How to Make and Keep New Year Resolutions
Posted on January 17, 2020 in REV Wellness
By: Dani Reidy
Transitions in the year can act as great reminders to all the ways we too are shifting. New Years, the beginning of a new calendar year, is the ultimate example of the opportunity we have to reflect on our past 12 months, evaluate what we want to let go of/align with, and move in towards what we want to refine and define for ourselves in the coming year. Personally, I enjoy thinking of the new year as an opportunity to reflect on my goals and upgrade whatever feels outdated or inauthentic.
Although I am always writing down my goals and setting intentions for my day and week, it is around the new year that I create a broad outline of what I want to accomplish, and of course, how I want to feel for the entirety of the year. It doesn’t mean that my vision for the year won’t evolve or change, but it gives me the best foundation to work from, a place to begin.
Wherever we put our attention, is where our energy goes. It is important that we get clear on which direction we want to move in, what we want to prioritize and how to manage mindfully what we want to create, with a sense of ease and balance.
I want to break down how I personally make and keep my new year vision, and why I think it is important we all take the time to cultivate clarity around what we want to give our attention to in this new year.
The philosophy behind making resolutions:
Revelations inform resolutions. It is important to reflect on our past self and year, to acknowledge what worked well, what to maintain and sustain, what patterns showed up that you want to evolve, what challenges showed up as teachers to overcome, and get clear on what you need and want moving forward. New years is a time to get reconnected and acquainted with what we want. That can only be available by understanding how we feel.
You can ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel balanced?
- Do I feel content?
- Is there anything that is leaving me feeling uneasy, disconnected?
- Is there a thought that is holding me back from aligning with my highest vision of myself?
- Do I feel joy?
- Do I feel stressed?
Ask yourself how you feel so you know what to choose for yourself moving forward.
After you’ve connected with how you feel, write down a list of things that will get you moving in the direction of what you need and want. Often times, we can get so hyper focused on external changes, that we neglect the very essence of what it means to resolve. If we want to reference resolution, what might not be working in our lives? We are not trying to change or fix ourselves. We are simply evolving what we choose for ourselves that is more aligned with what we deeply want. If you’re disconnected from yourself, it is impossible to access an authentic vision that is satisfying. Think about how you want to feel moving forward and see if that alters the mindset of how you write down your goals for the year.
Let’s think from the inside out, and then the outside in. The question, “How do I want to feel?” can translate to dreaming up the big picture of your year. Write a list of all the major things that you’d love to see yourself create and of course, all the small day to day things that you’d also love to commit or even recommit to. Make sure that each goal, has a “why” behind it that aligns with your authentic truth. Goals don’t mean that we need to “add” more to our plate, but can be a great opportunity in seeing what we can do less of, where we can create more space for balance in our lives, and what we might need to let go of. Use your imagination, think big and bold and be audacious in creating what you see, but also look at the fine details of the why and how behind what you want.
On a more tangible and practical level, write down a list of 3 or more major things you’d love to see yourself do, then break each of those out by writing down what you would need in order to make that goal a reality and then when you want to begin and complete that goal.
Next, write down a list of 3 or more things you want to do less of. This might seem odd for creating resolutions, but it is important to set boundaries for yourself for the year and understand how to distribute your energy to what matters most.
How to keep your resolutions:
Start slow and take small actions. I love the idea of doing a weekly check in, and for some, you may even enjoy a daily check in. Continuously return back to your goals and review, assess and evolve if needed. The goals we set for the year don’t need to be static. It is important to note that although having goals for ourselves can be healthy, it can also inhibit us from seeing what is perfectly wonderful about right now. Be mindful of creating goals for the sake of obtaining happiness once they are achieved. Thinking this way will only lead to disappointment if the outcome is different than what we expected. Stay mindful of not limiting yourself to this one idea about what you see for yourself, and stay open to possibility.
In your check ins, make sure to note what might be blocking you from achieving what you’re seeking to create. Always address and acknowledge what might be standing in the way of you and your goals. Whether it is specific resources, or it is simply a mindset, take note of what may need to shift.
I think it is also important to mention how to recommit to our goals when we feel discouraged or when self doubt or fear sets in. Obstacles are inevitable. Despite any challenges that may present themselves to you, alter your perspective from, “Why is this happening to me?” to “ How is this happening for me?” Challenges are our greatest teachers and are necessary in developing resiliency in the face of stress. The worst thing we can do in these moments is to give up, or riddle ourselves with guilt or shame. When the going gets tough, recommit to what you want, stay open to the lessons, and keep moving forward.
Keep your goals on a daily basis simple and clear. Also know when to adapt and be flexible. Stay compassionate in the pursuit of what you’re looking to create and remember that your resolutions are mere reflections of your own personal evolution. All of it, is your own creation.