Rule No. 1 for New Year’s Resolutions
The start of a new year always feels significant. January 1st rolls around and suddenly people feel a deeper sense of agency in how they live their lives. The new year becomes a time for reflection and growth, with everyone striving to be a better version of the person they were last year.
This can be a great thing. A built-in alarm clock that reminds people to recalibrate their goals and their priorities — or simply to pursue them more vigorously. A chance to reset our internal operating systems that tend to slowly shift into cruise control as time passes, life gets in the way, and we lose some of our intentionality.
But this idea that January 1st demarcates a time for people to resolve to do better, be better, excuses us from making those resolutions throughout the year — whenever they may organically occur to us. If we’re only taking time to reflect because the new year is approaching, is that genuine?
So Rule No. 1 for New Year’s Resolutions, is: be genuine and authentic.
- Take the new year as an opportunity for reflection and resolutions if that feels right to you. But don’t do it just because you feel like you’re supposed to.
- Do not make resolutions that you know from the get go you won’t be keeping. While your resolutions should be aspirational, they should also be realistic. Setting yourself up for failure is not a great way to start the year.
- That being said, feel free to fail a little. Change is hard, progress takes work. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t getting the rock hard abs you wanted.
- If you want to make a change in your life, don’t wait for an arbitrary day of the year. It’s always the right time to be who you want to be.
- Take the new year not only as an opportunity to reflect on what you can be doing better, but also to be proud of yourself for what you’ve done well. Wanting to improve is great and all, but constantly thinking that way can put you on a treadmill of sorts.
- Be specific with your intentions. Saying that you want to be less messy is too vague to stick. But saying that you always want to put your laundry away right when it’s clean is actionable.
- Please don’t say “New year, new me”.
The New Year can feel special. It can feel like a clean slate if that’s what you want. But it’s also just the day after yesterday. So, with that perspective, do what feels right for you.