As a whirlwind of a year draws to a close and the dawning of 2022 becomes visible in the horizon, many of us have turned our attention toward new hopes, new chances, and new opportunities.
The start of a new year signifies a blank slate--a fresh start upon which we can do better or new things this time around. With this, people are once again building their lists of new years’ resolutions that kick off the moment 2021 officially ends. But as it has been with every year before this one, making resolutions seems to be so inviting and so easy. Keeping them and sticking to them is a completely different story.
We realize how tough it can be to carry out change, especially once one has settled into their own ways. For some, this becomes even more evident with the passage of the years. However, we believe that no matter what age you’re at, the joy of meeting goals and creating new opportunities for oneself never changes, never fades.
As such, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you stick to the goals that you identify for yourself at the start of the new year that’s well on the way.
1. Choose the resolutions that mirror your authentic inner values.
Think of who you are and who you’ve grown to be. Align the change that you want to see with this, and think about how well it jives with your identity, your values, and what you deem important.
Don’t try to fit into the mold of someone else’s resolutions. Rather, think about those that are uniquely yours, and that seem to represent the next step of the life story that you want to keep writing.
2. Try setting “new” resolutions instead of recycling old ones.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating old resolutions that we were never really able to completely fulfill. Perhaps the best way to approach this and to really go about completing the goal that you want is to think of the old resolutions in a new sort of way.
It could be about being more specific with the part of the resolution that you could immediately fulfill. It could also be a matter of rewording the old resolution in such a way that it becomes more approachable and more realistically attainable. Or maybe just scrap the old resolution altogether, and figure out one that makes more sense to the version of yourself that you are right now. There’s absolutely nothing wrong creating the list completely anew this time around.
3. Make a concrete plan.
Part of meeting the goal is to envision how exactly it’ll be carried out. This could be done in a multitude of ways. One option would be to set smaller deadlines for yourself throughout the year--to calendar the little changes or adjustments that you want to see.
You could also plot out specific dates for new things that you want to do. If your list of resolutions involves exploration of a new place, why not book the ticket ahead and make the commitment to travel by already beginning the travel plan?
4. Create reminders along the way.
Find ways to remind yourself of the things you want to achieve throughout the new year. You could explore doing this visually. One way would be to write or draw or paint the goals you want for yourself and hang these up somewhere around your home.
Another way would be aurally--to create little voice reminders that can keep you in check as the year goes on. The point is to find a way to keep looking at the resolutions you’ve set for yourself, and to affirm the value of these goals--constantly--as you go about the new year.
5. Reward the little wins.
Completing a goal isn’t the only reason for celebration. Even moving closer toward it is already a huge victory in itself.
The fact that you’re carrying out the process and committing to it already means that you’re making positive change. As such, celebrate the times that you move closer to the resolutions you’ve set. Celebrate your progress as you go. No win is too tiny.
6. Stay flexible and gentle.
Remember that, while new years are great markers for new beginnings, change can happen at any point in time. There doesn’t have to be a concrete date to signify that things can become different.
It’s undeniable that it’s helpful to create plans for ourselves, but it’s also undeniable that there are some things that we only come to learn as we take on new opportunities. As such, be humble if at some point you realize that your resolution might not be working for you.
There is nothing wrong with resetting it or adjusting it to make it more achievable or more meaningful. What’s important is that you’re doing what’s good for you and for your own pursuit of happiness.
The New Year can just be a starting point for a brighter and more positive view of what’s to come. Whatever your resolutions may be, the only way they can really be effective is if you follow through. It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter some stumbling blocks along the way. But it can help to remember why you made the resolutions in the first place.
As the year goes on, you may find yourself reverting to old habits. Don’t let this discourage you. It’s a natural process for the change that you want to achieve. There’s always a chance to start again and stick to your resolutions.
Our resolutions are nice reminders of who we want to be. Be patient, be gentle and most of all, enjoy the journey.