They are so tempting, aren’t they? New Year’s Resolutions. And God knows, after 2020 there is much to be wished for and changed. Surely next year must be better than the last? So the temptation to set ourselves goals and habits for a New Year, New You is overwhelming. I mean, type New Years Resolutions into Google and you will come up with pages and pages of suggestions; Top 70 Resolutions for the New Year, 50 New Year Resolutions, and how to achieve them (seriously?) and so on and so on. But they don’t work. We all know it. The gym memberships that spike in January is left to gather dust by February. The overindulgence of Christmas gives way to the comfort eating of the winter months, while we hunker down and wait for Spring and better times. Yet, like the start of school in September, we promise ourselves that this year will be different. We will make new habits, eat healthier (heck, even detox) and drink less, complete our gratitude journals and check our bank statements religiously.
Does anyone recognise the 13-year old me, opening a freshly minted diary with the determination to write EVERY DAY? I lasted 9 months, which in fairness is pretty good. Feeling like hitting a reset button in our lives is part of the process of living and it rarely feels like such a good time as the 1st January of a New Year. Maybe this year it will work? Nope. It won’t. I’d tell you to save your energy but it IS nice to think of new horizons, of new goals, of a New You who will be and do all the things you dream and think about all year. Imagine how you might behave and who you might be without all the constraints of your current life. (And let me tell you, meeting your future self, or inner mentor, is a powerful meditation that I use with my clients, thanks to Tara Mohr). However, there are other ways. Setting intentions, whether daily, weekly, or yes, even yearly, are commendable. Although you, like me, may forget them once the yoga class is over.
My wonderful friend Rebecca Cavender introduced me to a new way of thinking, using words of the Year instead. In fact, I think I was there the first time she tried it. We share a love of words and language (although Rebecca is much more poetic and expressive than me) so this resonated with both of us. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a gnat, so the words always seem to elude me. Or I think of something and then immediately doubt myself (hello inner Critic!). But I do love the concept and every year I think I will actually get around to it…Of course, there are other alternatives. If you run a business you are likely to set quarterly or even monthly goals and some people say you can use this method for your personal life too. I mean, you can but again, it’s hard enough for me to do it for my business, doing it all over again seems like an unnecessary chore. Then there’s the bucket list but that seems like a lifelong process to me and much more attractive to thirtysomethings than women of my age (51 FYI). Having a yearly goal seems much more achievable, like this year will be the one where I run a marathon(why?) or complete my compost ideals, learn a language, and so on. But then, it’s too easy to let this slide, and it doesn’t seem very New Year somehow. Perhaps shorter goals are the answer then? Like 30-or 90-day challenges. Anything short snags my attention immediately! Then again, what makes that any more achievable? I’ve tried so many times to remember my gratitude journal and although I can SEE and FEEL the difference, I still can’t make it stick. So. That all sounds a bit depressing! This is not at all my intention-or resolution-for the New Year. I do believe we all like a clean slate and a fresh start. We all like to dream about our best selves and imagine our ideal lives (and by the way, this is where my coaching comes in, natch). So using the new year as a starting point is not at all a bad idea. Just please don’t feel bad if you don’t start exactly on the 1st of January. And DO pat yourself on the back if you achieve even a small portion of your goal. It’s the small wins that lead to the big wins after all. And if you do manage to keep a diary for 9 months then you are most definitely WINNING the resolution race.
Happy New Year!
As always gets in touch with your thoughts, comments, and feedback. Let’s talk.
PS Having said all that, I do intend to share my vocal warms ups on Instagram for the entire 31 days of January. If you feel like following me and checking up on my, ahem, challenge, click HERE.
PPS I’m not immune to the Organise Your 2021 challenges, so here is a workshop by Marisa Murgatroyd that you could join.