Have you grown weary of new year resolutions? I certainly have.
The vast majority of us struggle to keep the resolutions we set.
I wrote before that it’s mostly because our resolutions don’t tend to align with goal setting best practices.
But you don’t actually need to dive too deep in the subject to get a sense of what is wrong. Let’s zoom out a bit.
The dream : new year, new you
We’ve heard of people who have turned over a new leaf seemingly overnight. After an epiphany, they become unfeasibly healthy, turn into a productive powerhouse or some other 180 degree change.
I don’t know about you but for me, this paradigm shift is an enigma wrapped into a mystery. I don’t know how to replicate it. Positive thinking, affirmations, manifestation (insert alternative buzz word of the day) clearly aren’t enough.
We also know of people who are internally motivated. Once they have a goal or idea, they have no problem becoming laser-focused.
On the flipside, some people are better off working towards a goal together with a community. They need to feed off like minded people.
And of course, some of us are somewhere in the middle, swaying between both ends of the spectrum.
The reality : know thyself
There may not be a one size fit all approach. Goal setting (and most importantly goal getting) isn’t an exact science.
A more effective method is to mix and match, use what works for us at any given time.
Are you the laser-focused type? Are you the sociable type? Internally-motivated? Externally-motivated?
It’s about hitting the sweet spot between being focused (but not so imbalanced we sacrifice our health), having some kind of external motivation (like an accountability partner or someone whom we made a promise to) and deriving meaning from the goal we set.
The new year resolution trap
The main thing is, in my opinion, not to put ourselves under unnecessary pressure to become someone different overnight.
The phrase of new year new you automatically puts pressure on us to transform. But transformation needn’t be quick.
Slow and steady wins the race. The finish line isn’t the end of January, or February, etc…It’s December, at the very least.
In keeping with the aforementioned, I have been setting a theme for my year rather than a resolution.
This way my changes are sustained and sustainable. I can pace myself. There’s less pressure to make quick changes, more emphasis on the long term trajectory.
The long game gives me meaning. As an internally motivated person, that’s my preferred fuel. I have something that will colour most of my decisions throughout the year. Meaning for me is as (if not more) valuable than the actual result. Even if I don’t get the specific result I envision, the whole year’s efforts will never be in vain.
My theme for 2021 was “relentless output”. It was the reminder I needed to not only consume but produce. This I did. Blogged consistently, produced music too.
Next time I’ll reveal my theme for 2022. It’s on the same line but taking it a step further. I’ll also talk about how this whole theme approach came about.
What about you? What are you intending to do differently this year?
Reflect, redefine, rise !