Why I’m Not into New Year’s Resolutions
Happy New Year’s Eve! I bet you are assuming that I’m going to write about tips for Healthy and Fit New Year’s Resolutions. Or, how to make sure you stick with your resolution with SMART goals. (I definitely considered this one given that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolution). However, I thought I’d take a different approach. I’ve never been very big on New Year’s Resolutions for the reasons below:
- They focus too much on just one a day. We deserve more time for personal reflection than 1 day/year
- Likewise, I think goals should be set throughout the year as we should always be striving for personal growth
- They tend to be more outcome-oriented (lose X amount of weight) and can lead to unrealistic expectations as opposed to process goals (be active 3x a week) that lead to living fuller, healthier and more positive lives
A Different Approach
So, instead of using today and tomorrow to set likely unrealistic expectations, I’m using this time to re-evaluate my values and my life purpose. With this reflection, I can adjust 2018 to live more in accordance with my values. These are not drastic changes to my life, but rather small tweaks that get me closer to being my best self. (NOTE: “closer” is the keyword as this is a process or a draft, if you will).
Last year I did a similar reflection activity with my entire family. After some prompts and journaling, we wrote a mantra on a note card to put on our refrigerators as a reminder all year long. (I think I might be the only one who still has mine… but I digress). Here’s mine:
At the time I wrote this card, I was working full-time at Flywheel Sports, part-time at Heat Studios, presenting fitness education workshops for NETA on weekends, co-creating Raleigh Group Fitness, and pursuing my Master’s degree in Counseling. (I certainly lean in the direction of a workaholic simply because I love my work so much). For obvious reasons, you can see why I wrote this mantra for 2017. It took all year to make some hard decisions, along with a lot of encouragement and reminders from Nathan, but eventually I let go of two jobs to streamline my purpose while enhancing my quality of life.
Now I have more “free time” to create a blog and a business…. . Hey, I never said I was perfect 😉
I’m keeping my intention from last year, while further reflecting on my path. To continue sorting through my goals and priorities, I thought about reassessing my life values and goals. This morning I took this Values Assessment. It was a great tool to reconnect with who I am and what I value. I highly recommend taking this 5 minute assessment to reflect and re-evaluate. When was the last time you took a dedicated amount of time to only think about yourself? Once you take the assessment, the website provides follow-up action items for self development.
More ideas to intentionally kickstart your new year
- Reflect and journal on ways you can tweak your life to live more aligned with your values. If you value…
- health, are you active?
- family, how often do you call your parents?
- community involvement, how often do you volunteer?
- risk-taking, when was the last time you tried something new?
- Inspire others to take this quiz with you and have a discussion about it. Be passionately engaged in yourself and those close to you
- Write down your top 3 values and place them somewhere you will look daily
- Set a calendar invite for every 2-3 months to re-visit and check-in. Celebrate your accomplishments, be kind to yourself if you have not made any changes and set other small goals for the next check-in
For me, one of my values is community involvement. I noticed that one area where I am lacking is volunteering. I am heavily involved in my community, but could definitely dedicate more time to volunteer activities. So far, I’ve committed to volunteering for the Tammy Lynn Center’s Rock N Ride Raleigh event this year (and am planning to make this a team-building activity for the Flywheel team). Nathan and I are also looking at ways to get involved in our neighborhood, such as volunteering at the Oak City Outreach Center. There are so many amazing non-profits in Raleigh that I would love to make more time for.
As you go through this activity, know that you cannot do this wrong. It’s a draft that is constantly being reworked. You make your own rules and decisions based on what is important to you. Create your life in a way that makes YOU feel good, while letting go of social comparisons and making others happy.
Cheers to moving towards being our best selves, one mindful day at a time.