New Year, New You (Or Not)
We are already a few weeks into the new year, and it’s no secret that many people set New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each year. But the truth is, not everyone does – and that is okay. Even if you are well into the new year without a resolution in sight, it is never too late to reflect on the past and set expectations for the future. Here are some recommendations for making the most of the year ahead, whether or not you set resolutions.
You should know that you could start your resolutions with the importance of reflecting on the past year. It can be helpful to look back on the past year and identify the things that went well, as well as the things that did not go so well. This can help you figure out what you want to change or improve in the coming year.
There is something referred to as the SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It is a framework for setting goals that are more likely to be achieved. For example, instead of setting a vague goal like “I want to be more active this year,” you could set a SMART goal like “I will walk 30 minutes every day after work or school for the next two months.”
Another tip you could include is breaking down goals into smaller, actionable steps. This makes them feel more manageable and less overwhelming for you. For example, if your goal is to start cooking more meals at home, you could break it down into smaller steps like creating a weekly meal plan, grocery shopping for the ingredients, and setting aside time to cook each week.
Also, you could talk about the importance of building habits. Habits are the foundation of lasting change, so it is important to focus on creating healthy habits that support your goals. For example, if your goal is to be more active, you could make it a habit to go for a walk during your lunch break every day. Or if your goal is to eat healthier, you could make it a habit to pack your lunch every night before work or school.
The next step is to track your progress and celebrate your successes. This can be as simple as keeping a journal or using a habit-tracking app. Celebrating your wins, no matter how small, can help keep you motivated and on track.
Next, is to find an accountability partner. This could be a friend, family member, or even an online community. Having someone to check in with and share your progress with can make a big difference in helping you reach your goals.
What if you hit a roadblock or get off track? It is important to be kind to yourself and not beat yourself up if you have a setback. Instead, try to identify what got in the way and come up with a plan to overcome it. For instance, if you miss a workout, do not give up on your goal of being more active. Just pick yourself up and get back on track the next day.
After all that, there is a need to practice rewarding yourself. When you reach a milestone or achieve a goal, it is important to celebrate your success. This can be something as simple as treating yourself to your favourite meal or taking some time to relax and do something you enjoy. Rewarding yourself helps reinforce positive behaviour and keeps you motivated.
Resolutions can be a great way to make positive changes, but they are not the only way. Some people find it more helpful to set smaller, achievable goals throughout the year rather than a big resolution at the beginning of the year. Others prefer to focus on living more intentionally and mindfully each day, rather than focusing on specific goals. The important thing is to find what works best for everyone.