The new year is here and marks a time where we reflect on the past year, and make promises to ourselves to change and be better. We resolve to do all the things this year we “failed” at doing the previous. By definition resolve is to find a solution to a problem, and decide firmly on a course of action.
When making resolutions we focus on everything we didn’t or accomplish, and beat ourselves up about everything that wasn’t. Unfortunately, little time or thought is given to what went right throughout the year. We focus so intently on what was not accomplished, we lose site of the patterns of behavior that served us well. We instantly start the resolutions from a place a negativity. By changing your though patterns, it will be easier to determine goals, and frame them in a way in which is based on cultivating increased happiness, not decreasing unhappiness.
Therefore, as we start this year with a renewed sense of spirit, it’s important to take time to consider what went right, so these behaviors can continue to flourish. Identity the things that brought you success and joy, and foster these habits and activities. If you want to “be healthier” this year, what healthy habits do you already have? How are you successful in this area already? When you change your perspective and focus on what works, it will be much more clear what didn’t work and why.
Additionally, as you contemplate what you want to accomplish, set goals, and make resolutions, determine your motivation. Dig deeper into each resolution you make, and ask yourself “why?” Why is the resolution important to you? If you can get deep into the “why” of a resolution it will be easier to commit to yourself, as you will understand the true value of what it will bring. Don’t just identify a solution to a perceived problem, but really consider how achieving this will bring you joy, and why.
Do you want to lose weight, like 54% of people who make a resolution? Why? Do you think that those 5 pounds will make you happier or are they tied to your self-worth? 34% of people who make resolutions want to save more and spend less. Why? Do you want added financial security? Are you saving for something specific? Keep digging deeper until you get to that final why. Understanding your motivation, the why, is what is going to help you keep going; even when you feel like quitting.
After you understand what is driving you to your goals, break your goals down into multiple, achievable goals. Sticking to a resolution or goal can be hard; and being able to achieve little victories along the way to the overall resolution helps create momentum. Whether your resolution or goal is big or small, these incremental steps contribute to overall achievement.
Finally, there will be moments this year when you fail; failure is part of the process. It’s how you react in these moments that will help you to keep working toward your success. If you stumble, and you will, get back up. Every day is a chance for a fresh start to make healthy, positive changes; You just have to keep trying.