Why I don't "do" New Year's Resolutions and What I do InsteadJan 19, 2023
I was today years old when I found out that there is actually a "National Quitters Day". It is recognized on the second Friday of January. Do you want to know why? This is the day that most people quit on their resolutions for the year. TWO - THREE WEEKS. That's it. That's all the energy the majority of the world gives their resolutions.
Studies have found that only 10 percent of people stick with their New Year's Resolutions throughout the year and 1 in 3 people quit on their resolutions before January's end.
Not to mention with all of these statistics we have literally made resolutions out to be a joke. We all see it...the videos, posts and pictures on social media making fun of sticking to New Year's resolutions, gym goers noting that they will go back to the gym in February when everyone else has already quit, the diet ads, massive restriction around food post holiday, etc.
Not to mention so many people being influenced by what "everyone else is doing" instead of doing what THEY actually desire to do for their life. This is a big one and something to keep in mind as you goal set.
We have developed and fueled such an unhealthy relationship with New Year's resolutions that so many people have just given up on setting any sort of intentions or goals for their year. Or when we do, we do it once at the beginning of the year and then we don't look at them until the following year....yea we've all been there, myself included...until I found a better solution and practice.
Let me share some New Year's Resolution healing reflection questions to think about. This was the first thing I had to do before developing a new way to goal and intention set throughout the year.
1) Reflect on your own experience with New Years Resolutions in the past. What has "worked" for you (aka what habits are you still doing)? What didn't stick?
2) What thoughts and feelings come up for you around New Years Resolutions? How do you define them?
3) Have you experienced the "hamster wheel" or a cyclical pattern when it comes to kicking off the New Year and struggling with staying consistent? What does this look like for you?
4) What was your definition of New Year Resolutions from above? REWRITE this definition with what you ACTUALLY desire to feel around goal setting.
5) Re-define New Year Goals (or whatever word resonates with you, I also love to use focused intentions too). What is this experience going to be for you? How do you want to FEEL this year about your goals and taking action towards them?
These questions have helped myself and others recognize our relationship with goal setting, which is the foundational step in moving forward because if we have the negative attachment around goal setting because we are holding onto past "failures" it will be part of what hold us back moving forward.
Now, let's talk what I do INSTEAD of New Year's resolutions. I still love the feeling of the start of a new year. The fresh start, clean slate, another chapter in life.
I love looking back first on the previous year and reflecting on the different areas of my life. I reflect on all of the amazing things that happened in that last year, as well as the lessons I learned and the areas I feel I struggled in that need my attention moving forward.
I don't know about you, but what helps me reflect and organize my thoughts is focusing on each area specifically. If someone were to say to me "just write down all of your goals for the year on this paper" I can guarantee I would probably miss something.
So I focus on these 8 pillars of life and wellness (hint: these are also the areas of focus in my coaching experiences as well).
- Stress Management, Emotional Wellness & Mental Health
- Personal Growth
- Physical Movement
- Mindful Nutrition & Hydration
- Healthy Relationships (partner, children, family, friends, etc.)
- Sleep, Rest & Relaxation
- Business, Career & Finances
- Self Care (additional time for yourself to explore the things you enjoy; ie - hobbies, pampering time, etc.)
These areas help me to organize my thoughts for both my previous year reflection and seeing where my focus needs to lie for the next year.
I ask myself which of these areas I feel really confident in where I'm practicing sustainable and consistent action that feels good and fuels that area of life well. Then I look at the areas where I feel need a bit more attention and love to find what consistent action feels good for the upcoming year.
I like to lovingly rate each of these areas and do an open and honest evaluation. This helps me to see my biggest struggle areas.
I start with my top 3 struggle areas and create goals for actions I want to take in those areas first. I focus on 1-3 mini goals in each of these areas, and then do the same for the rest of the 8 areas as well.
I make these goals specific, attainable, but ensure they push me a little out of my comfort zone to allow room for growth. Giving ourselves a little push, while allowing these action steps to be achievable helps us to keep moving forward towards how we desire this area of life to look and feel.
This process has changed my life and I actually get so excited to goal set and reflect this way.
I don't just do this at the beginning of the year any longer either. I make sure I do this AT LEAST quarterly because life changes, things adjust, and it's important to go with the flow of that change, while remaining focused in on the things that are important to us.
I hope that these reflection questions and goal setting process helps you create goals for the year that actually STICK and that you enjoy. Developing action items that bring you closer to how you want your life to feel and look, in alignment to your core values.
I would love to hear your areas of focus for the year and what your action item(s) are in those areas of life for some extra accountability! Feel free to message me and share or comment in the blog post to share yours!
Cheers to a New Year of opportunity and a new approach to your goal and intention setting!
PS: If you are craving extra accountability and support this year, and want to explore the massive transformation that can happen working with a mentor and coach, email me at [email protected] or message me on socials to see which coaching experience is the best fit for you this year.
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