I’m a firm believer that New Year’s Resolutions are full of baloney. Nobody needs to start another calendar year to start working on their goals. Sure, this time of year might get you thinking about making New Year’s Resolutions. But I say don’t buy into it just for the sake of making them. You can set goals and make resolutions at any time of the year.
There are plenty of things I could change next year. But I’m still going to keep eating cake, occasionally. Even though I could cut dairy (lactose intolerant), I might occasionally sneak a piece of Feta cheese on my plate. There are so many little things I could change, but would the improvement be that significant? Maybe if I cut dairy out, but a peppermint candy won’t hurt every once in a while! Spoken like a true hard candy addict, am I right? There is always room for improvement, but I’m not stressing out about what I eat because I know my health is well.
New Year’s Resolutions are more stressful than they are helpful. For example, your goal is to lose ten pounds in January, but something comes up, and you don’t hit your goal. You start to feel discouraged and fall back into your same old routine from last year. You forget about your gym membership (ahem, that’s me.), and you don’t go back until July. What if we focus all that energy on changing nothing? We are simply present and mindful of life as it happens. Alfred from the Pocket Mindfulness wrote a post about exactly that. It’s a great read and worth checking it out.
Goal setting is an incredibly powerful tool to improve our lives. Every week I strive to hit a new fitness goal, like running two extra minutes on the treadmill or lifting thirty-five pounds instead of thirty. It’s taken a lot of mindfulness on my part to get myself to a point where I’m happy about these little successes. A year is just too long to determine a goal without setting up checkpoints along the way. When we set goals to attain tomorrow, next week, even next year they become things we might get to in the future.
If there is one thing to resolve for the new year, it’s how we think about goal setting. A true transformation is full of grit and hard work every single day. No dream board will be enough to get you to read one thousand books next year if you hate reading. So, I’m not knocking goal setting; I think it’s fantastic. If something is pulling you this way instead of that other way, see where it takes you. 2016 could be a year to change something about yourself, or it could be the year you reflect on your strengths and what you’ve accomplished already.
Too often we think about where we want to be instead of where we are now.