How many of you have the same resolution on your list this year, that you did last year?
And the year before that…. And the year before that?!
For years, I was guilty of this same thing. Every December, I’d psych myself up to try and better myself in the bright, shiny, new year. Then, by the middle of January my motivation would wane, and I’d be waiting another 350-ish days to get hyped to better myself again.
Then I realized something….
January 1st is not the only day of the year that you can create resolutions and goals!
January 1st is not the only day of the year that you will create a vision for your year and fail!
January 1st is not the only day you will imagine yourself as a better person!
January 1st DOES NOT MATTER AT ALL when it comes to your goals!!
Let me backup for a moment, and talk more about why resolutions hold so much power over us for 48 hours as one year ends and another begins…
WHERE DO YOUR RESOLUTIONS COME FROM?
Typically, resolutions are grand visions and goals we make to focus on self-improvement. But did you know that most resolutions are made based upon negative emotions?
Think about it: You think you’re overweight, or think you’re unhealthy, or think you lack time management skills, or think that you’re not this or not that. Then you create a resolution to make yourself better. Well guess what? Those negative emotions that were once motivating, actually cause more stress and anxiety as time passes, which just generates more negative emotions!
DON’T CREATE RESOLUTIONS TO RUN FROM THE PAST.
While we take time to reflect at the end of each year, we often confuse resolutions with memories. We reflect on all the love, affection, and grateful moments from the past year. We also reflect on all our regrets, our mistakes, and our failures. These memories and reflections help us to form our resolutions, they are not the resolutions themselves.
Resolutions are also not an excuse or a reason to cut ourselves off from our past. Oftentimes while we reflect on those negative memories at the end of a year, we want to cut-out or sever those negative emotions, thoughts, and feelings from our lives entirely. We are so motivated to change in the new year, that we try to outrun those negative memories and avoid them in the future. But we all know we cannot outrun our past, nor should we want to - we should embrace it.
“If you avoid failure, you also avoid success.” - Robert T. Kiyosaki
JANUARY 1ST IS NOT IMPORTANT TO REACHING YOUR GOALS.
Today is January 12, 2022. Is it too late to start your resolutions today? No! Are you reading this weeks, months, or even years from now and want to start working on your vision and goals today? Go for it!
Recognize that your goals and visions for your future are constantly evolving and changing from your past experiences and you are more than capable of starting now. Give yourself permission to start now.
“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start.” - Ijeoma Umebinyuo
Can I make one teensy suggestion, though?
No matter where you are starting from, what emotion you are in, or what day of the year it is, remember to first celebrate your past accomplishments. Remember when I told you that resolutions are almost always based on negative emotions, which cause us to stress out?
Shift your mindset first, by focusing on all that you have accomplished during the last year, month, week, or day. Think about all the strides you have made to become the person you are today. Focus on those warm memories. Give yourself some perspective on how awesome you are! Recognize your power to achieve great things.
Now that you’ve realized you're capable of success in everything you do - create your resolutions. Keep them vague and positive, so you can create smaller goals along the way to lead you step-by-step to your vision. So instead of your resolution being “lose 20lbs,” write something about how you will “eat healthy food, exercise, and practice self-care.”
Then within that resolution you can make smaller goals, such as “workout 30 minutes per day 4 days per week” and simply track your weight loss progress. Don’t stress about the 20lbs; focus on the progress.
Also, don’t add end dates to your resolutions or goals. End dates just cause more unwanted anxiety in this process. Simply write down check-in dates to reflect on your progress and achievements. When you reflect after 3 months, you might not have lost 20lbs yet, but you might be able to celebrate that you've lost 5lbs and have a consistent routine of exercising 5 day per week!
Be gentle with yourself, as well. New habits are hard to form and require tons of work. Old habits die hard and you will slip back into them occasionally. Plan to fail, but don’t stop moving forward from your set-backs.
Need some inspiration for some gentle resolutions for yourself? Check these out by @selfworkco:
I will breathe and be more present.
I will clearly communicate my needs to others.
I will nourish, honor, and respect my body.
I will ask for what I deserve.
I will get comfortable with discomfort and uncertainty.
I will learn something new every day (reading, podcasts, videos).
I will find more to appreciate in people.
I will stay gentle even when things around me get hard.
No matter what your resolutions and goals are, I am always here if you need me via my Contact Me form or on social media. Drop a comment below with any of your resolutions and when you started them!
Remember, resolutions are not about January 1; they are about living your best life each new day.