Besides the tick of a new digital suffix to a date that will last 365.25 days and a seemingly new day for another chapter of the same life, we all feel refreshed on new year’s first day… and for a few more days.
It’s that time of year again. Time to hope you go on a diet, hit the gym, quit smoking, spend wisely, drink more responsibly, quit texting while driving, stop swearing or slanging, and set so called resolutions that stack up like unwanted guests at a party, a pile taller than old-school bills or a shopaholic‘s shoeboxes.
And yet, why do we laugh off resolutions, or break them in record breaking speed as if rattling off with cheesy (chocolatey?) jokes at ill-timed parties?
The problem I find with the season is that it is often saturated with a partial and spontaneous fulfillment that does not last. Resolutions are simply formulated in a way that seek to change us. Remember, that it is not about changing something that is inherently you, rooted into you since childhood and cemented into adulthood, but about making you a stronger person. So the first piece of advice is this: strengthen your strengths, instead of attacking your weaknesses. For the stronger, shinier strengths will outweigh them anyway.
And when formulating resolutions, set goals so that they improve you as a person, are motivating, and provide focus. Try to ensure these fulfill the three circles of this resolution dilemma map, an atypical framework from yours truly.
Falling into merely two may lead to undesired consequences or low fulfillment, dampened further by a quickly shattered resolution.
Personal: Only you know yourself as well as you do. You are a unique person, so don’t take a mundane resolution that everyone else has, but find one that fits your life and style. Without your personal touch, any resolution is generic, and could just as easily be anyone else’s.
Achievable: Set something that is not downright outrageous, but achievable within the 12 month time frame. And look for a result you expect at the end of year to reflect upon. As such, don’t shy from measuring achievability, or you’ll be stuck with unrealistic resolutions.
Aspirational: And this is where the Peter Pan in me speckles pixie dust: make it something you truly wish for and that makes you strive to try hard. For without this, you will be stuck with unchallenging, and rather effortless goals that do not qualify as resolutions.
Some more lessons I’ve learned from life: It’s never a happy new year unless you ensure the prefix of happy continues to exist.
And remember, it doesn’t have to be a new year to be a resolution. You can set a goal at any time of year, keeping the aforementioned points in mind.
I personally aim to stretch my horizons when trying to think of ways to strengthen my strengths to conquer my weaknesses this year.
Happy New Year! (And say it like you mean it).