Happy 2017 everyone!
I know I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to addressing the New Year, but hey, cut a girl some slack. I had a great time ringing in 2017 with friends and family, participating in old traditions and even creating new ones. A new year always leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired to make positive change, and so I enjoy the practice of setting New Year’s resolutions in the afterglow of New Year’s eve festivities. But as I scrolled through social media the following week, I found many of my online friends were not in such positive spirits: “I’m glad I’m not wasting my time with resolutions this year”, or “if you make new year’s resolutions, you’re kidding yourself”, seemed to be common sentiments floating around the web. Whoa wait a second, what’s with this negative attitude? when did we become proud of our lack of goal setting for ourselves, and why do we feel the need to mock or belittle those who are attempting to better themselves?
I want to start off by saying that if you’re someone who’s excitedly shoveling dirt onto the open grave of the “new year’s resolution”, I get it. I personally have had years where I’ve set resolutions, written them down on a piece of paper, and somehow managed to forget about every goal written on said piece of paper until the next year. It can be so frustrating and discouraging to set goals and not reach them, but that definitely doesn’t mean we should give up.
I find that goal setting is such an important part of getting from where I am, to where I want to be. Whether I’m setting these goals on January first or in the middle of June, it couldn’t matter less. What truly matters is that I’m setting goals. Setting goals means that we acknowledge the fact that there are areas in which we can improve, and creates the basis on which we can put together solid plans to gain said improvement.
So if setting goals is so important, how can we keep from failing once we set our goals? For me the answer is simple: it’s a matter of remembering the goals or resolutions that I’ve set for myself. I’ll write out reminders anywhere I can, on paper, my whiteboard, in my phone etc. until it becomes nearly impossible for me to forget or overlook my goals. Next I make daily to-do lists that help me to accomplish small parts of my overall goal everyday. For example, if I’ve set a goal to get straight A’s this semester, I’ll write down everything I need to study that day on my to-do list, which in turn will remind me what I need to do in the moment to be on track for the results I want to see later.
Most resolutions we commonly set for ourselves, to become healthier, read more, do better at work or in school etc. require daily action to be accomplished, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see big results right away. Remember the goals you have set for yourself, and work hard towards them, because despite what certain people think of New Year’s resolutions, there is certainly no shame in trying to better yourself and get closer to what you want out of life.