What do you think of New Year’s resolutions?
January 1st always brings with it a certain expectation, one that over the years I have grown more and more apprehensive of. It’s an expectation to start over, to do and be better and write out all of our hopes and intentions for the next 365 days to come. Even just typing those three things, I could feel the pressure setting in.
I don’t know about you, but I know I do not want to start the year with that kind of feeling… so I don’t. I stopped making New Year’s resolutions, and I have not even missed it!
A few years ago, I was wrapped up pretty hardcore into setting cliche, new beginning goals. Some would be super lofty and others realistic. I would always claim that “this was my year.” Then, I think we all can guess what happened.
Life. LIFE happened, just like it always does.
This broke me down and left me feeling like I had once again failed myself. Part of this mindset is because I have always been a semi-perfectionist, but the other part is just wired within us. I truly believe that. We all desire to feel accomplished and when we fall short of our goals, it can leave us feeling defeated.
I sat with that defeat for a few weeks before I realized that I could break that vicious cycle.
I could reimagine what I wanted my goals to look like, and I didn’t need it to be a brand new year to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I still love having that purpose; it just looks a little different now. I stopped making those January 1st resolutions and instead started taking pride in all that I had accomplished up until this point. I refocused my thoughts on how far I have come instead of how far I still have left to go, and I embraced the uncertainty that came with each new experience.
If you are someone who has fallen captive to the New Years resolution tradition and are looking to break free, here are a few reminders and tips for you:
- YOU get to decide what kind of day, week, month, or year you want to have. And you don’t need a piece of paper with goals on it to do so.
- Focus on the good where you currently are and be proud of the person you see in the mirror.
- No one knows what this next year will look like, so give yourself some grace. Then give yourself a little more for good measure! Chances are, you aren’t going to be the same person at the end of the year as you were at the beginning.
- Leave room for growth, but don’t put that pressure on yourself to grow if it’s just not your season.
- It is perfectly okay and helpful to take things one day at a time. If the big picture becomes overwhelming, scale it back and just get through the day.
2020 has definitely been one for the books, and we can all let out a little sigh of relief now that we’ve made it to 2021! You don’t need a new year to make a change though. It starts and ends with your mindset.