New Year’s Day is well known for starting fresh, committing to being better, and for making changes in our lives. A few months into the year we sometimes forget, get lazy, or the goals we set are just too lofty and we give up on them. What is the difference between making goals and keeping them and making goals and sticking with them?
First of all we need to recognize the difference between goals and resolutions. A goal is an end result that we would like to accomplish. A resolution is more of an ongoing commitment to progress, there may not be a specific end goal to achieve. When we recognize which category we are hoping to make changes in it may help us stick with them better. For example, let’s say a consistently tardy person set a goal to being on time more. After a couple months they may think it’s impossible to ever be on time again and completely give up. But what if that same person made a resolution to being on time more. Then at the end of each month they can recognize if they improved or not and try a little harder the following month. There is nothing set that will cause the person to feel like a failure. Maybe they just need to choose one or two outings each week that they want to be on time to and each week increase that number by a couple more. Do you see the difference?
Here are a few areas that you can consider making New Year’s Resolutions in:
- social: keeping in contact with friends, remembering birthday cards, making specific plans with people, be one time to things, plan more parties, try out new local restaurants.
- emotional: doing something for yourself regularly, reading different genres of books, devoting time to spend with family.
- physical: choosing healthy meal options, going on walks at lunch time, practice deep breathing.
- mental: brush up on your favorite topics from school, learn a new skill, learn how to cook new recipes, research illnesses that family members have, stay up to date on the current political situation.
- spiritual: take time to meditate on what’s important to you, find ways to serve those around you, always make an effort to see the good in people.
Once you pick an area or two to work on, figure out a specific resolution you would like to set and write it down. Put it somewhere you will pass every day so that it can always be at the front of your mind. Take time at the end of each week or month to analyze how you’re doing. Put it on your calendar or make an alert with your phone to remind you that you want to be a little bit better this year than you were last year. Who knows? Maybe a year from now you will have rekindled an old friendship, learned how to make a new favorite recipe, or discovered a new talent you didn’t know you have.