New Year’s resolutions, as they are typically done, confuse me quite a bit. The reason being is most of the resolutions being made are completely unrealistic, which ends up leading to disappointment later down the road when the person can’t meet that resolution.
Let’s be honest here! No one likes to fall off the wagon of their New Year’s resolutions and have to admit failure. It’s just not fun. But what bothers me the most is that so many people are blaming themselves for not meeting these resolutions when it really wasn’t their fault- their resolution just simply wasn’t reasonable or doable to start with.
That’s why setting reasonable New Year’s resolutions is so important and I’d like to guide you through a few steps to choosing New Year’s Resolutions that will empower you and that you will be able to successfully check off the list at the end of 2019!
Step 1: Choose Resolutions With Controllable Outcomes
The most standard Resolutions that I see every year are:
“I’m going to get a promotion before the end of the year.”
“I’m going to meet the love of my life before next Christmas.”
The problem with these types of resolutions is they put most of the power in someone else’s hands.
Can you work really, really hard this year for that promotion? Absolutely! But can you actually give yourself that promotion? Unfortunately not. The same goes for finding the love of your life. You can try to get yourself out there as much as possible, but at the end of the day you can’t force fate to bring you the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.
Instead, it would be best to try and stick to Resolutions where you can control the outcome.
For example, consider these Resolutions:
“I’m going to increase my productivity by 30% by the end of the year.”
“I’m going to make more of an effort to go on more dates this year.”
These are much better resolutions because you can control the outcome.
You can absolutely take the extra time and steps to plan out your weeks and nail down your productivity issues. It’s also in your control to make an effort to go on more dates. There isn’t any part of these resolutions that is dependent on someone else and that’s how it should be!
Controllable resolutions are also beneficial because they usually aren’t going to be affected by your surrounding circumstances. You can always work to improve yourself no matter what is going on around you!
Step 2: Stay Away From Specifics
Making Resolutions that are very specific can be dangerous. No one can truly know who they’re going to be, what they’re going to be doing, and the people they’re going to be around a year from now. Life just has this way of keeping things interesting that makes it very hard to look too far ahead.
As far as this is concerned, I feel that making more general Resolutions is the best option. At least that way you know your goals are still going to be relevant 6 months down the road.
For example, if one of your Resolution is to marry your current boyfriend, you may want to choose another Resolution. It’s not impossible for that to happen by any means, but it’s awfully presumptuous and also completely out of your control. There’s nothing worse than making a Resolution like that and then the relationship going south.
Step 3: Be Willing to Take Things As They Come
Like is life and it will be unpredictable.
Honestly, I pictured my 2018 being totally different than it was. But here’s the deal…2018 was so much better than any plan or goal that I could’ve made. So, instead of making all these Resolutions and goals each New Year that could be torn apart in a nanosecond by one of life’s unpredictable shitstorms, I just have the mindset to take each surprise as it comes and adjust my perspective and Resolutions accordingly.
People are constantly changing and evolving, so it makes sense for us to also let our goals and Resolutions change and evolve as we progress throughout the year. As I mentioned in Step 2, you can never really know what your life is going to look like months down the road, so being flexible is key!
2018 had so many twists and turns for me, and I guarantee that so many of you would’ve classified it as a failure and kissed it goodbye gladly if you were in my shoes. But although nothing went according to my plan, I still think this was the best year of my life. And that’s because I was willing and able to adjust my mindset throughout the year to conquer whatever I was facing!
Step 4: Cut Yourself Some Slack
I feel like when New Year’s Resolutions time comes people get really unrealistic.
I’ve seen goals like:
“I’m going to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year!”
“I’m going completely gluten-free and vegan for this year!”
I like the spirit and motivation behind goals like this, but they are very difficult to actually execute. It’s better to stick to more realistic goals, especially when it comes to fitness and eating better!
I, personally, have been gluten-free and vegan for a year and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. Props to all you vegans out there by the way! So, if you don’t have any experience with eating vegan or gluten-free I’d try setting a smaller, more reasonable goal.
For example, you could try going vegetarian first. Then, once you’re comfortable with a vegetarian lifestyle you can try taking gluten from your diet. Do you see where I’m going with this?
A better Resolution in this case would have been:
“I’m going to work toward being vegan by the end of the year!”
This Resolution gives you some wiggle room, whereas the other Resolution was very specific and didn’t allow for much experimentation. Another nice thing about this Resolution is that it’s something you can work toward everyday and then, looking back at the end of the year, you’ll be able to see vast improvements.
In comparison, if your goal was to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year, losing anything less than that may make you feel at least a little disappointed in yourself for not fully meeting your goal.
Cutting yourself some slack when you’re creating your Resolutions is a great way to make sure you’re ending the year feeling empowered instead of disappointed!
I hope these tips help you create your best (and, of course, most reasonable) New Year’s Resolutions yet!