While I understand the argument that January 1 is “just another day” and that New Year’s Resolutions are thus arbitrary, I believe that “just another day” is as good a day as any to decide to do something good for ourselves. After the holidays, we gear back up into a routine and start fresh with a new calendar--why not set a goal or two while we’re at it?
Maybe you’ve been setting the same resolution every year and are ready to give up. Or maybe you’ve got your sh*t together and aren’t sure what to focus on in the coming month. Today I am going to share two tips that I know will help you start 2016 on purpose.
START WITH A QUESTION
As yourself, When Christmas-time rolls around next year, what do you want to look back and remember about 2016? If you’re stuck, think about 2015’s accomplishments. What are you proud of yourself for accomplishing this year? And how can you make sure that next year you have something to look back on and say, I did that!?
This question helps you think not about what you need to erase from your life, but instead asks, what will you create in your life in the next 12 months? So often we get hung up on “fixing” what’s wrong with our lives. We want to spend less, eat less of this or that, weigh less, give up our vices. This is a big shift, but once we start to think about what might bring us happiness and fulfillment in the coming year rather than what we need to fix about ourselves, lo and behold! we can work towards that happiness and fulfillment.
If you’re like me, you’ve been setting SMART goals for as long as you can remember. Certainly it’s powerful to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely aims, but there’s something to be said for thinking in more general terms as we look ahead to the next year of our lives. Try choosing five words--just single words--as my New Year’s Resolutions. These words should be things that you want more of in your life. They can reflect your values, feelings you want more of, things you know will bring you more joy.
As you live your life in 2016, keeping those words in a spot where you can check in is a handy tool--maybe in your cell phone or on a sticky note where you get ready in the morning. They are essentially guideposts, and every so often you can see how you’re doing. Faced with a decision that you’re not sure on, you can think through the words and decide the option that will honor the words you’ve committed to.
There are as many ways to set resolutions are there are resolutions to set. I hope that these tips help you, and I’d love to hear about strategies or traditions you have around starting a new year. Happy 2016--may it bring tons of health, happiness, and fulfillment!