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A new year is upon us. 2018 is out the door and we welcome 2019 with anticipation for what comes with it. “New year, new me,” a phrase we hear often during this very early time of the year, but rarely see followed through. Several weeks after the new year dawns we overflow with a motivation that fizzles out about as quick as it sets in. It happens year after year, yet here we are creating a new set of resolutions despite failed past efforts. Surely there is a way to break this maddening cycle and live by our resolutions? Well– there’s no one size fits all approach, but I’m here to try and offer one anyways.
Face the Facts: There’s no “New year, new you.”
You first need to face the reality that you won’t go through any miraculous metamorphosis between December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. The sooner this can be accepted the closer you are to attainable resolutions. While you can most certainly take steps towards a better self all throughout life, change takes time. But don’t let this discourage you on your new year’s resolution path. It’s small, incremental changes that in the long term make a difference.
Be realistic with yourself.
Wouldn’t we all like to do something like hike Mount Everest without ever before hiking up a steep hill, or write a bestselling novel without before completing a short story? Maybe for a rare few this works out, but for the average population, goals like these are not only nrealistic, but they leave us feeling disappointed and under achieved. For successful resolutions, you have to be realistic with yourself. Now, what “realistic” is will depend on the person. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. As you come up with your 2019 New Year’s resolutions decide if what you are expecting from yourself is attainable. If it’s not it shouldn’t be on your list.
All change starts with small incremental steps, and small changes lead to impressive results over time. If you bite off more than you can chew you’ll likely overwhelm yourself and feel as though you “failed.” Plus, smaller goals are easier to put a big check mark next to, and that is satisfying in itself.
If you want to hit the gym everyday this new year but you haven’t stepped foot in a gym for most of the last year, try setting the goal as going to the gym 2-3 days of the week. And if you end up going more, great! You’ll be more likely to stick to your goal if it is within reach. As you achieve higher goals don’t be afraid to up the ante. There should be no reason people only set goals on January 1st. Resolutions can be changed and altered any time of the year.
Keep it minimal
Similar to the point before, don’t create a never ending list of New Year resolutions. We’re only human and we can’t take it all on. Instead set a list of 3 to 5 goals you really want to achieve. You can decide this by brainstorming a very large list of goals, then trim it down to a top 3, 4 or 5 goals that mean something to you. If you make it through your list before the end of the year then by all means write more goals. You shouldn’t only use New Years as an excuse to be your best self, but keep that momentum going for perpetual personal growth.
Be okay with not achieving every goal to your expectations
I’m sorry to say that even if you follow this advice there is no guarantee you’ll be a self transformed personal growth guru. The fact is the average person gives up on their New Year’s resolutions by February. But here’s the thing– that’s okay! Change is hard. We should always work towards bettering ourselves personally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Any progress you make towards a New Year’s resolution is a win, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, for any resolution you “fail” to achieve in 2019, there’s always 2020!
Happy New Year and may 2019 be filled with joy and personal growth for you! Cheers!