Turning over into the New Year can be a tricky time for those of us working on our health and happiness. Most people drop their resolutions within the first month, so the whole idea of setting goals can be intimidating. What’s the best way to think about new year resolutions? Should you even bother?
I’ve been really “over” New Year’s resolutions for the last couple of years. I thought they were overrated, and for people who just didn’t have enough discipline to do what they wanted to do in the previous year. Harsh, I know. It was probably my defense mechanism for avoiding failure. If you don’t set goals, it doesn’t matter if you don’t reach them. But someone with that mindset isn’t inspiring or positive or the type of person that lifts others.
On August 31, 2017 I made my first list of “monthly intentions” to begin working on in September. This was a practice I’d picked up from Instagram influencers, and it reframed my entire mindset in the remainder of the year. I used these intentions aa guide for my actions in the following 30 days. They looked different month-to-month. Some of these were
- Pray daily
- Commit to waking up early
- Do 3 nice things for strangers
And I did all of them! I go about this by writing them down, making them pretty, and tacking the list up above my work desk so I see it every morning. At the end of the month when I make a new list, I look at the old one, reflecting on how I worked toward my previous intentions. I also did a scaled-down version of the same process each night consisting of small goals to make the next day productive. Unlike intentions, these are specific and results-based. They might have included
- Meal-prep dinners
- Make a study guide for pharmacology
- Finish filling out FAFSA application
Daily goals are more like to-do tasks. We all have a million things we could do everyday, so this was my way of prioritizing the things that really needed to be done. It helped clear my head by seeing it on paper rather than letting my responsibilities float around and clutter my brain. If you’re like me and enjoy crossing things off a list, creating a list of tasks each night is super effective.
So in the last few days of 2017, I thought, I make daily productivity goals and I make monthly intentions and typically follow through – why can’t I make some over-arching goals for the year? I’ve been obsessed with self-improvement, personal development, and looking ahead, and a fresh start like a new month or a Monday gets me really excited! There is no fresher start than a whole new year. I think the key is to realize that even if you achieve every single resolution you have, you won’t be a brand new, shiny human. And most importantly, if you don’t follow through with some of them, that’s perfectly ok. You’re still you, I’m still me, just potentially improved versions. It’s all about growth and what you can learn from the process.
That being said, I decided to partake in the madness of the New Year mindset and set some intentions for 2018.
- Continue to utilize early mornings for self-care rituals and productivity
- Execute a monthly budget
- Help 3 people with their health
- Buy mostly sustainably made or second-hand clothing
- Reduce purchases of plastic-packaged products
- Do 30 seconds of sirsasana (headstand)
If you made any resolutions or intentions for the new year, drop them in the comments! I’d love to hear them 😊
Happy New Year,