“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman
Let’s be honest. New Year’s resolutions are a joke to most people. This is not because it’s silly to set goals and improve your character or lifestyle – it’s not. But rather the issue is we make these lofty, vague goals with no staying power. We run for the first week of January, hate ourselves for most of February, and resolve to being a quitter come March.
When making your resolutions you need to think about them for at least a week. That’s right. No quick, thoughtless goals for you. Sit down, light a candle, and brainstorm. Write down five things that have been hard for you in 2017. This could be anything. It does not have to be an obstacle – it can be something you want to do better at, or something new you want to be more acquainted with. From there consider your relationships, hobbies, and personal health. How can you combat your five difficulties?
Issue: The distance I feel in my friendship with ___________.
Resolution: Call ____________ once a week to catch up. Plan outings at least once a month.
Issue: Living above my means.
Resolution: Start sewing more. Make my own clothes and sell some unique items.
See how these resolutions respond directly to issues or pain points within your life? They are specific, personal and therefore powerful. Make resolutions that directly correlate to your life by either improving or finding a solution for problems you face daily. Those are the type of resolutions you’ll be motivated to keep.
Sprinkle in some easy resolutions like drink more water, cook more, etc. These will boost your confidence and give you some easy wins.
Once you’ve finalized your resolutions (we recommend six tops), read them to a friend. Tell them your ideas and allow them to help you perfect and tweak your resolutions until they are the best they can be. Ask your friend to keep you accountable by texting you reminders or spending time with you every few weeks to talk about how you’re doing.
Be open to a break time. Some resolutions are hard to stick to. You might struggle or break your resolution for a day or a week. Get back up, don’t give in. Change takes time. You’re trying to break a cycle you may have been in your whole life. Give yourself some grace. If you drop off a little, accept it, learn from it and start again. That mistake or shortcoming may be the break that allows you stick with your resolution long term.
Tape up your resolution with a motivational word or quote. Put it on your desk at work, make it your phone background, or put a post-it note in your car. Keeping your goals in front of you – keeps it fresh on your mind.
Lastly, celebrate your progress. Kept with most of your resolutions after 4 months? Write it down, share it, make yourself a pie – whatever says, “I’ve got this!” to you is the perfect celebration. The discouragement we feel during change often leads us to quit because we forget to look at our growth. We only highlight our failure instead of being grateful for what we have learned.
2018 isn’t your year. It’s been your year all your life. Maybe you just haven’t seized it. Start today. Break the cycle. Change looks good on you.