At the end of each year, millions of people worldwide make sweeping goals and commitments in the form of New Year’s resolutions. For some, this is a fantastic way to make changes in a way that holds them accountable to those goals.
However, New Year’s resolutions can also be a pitfall and something that holds us back from our full potential.
So how do you go about making real changes with longevity in the New Year?
I believe it all starts with reframing our idea of what a resolution is.
The ‘secret’ to goal-setting success
If you’re here looking for that one key secret to having success for your New Year’s resolutions, I, unfortunately, have bad news for you.
I believe resolutions are a recipe for failure.
Who do you know who has made a drastic resolution for themselves on the eve of a new calendar year? ‘Go to the gym five times a week,’ or ‘never eat fast food again’ all sound like great ideas until the year is underway.
Let’s say if, one week, you go to the gym three times instead of five. Suddenly, now you feel like you’ve failed, and getting back on track the following week is all the more difficult.
All too often people give up on their goals. They’ve been crushed under the weight of the huge expectations they’ve placed on themselves.
I urge you to change the way you think about resolutions.
In my case, I would say I don’t actually make resolutions. New Year or not, I make goals, and they’ve never been determined by what time of year it is.
I don’t strive for perfection—I strive for progress.
As long as I’m making headway towards my goal, it doesn’t matter if I made it to the gym seven times or just once that week, because I’m still headed in the right direction.
Joy: The Key to Success
The effect of this way of thinking is huge on your mindset. Rather than feeling like it’s all or nothing, goals are suddenly just another thing to chip away at, breaking seemingly insurmountable obstacles into smaller, very achievable tasks.
For one, this means you’re able to make progress one piece at a time. Even better is the fact that more milestones equal more victories—an essential part of staying motivated.
Joy and celebration are key parts of my philosophy, both for my personal life and for my work as a business and spiritual life coach. If it’s been years since you last felt like you achieved something, how do you expect to stay motivated long enough to see your tasks through?
By breaking up goals into a simple series of obstacles, strategies, and victories, you’re providing yourself more opportunities to celebrate, and more chances to feel like a success.
It’s good to have specific, tangible goals—things that you’ll be able to clearly see when you’ve accomplished them. At the same time, you can’t put yourself in a box of all or nothing, pass or fail. Humans are imperfect—and that’s an inescapable truth.
So rather than striving for the impossible ‘perfection,’ strive for progress. If you don’t make your commitments one day or one week, forgive yourself. Life is complicated, and we can’t be 100% every single day.
What’s much more important is that you allow yourself to feel proud of what you have accomplished, and that you get up and keep going the next day.
Making changes in in the New Year
I have a question for you.
Why wait until January 1st to change?
Why not start today?
Motivation sadly doesn’t conjure itself up when we want it to—it’s far more likely you’ll need to begin with discipline and hard work. As you get into your rhythms and routines, they’ll begin to motivate you far more deeply than any overly simplistic New Year’s resolution ever could.
Every day is a brand new day, and every day is the first day of the rest of your life.
The only thing standing between you and that next chapter is what you decide to do now.
With all this said, the New Year is still the perfect time to reevaluate where you’re at in life.
Compare your position and your trajectory to where you hope to be this time next year. Are you on track, or is there more to be done before you can confidently say you’re headed in the right direction?
Rather than feeling obligated to make huge goals and strict rules for yourself, set more general goals. Do away with the hard-and-fast restrictions, and replace them with manifestations of the success and the happiness you deserve.
Here are a few examples to get you started.
In the New Year, I will:
- Make time for the things that make me happy
- Surround myself with only people who love and support me
- Get started on changing my career to something I find fulfilling
- Choose to embrace obstacles as chances for growth and joy
- Learn more about myself and play to my strengths
- Forgive myself for my bad days and celebrate myself on my good ones
These are just general suggestions—perhaps they’re perfect for you as is, or maybe they inspire you to create new, meaningful goals that not only make sense for you, they also inspire you to push forward with them no matter what.
I believe in the power of goal-setting, and in the power of embracing obstacles head-on.
If you have more questions about how to set yourself up for success in the New Year, or if you want some help from an experienced outside perspective on writing a roadmap for the next chapters of your life, I can help.
Contact me today to learn how I can set you off on the next leg of your amazing journey.