As 2019 roars on, the gyms are full, the fridges stocked with healthy food, and our calendars marked with milestones.
Feel familiar? It should. We find ourselves here every year.
The start of a new year represents an opportunity to become a stronger, healthier, better
version of ourselves. But often, even though our resolutions are great, they lack focus — they
lack specificity. Read more. Get fitter. Travel more. Be more social. Be less social. Whatever
your goals are, even if they’re noble pursuits, they can be hard to put into practice. Simply put,
they are big changes. That’s not to say they’re impossible to reach, but if you find yourself
making the same resolutions this year as you have in years prior, it might be time to make a
change — it might be time to make 2019 a year of small changes.
Stop with the All or Nothing
Every goal is actually a collection of smaller goals. Want to read 50 books this year? You’ve got
to read 10 first. Want to lose 25 pounds? You’ve got to lose 5 first. Want to run 10k? You’ll
have to pass the 1k marker. When our goals are too large, they can loom in the distance. We
feel intimidated and judged by them until we break through them. But, as we’ve all
experienced, we are prone to giving up. We’ll convince ourselves that 50 books was a
ridiculous goal, 25 pounds far too ambitious, and a 10k downright insane. But giving up on the
big goal stops us from achieving the smaller successes. If we reward ourselves in an all-or-
nothing way, we stop ourselves from being motivated by the smaller victories. Allow yourself to feel the satisfaction of 1 book, 1 pound, or 1k. Any progress at all that gets you closer to a goal is an achievement.
Every Moment is an Opportunity
Resolutions (or simply, commitments to self-improvement) get a lot of press around New Year’s
but there’s no reason they can’t be practiced monthly, weekly, daily, or with a bit of
mindfulness, moment to moment. There will undoubtedly be obstacles and setbacks, but we
don’t have to postpone our endeavours and wait an entire year to try again. Often, New Year’s
resolutions can be the harshest form of “I’ll do that tomorrow” leading to “I wish I did that
yesterday.” The start of a new year is simply another moment. A highly celebrated moment,
sure. But still a moment. The year will be full of moments and the best one to start your journey
of self-improvement is whichever one you choose, whenever you choose it. And if you mess up
along the way, there’ll be another moment arriving shortly after.
New Year’s resolution’s shouldn’t be about static unchanging finish-lines, they should be about
simply moving forward. Not all at once, but in steps.