Another new year week has filled my social media feeds with dozens and dozens of posts about “New Years Resolutions”…
Now, I am all about self-improvement. It is the entire purpose I started this blog. But, I just don’t buy into the “new year, new me” charade that many people wait months and months to be a part of each year.
But, hey… if making new years resolutions inspires you, gets you motivated, & KEEPS you engaged with your goals past January and February then keep at it! But, I am going to guess that if you clicked to read this article, that’s not the case.
Below I list 5 reasons why I don’t make new years resolutions.
After, I will give you some tips and tools to use that can actually motivate and inspire you for the new year ahead! More importantly, they will make you feel GOOD about yourself!!
5 REASONS WHY I DON’T MAKE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
1. I don’t believe in scheduled start dates for my goals.
I equate making “New Years resolutions” to “I am going to start my diet Monday!” If that works for you, all the power! But, I have never actually stuck to something I wanted to do when making a particular launch day. I believe in jumping into change when it is scary and when I am least comfortable. Waiting until “January 1st” or “Monday” will almost always result in a giant face plant into the ground for me. Also, I hold the belief that you will start working towards a goal or change in your life when you are truly ready. Usually, that is felt and measured through intuition. Not a particular calendar date.
2. I don’t like the social pressure and competition.
If you know me well, you know I am an extrovert when it comes to talking in front of others, but am a true introvert when it comes to details about my personal life. Yes, I know… interesting I share my life on a blog (took me 4 years to start!). Overall, I just don’t like the pressure from the rest of the world to make new years resolutions when others are all doing the same. I like to walk to my own tune most days and I don’t like the competition-like-feeling where everyone is working on major life goals at once and making grand announcements on social media. There is not only too much pressure social media-wise, but also within myself, personally, since common resolutions are lofty, unrealistic, and immeasurable.
3. I don’t consider winter an extremely motivating time.
Is it just me or is winter (especially here in New York) the absolute WORST time to start a resolution? I don’t know about you, but I like to be cozy on the couch with Netflix and bend some of my social, physical, and food-related rules around this time of year. I do not see any of the chilliest months of the year as a time to revamp my routine on any grand level and make new years resolutions. Personally, much of my motivation and inspiration comes later in the start of the year when the flowers are blooming and I am NOT wearing 3 layers, earmuffs, and insulated gloves to comfortably get to my car in the morning before driving to work. I am much more apt to stick to very small, realistic goals in the dead of winter.
4. Most New Years resolutions don’t attack the core of my major goals.
Typical resolutions are usually tangible and don’t attack emotional healing, which is the start to everything! Many new years resolutions that people set are around weight, finances, or quitting an addictive habit. But, you cannot just jump into these goals and cut yourself off. All three of these resolutions are built over an extensive period of time, which involves rewiring a lot of mental habits that are surrounded by emotions that drive these behaviors. Therefore, it is important to look beyond your habits and start at the core—the reasons why you developed these habits. Before that is done, none of these goals can be attacked successfully. Again, things that I need to tackle on my own time when I intuitively feel that I am ready. Most likely NOT January 1st.
5. There is little to no wiggle-room or flexibility
In general, a resolution means you are making a FIRM and unyielding decision to stop doing one thing and begin doing something else. For me, that is absolutely not how I operate. Does anyone? I do not see that as healthy. Most new years resolutions last about 1-4 weeks because people feel the pressure of the rigidity and lack of flexibility. But, the truth is, your greatest successes will be riddled with failures and mistakes. Instead, I need a plan that is intensely flexible where I can mold to and find what works for me. Definitely not constrained by the word “resolution.”
Instead of making lofty New Years resolutions, try these 5 realistic tips to motivate you to have a wonderful new year:
5 USEFUL, INSPIRING WAYS TO BEGIN THE NEW YEAR
1. Create a vision board for the year ahead.
Grab magazines you have lying around or search Pinterest and Google for photos to give yourself inspiration for the new year ahead. It isn’t as easy as it seems because you need to sit down and visualize your future. Ask yourself, “how do I want to improve myself, my relationships, and how do I want to feel?” Search for images that symbolize these ideas and feelings. This board will act as a graphic reminder of your goals for all of you visual ladies and lads out there. Don’t forget to put it in a place you will see it every day!
2. Reflect on what you were grateful for this past year.
A new year isn’t just about looking at the year ahead, but reflecting on what the past has given you. Put some time aside and make a list of 50-100 things you were grateful for this past year. It could be people, opportunities, pets, successes, failures, trips, mental/emotional breakthroughs, purchases, or even things you gave up. The first 20-30 will be easy. After that, your list will challenge you to really look at your year and understand how many blessings surrounded you, even on the most mundane of days.
3. Identify what you already love about who you are today.
Many people jump into the year and are completely critical of who they are, immediately deciding major ways they need to revamp their life. But, a healthier way to begin is to focus on what you ALREADY love about yourself. It might have to do with your appearance, your personality, your habits, or your role in relationships. No matter what they are, physically write down 3 or more specific aspects about yourself that you are proud to name. If you cannot even think of one, you know that your journey will definitely begin from the inside this year. But, I am sure if you give yourself time and are kind to yourself, the ideas will start flowing. This will truly start your year in an inspirational way!
4. Identify 3 aspects of your life you’d like to improve.
After identifying what you love about yourself, it will be time to focus on ways that you would like to better yourself, too. I believe the “new year, new me” is a hype and totally bologna. First of all, you should never want to completely change yourself. You are already an amazing, strong person with so many positive attributes. Instead, focus on a few aspects you would like to STRENGTHEN within your life. It can even be from the list of 3 or more things you love about yourself. There is always room for improvement! The key? Choose measurable, realistic, and actionable goals that can be broken down to many small goals. Lofty goals with no mini plan will never work.
5. Schedule an “at-home cleanse.”
Spend a day cleansing your house of things that no longer serve you. For me, I do this every 2-3 months because I absolutely cannot live around clutter. But, schedules can make that difficult and some of us only have time to dedicate about 1-2 days a year to this. So, start your year by going through EVERY room of your house and riding of things that no longer bring light into your life. How do you decide this? It is different for everyone. I rid of things I haven’t looked at or used (besides seasonal items) for 6 or more months. I make three piles: trash, donate, and sell. Afterwards, I feel emotionally cleansed and my mind is much clearer going into the new year!
How will you choose to start your new year?
Do new year resolutions work for you?
Let me know in the comments below!