As the New Year creeps up, I usually see more in the news, on Facebook and hear from people that they are thinking about what they plan to do differently in the next year and that often comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. To be honest, I have a tendency to glaze over or ignore most of what I hear and see about New Year’s resolutions because they are so often forgotten by March or even February.
They are so easily forgotten or given up on because they are often focused on something that is wrong or missing with your life. Things like
“This year I will stick to a budget!”
“This year I will loose weight and have a six pack by swim suite season!!”
“This year I will spend more time with my family!”
You have heard them too. Maybe you have even made them and felt sad, stressed, disappointed or discouraged when you struggled or even failed.
Why don’t they work?!
The reason they don’t work and I don’t really like them is they are so often motivated by what is ‘wrong’ and/or they are unrealistic.
If you want next year to be even better than this one, why not spend some time thinking about what you did right THIS year?
Did you land a big deal at work?
Did you read to your kids? Did you laugh with them?
Where you there for a friend when you had a lot going on too?
Did you celebrate an important anniversary?
Even if 2016 was difficult for you, surely there was something that you did right, something you can be proud of. You and I both know you did something right.
I truly believe that big change happens in small shifts. When you are able to name some of the things that went right for you in 2016, you can start to think about what you would like to build on. For example, if you saved money but not as much as you would have liked, appreciate and acknowledge that you did save and think about how you could save another 5-10% in 2017. And be realistic. Think about the year you have ahead of you. You know you can’t see into the future but there are things we can predict. Do you have a big move coming up? Do you have a procedure that you will need to plan for?
Look at your goals/plans/hopes for the future with some compassion!!
What brings you joy? And how can you make space for more of it? Think about how you want to feel this time next year. Do you really care what the scale says if you feel healthy and active? Do you really care what your bank account says if you have had experiences in 2017 that brought you closer to the life you have always wanted? You are so much more likely to stick to your goals if you are having fun doing it!!
I’m not suggesting you not worry about your health and I’m definitely not implying that you shouldn’t think about how you spend your money. What I want to communicate is that time goes by really quickly. You will blink and 2017 will be over. Do you have time not to enjoy the rest of your life?
May this year different!!
I think most New Year’s Resolutions fail because they lack self-compassion and focus on what is going wrong with your life instead of what is going right. Maybe this year, if you want a shift in 2017, you could focus on what you want more of and how to better care for yourself in 2017. I dare you!!