By this point on the calendar, almost everyone’s New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside and we’re mired in shame at our annual failure. These negative feelings about yourself are not only unnecessary, but also start your year off on the wrong foot. I propose a new way of looking at it.
Resolutions vs. Intentions
In general, New Year’s resolutions are about fixing something that you think is wrong with you. They’re a version of, “This year, I’m going to suck less.” Resolutions are usually all-or-nothing, externally-focused, self-punishing life changes. No wonder we don’t stick to them - that doesn’t sound fun at all!
Rather than resolutions, focus on intentions instead. Here’s why intentions are better:
- Intentions are inward-looking. How do you want to feel about yourself and your goals along this journey?
- Intentions are about the journey itself as much as the destination - focusing on the success of every day, not just the end result.
- Intentions are about self-love and growth, not punishment, shame, or self-deprivation.
- With an intention, you always have the opportunity to get back on track after an off day. No such thing as failure - because every single day is an opportunity to treat yourself like someone you like and want to succeed.
You can not achieve health and happiness through self-deprivation, self-punishment, or shame.
It simply does not work that way.
There’s no magic in January 1st - it’s completely acceptable to start today. Here are some tips to get you started:
- What are the goals you set for this year? Can you really visualize and articulate what you want? If not, start there. You’re much more likely to get what you want if you know what you want.
- Are the goals you set still the right goals for you? Do they still feel like a good path to be on? What adjustments to your goals are needed?
- What progress have you made towards those goals so far? Remember, no shame. If you have made progress, congratulations! Please take some time to celebrate.
- If you’re not making progress, greet yourself with compassion and patience. It’s really OK - this is about the journey. Then reflect on what’s holding you back.
- Is this really the right goal for you right now? Is it what you honestly want? Or is it what you think you “should” do?
- Are there tools, resources, or support that you need to move forward? How can you get them? Ask for help.
- Is there an element of fear as you think about your goals?
- What realistic actions can you commit to to make the first step of progress? What step can you take to make yourself happier and healthier TODAY?
- Celebrate every step of the way.
- Repeat often…”I love myself. I am proud of myself. I deserve every bit of joy and success. I am succeeding.”
These questions may lead to deeper conversations. Changing your life is hard work. Let’s make sure that you have all the resources you need to be your happiest, healthiest, most successful self. If those resources include a coach, give us a call. We would love to help you articulate your goals and figure out the best way to achieve them. You deserve nothing less.