New Year’s resolutions are a popular tradition. They encourage us to take stock of what we have accomplished, and set new, often lofty goals for the year ahead. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions however, it seems they are almost made to be broken. Does anyone really take those promises seriously beyond January? Why are so many resolutions broken almost immediately?
Resolutions that are unrealistic or too grand are difficult to accomplish, which leads to a loss of motivation over time. Once the initial enthusiasm wears off, it becomes easier and easier to make excuses for not keeping up with the promise. Instead of making a New Year’s resolution that is likely to lead to self-sabotage, try some of these suggestions instead to help you regain focus for the new year.
Create a small goal for each month. Did you know it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit? That’s it. A new focus each month can lead to the development of many positive new habits over the course of the year. What areas in your life need the most attention?
If improving your health is the larger goal, take that and then break it down into 12 smaller goals. For example, one month your goal might be to walk 30 minutes per day 5 days a week. The next month, you would continue with that practice, but add in another positive habit, like drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Each new habit is carried over into the following months with a new one added, creating a cumulative effect of many small changes becoming a major accomplishment.
By the end of the year, you’ll have a lot of new healthy behaviors that will continue to enrich your life going forward. There is a great sense of pride and accomplishment in this practice, because it takes seemingly insurmountable goals and makes them very doable.
Another great way to regain focus in the new year, is to take some time to reflect on the past one. Write in a journal about what you’ve learned, what experiences impacted you the most, and what you hope to gain from them. Take stock of all that you have been given and what you are grateful for.
This can help you figure out goals for the coming year that will put you on the right track. Did you feel a sense of accomplishment this year? If so, great! Keep doing those things. On the other hand, if you had a less than stellar year, reflect on what happened and take that knowledge with you into the new year as you work to create new goals for yourself.
Every year is a fresh start, a new beginning that inspires and motivates so many. That initial inspiration is easy to find, but the momentum and motivation is not always so simple to maintain. In order to be successful in the new year, it’s important to constantly reinforce those positive desires to grow and better yourself. That’s why monthly resolutions work so well.
Small habits, and a month to month focus, coupled with honest reflection and a willingness to learn will ensure that the coming year brings immense personal growth possibilities your way. What will you focus on this new year?