Have you ever made a New Year's resolution that you had a hard time sticking to? Oh yeah, me too, and so has everyone else. Believe me, it's not that there isn't value in setting new goals and commitments, but perhaps we've been too lofty? What is it about waiting until the New Year to make these resolutions? What about the rest of the year?
The New Year can be considered a "rebirth" for some people. It's a time of renewal and rejuvenation. It's a time for hope. We set resolutions to remind ourselves to be the best version of ourselves. We say our resolutions to ourselves and our friends with conviction- in hopes that it will stick if we put the word out there enough. This year I will... stop smoking, stop drinking, lose 30 pounds, work out 5 days a week, eat a cleaner diet, stop fighting with my spouse, be a better mother/father/son/daughter, be more committed at work, etc. As the year turns we think about how we will replenish our lives and fill our hearts so that we feel whole.
This year I urge you (and myself) to think of every day as a chance to start over. Each night the sun sets, and each morning the sun rises, and so can we. I also urge you to break your goals down into smaller pieces. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, make a smaller version of 10 pounds in 2 months. Doesn't that seem more attainable? When you reach your first goal, you set your second goal. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on how reasonable your first timeframe was. Maybe you need to make changes for the second 10 lbs?
Every day you get to choose which version of yourself you will be. If you fell off the wagon the day before, today you get to reset and choose again. 364 days between resolutions is far too many. Check in with yourself regularly, reflect, regroup and restart. Today is always a good day to do better.
We are a culture of self-critics. Instead of chastising our failures, let's celebrate our successes. If you lose 8 pounds in two months instead of 10, do a victory dance! You are a success! You have made important changes; you are healthier than you were two months ago. This is good!