I am not one to set a new year’s resolution. I never bought into it. I lacked consistency and discipline to actually stick to a weight loss resolution. That is really the only resolution I would have made, had I made one, at least for the past 20 years. In the last 3 years I started to get serious about my health. I noticed each year had a theme based on my own personal development. The first-year theme was to “finish what I started.” As I mentioned before I had a problem with consistency. I would start a diet or exercise program, only to quit a few weeks into it. I made a goal that year to finish one exercise program. I finished three. The second-year theme was “building my confidence.” I didn’t realize how many layers there were to confidence. I used to think “I am confident.” I love the way I look in the face. I love how smart I am. I love xyz, but I didn’t realize the areas in which I lacked confidence. I lacked confidence in my ability to stick with something hard. I lacked confidence in my body. I lacked confidence in my writing. I lacked confidence in my ability to really go after my dreams.
2022 was the Year of Firsts
The first two years I didn’t notice the themes. It wasn’t until I started reflecting over my 2022 theme. I noticed my theme for 2022 rather quickly as I started to do a lot of firsts. I had my first IG Live interview, for me that was a big deal. I went on my first modeling audition as an adult. A lifelong dream that I acted upon. I started vending. Talk about a challenge selling to strangers. I found an amazing organization to volunteer with. I’ve wanted to help people obtain access to healthcare for a long time. All things I wanted to do but told myself I didn’t have the time or experience.
I like the idea of New Years Resolutions but studies have shown people do not stick to them. When you set a goal and do not accomplish it, it can lead to some negative feelings. One could have feelings of shame, guilt, sadness, failure, depression, etc. Since New Year’s Resolutions are doomed to fail, why bother with them anyway?
I believe they fail for many reasons. One reason is you are ultimately telling yourself that something is wrong with you. I need to lose weight. I am too lazy. I can’t keep a clean house. I’m always broke. I am lonely. The goal is always to combat something we do not like about ourselves. We set these goals and expect to accomplish them by the end of January forgetting about the next 11 months in the year. We all have areas in our life in which we can improve but when we set these goals we are subconsciously saying “I am not good enough, the way I am right now.” We should focus on the areas we could use improvement, while utilizing our strengths in order to help achieve our goal. I have struggled with being overweight for 20 years off and on. I focused on the scale and the number kept getting bigger. It wasn’t until I focused on the outcome of a specific goal that I began to change my relationship with my mind and body. I focused on completing a program. I didn’t focus on the scale, pants size, how I looked. I started talking to myself in the mirror and saying nice things about how my body looked etc. My attitude towards the work I needed to do to lose weight shifted. I started loving how much energy I had after exercising. I noticed myself getting stronger.
Setting goals should be SMART. No, I am not calling your goals dumb.
Depending on who you listen to some people will tell you to set goals so high that they seem impossible. I would agree when it comes to your overall life. I want a million dollars. I want to pay off my house before I am 40. I want to travel 10 times a year. These goals are pretty big. Some people can achieve them now while others don’t believe it’s possible. If I am not actively working towards achieving these goals, I would be setting myself up for disappointment each year it doesn’t happen. If I find a job making $500,000 a year, having a million dollars seems attainable. If I set a goal to increase my number of trips per year by one and I am currently taking two trips a year, ten trips a year ten doesn’t seem impossible. However, if you are trying to make lifestyle changes in order to improve your everyday living, I would say start small and SMART. The old saying Rome wasn’t built in a day, well you didn’t pick up that habit in a day either.
When making your goal specific, remember exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish. It is the what? A measurable goal will answer the how. How will you know that you have achieved your goal? Setting a goal that is achievable will keep you motivated to continue. You can even create benchmarks along the route for smaller victories. Relevant goals are just that. Will your goal help you achieve your desired outcome? Lastly, it should be timely. This is the when. How long do you plan to give yourself to reach this goal? Remember you have 12 months in a year.
Now this post is not to talk you out of setting a New Year’s Resolution. You could also take on the idea of a New Year theme. I recommend setting a resolution/theme that you can work on gradually throughout the year. If you are planning on making a change, make it permanent. Don’t forget to actively work on your goal daily. Make it fun. Keep track. Get support either from family, friends or a group. Enjoy the journey and learn along the way. If you have a resolution or theme please share in the comments. You can share how you plan to achieve your goal if you would like as well. Thank you for reading.