As we end up another year and countdown into the next (which hopefully isn’t as crazy), we want to ask the question; are New Year’s resolutions still a good idea? Are they productive? Are they good for long term goals? Or are they a waste of time, and maybe not so helpful for everyone? Keep reading to find out!
What are the positives of New Year’s resolutions?
Every year you probably hear the age-old question from a loved one or two… “So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?” For some, resolutions do have their place in being beneficial and positive. They might work beautifully for you and prove to be super transformational. For many others, they might not be so great.
January brings upon the feeling of ‘new beginnings’ and ‘fresh starts’. This could mean trying something new, improving at something or starting a completely new journey. Whether it is to learn a language, drink more water, change jobs or say goodbye to a few kilos; if done in the right way, resolutions can set you up for something great. So when we say ‘done in the right way’, what does that actually mean?
The right way means remembering that when it comes to setting resolutions, you should be careful not to let them dictate what you do in your life. Setting yourself ‘mini-goals’ as a part of your resolution allows sustainability and guidance. A great way to start is by using the ‘SMART goals’ acronym.
What is a ‘S.M.A.R.T’ goal or resolution? This acronym is so beneficial when it comes to setting any goal in your life. It simply stands for and means:
Sustainable: make your goals specific and narrow
Measurable: be able to measure and prove you are making progress
Achievable: ensuring you can actually achieve your goal in the time frame
Realistic: be honest with yourself – is this a realistic goal that fits with your values?
Timely: have a set time frame that you can achieve this goal in
Resolutions can inspire you to make a change for the better. The most important thing to remember is that it is okay if you don’t stick to your resolutions. If you are so set on them that they make you feel stuck or stressed, the negative side of resolutions could arise!
What are the negatives of New Year’s resolutions?
For many, New Year’s resolutions are too broad and not particularly simple. Some of the more common resolutions do often require a change in lifestyle, lots of effort, dedicated work or a financial investment.
Expecting immediate and big changes can often result in a feeling of disappointment. Big goals take time and small steps are the best way to get there, so as mentioned above, using the ‘SMART’ goals principle can help you in setting yourself up for a more realistic and happy outcome.
So what should you do instead of setting difficult to achieve New Year’s resolutions?
First and foremost, centre your resolutions and goals around your values. What do you value most in life? What makes you feel happy and healthy? What makes you feel accomplished? Use your answers as the centre of your resolutions and the basis of what you want to achieve.
Do you want to be happy? Does spending time with loved ones make you happy? If so, do more of that!
Do you want to be healthier? Consider a focus on your mental health and mindset by moving your body a bit more and practicing mindfulness. This sets you up for a whole body health transformation!
Introducing new habits and small daily changes into your lifestyle can lead to big, transformative results. Instead of simply saying ‘I want to lose 30kg this year’, start with a few achievable, healthy habits and incorporate them into your day to day. Maybe start with aiming to go to the gym 2 times a week, walking 20 minutes on your lunch break each day and introducing more vegetables into each of your meals. On top of this, break these BIG and overwhelming resolutions into smaller ones. For example, start by saying, ‘I am aiming to lose 5kg by Easter’ to make it SMART, and not so scary.
If you are someone who aims big with your resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but ends up feeling disappointed, maybe it’s time for new year habits instead of resolutions! Give it a go! If you know resolutions help you, keep up the great work. It is all about being aware of what helps you. Resolutions aren’t essential to reach your goals, but if done right, they can be great.