4 Tips for making New Year's Resolutions that Honor and Uplift You
There's a lot of controversy over New Year's Resolutions. I personally feel positively towards them if done a specific way. However, not all resolutions are created equal. A lot of people set themselves up for failure by setting unachievable resolutions perpetuating the negative self-image cycle never to realize a few adjustments would have made their positive intent more productive. Set goals, set resolutions that build you up, don't break you down. Set resolutions that honor you and your true needs. Below are my tips for creating goals or resolutions which honor you and set you up for success rather than failure:
- Set the bar low. Set small, simple goals so you don't overwhelm yourself. For instance, if your resolution is to get fit, just make to goal to walk around the block everyday. Chances are once you put your shoes on, get out of the house, and press play on your favorite song, you'll hit a flow and want to keep going. But that's not the point. Most people fail because their goals are too big, too overwhelming, or not realistic. Make it really really easy for yourself to begin the shift you want to create, and allow yourself to count it as a 'win' every time you practice it.
- Focus on what you have control over. This is always a big tip. After you've set the bar low, focus on what you can control. For example, I would like to create more this year but I don't necessarily have control over writer's block, moods, or inspiration. What I do have control over is creating a morning routine which puts me into alignment to be creative. I can check out inspiring books from the library and read a few pages each morning, journal, listen to inspiring music first thing in the morning. See my point? Focus on what you do have control over. you may want to reduce your anxiety this year but the only thing you have control over is the present moment, so what can you 'do' to decrease anxiety. You may make a goal to practice a stress reduction exercise every day, or make changes to your daily life/relationships in effort to minimize anxiety. Focus on what you do have control over, steps that could get you to your goal.
- Be intentional about the 'why'. The 'why' behind your goal or resolution is so important. If you make a resolution to exercise more because you feel like you don't look the way you're supposed to, that goal and the energy you put into it will be very different than if you want to exercise more because it makes you feel good, or serves as a way to nurture your body. The 'why' behind your goal can grow positive things or negative things within you. Don't perpetuate low self-esteem by setting goals which reinforce you're not good enough, and need to change. Set goals that serve you, shift the way you think about them so you instead perpetuate self-love, confidence, a sense of deserving more not less.
- Detach from the result. This is a difficult one. It's a concept that's simple but not easy. When I set a goal or resolution for myself I try to follow the above guidelines. I think about what I have control over, I make the goal small so it feels doable everyday, and then I detach from the result. What I mean is that my goal becomes the action in the present moment, not the result of those actions. If I want to reduce anxiety and gain focus and I make the goal to meditate everyday, I focus on the meditation every day and don't worry about the ultimate goal of anxiety management. It may be helpful to evaluate 6 months down the line to see if your present actions are taking effect, but don't worry about it until that evaluation deadline hits. Want to do a complicated yoga pose? Look up prep postures/exercises and just make a point to practice those everyday or a few times/week. Don't worry about being able to do the complicated yoga pose, just worry about the preparatory exercises. The rest will come. Too many people become discouraged when they don't see 'progress' but progress happens slowly, or sometimes all at once after consistent effort. Letting go of the result can allow you to prevent quitting right before you are about to reach your goal.
Happy goal-setting. Hope these tips were helpful and Happy New Year!