part of their life rather than just a fantasy.
How about you focus on being a good person, and the person you would want to be around? There’s no time like now to become the best person you can be, and that can be done in small ways. When you say you’ll do something- do it. When someone needs your help, be there for them. Be an amazing friend. The people in your world need you to show up for them, give them your attention and the qualities which continue to draw them to you.
Any day is an opportunity for a life reset. Why wait until New Year’s Eve? I realise it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of letting yourself down, but how about making the next 12 months a year of looking after yourself, investing in yourself and those around you, rather than picking a goal out of the air that you won’t actually follow through on. Start a course, learn a language, volunteer, put your damned phone down when you’re spending time with someone.
If you want a resolution, resolve to make smarter choices all year, with your finances, and your time, for your body and your health. Then figure out ways to make that happen, and follow through.
What are you waiting for?
Marie-Louise Pawsey is the founder of Life Stylin,’ which aims to help people who feel a bit stuck in their life, and unsure of their next step toward happiness. She helps them to examine aspects which are holding them back, and empowers them to make smart decisions that they will forever be confident in.
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