I never liked the term new year’s resolution. It always seemed so final, so unwavering. After all, a resolution is a firm decision, a determination to do something or not do something. Either you achieve it, or you fail.
I admire people that can make a commitment at the start of the year and stick to it. Personally, I think we could do this better, in a more self-accepting and self-forgiving way, by making non-specific statements about what we would like to see happen during the year ahead. There should be flexibility to what we want to achieve. If we’ve learnt anything from 2020, it’s that none of us knows what lies ahead.
Broad statements of intent are more positive, and flexible, that resolutions. Instead of saying ‘This year I will lose 10 kilos’, I could say ‘This year I will live a healthier life’. This statement allows for adjustment to unforeseen circumstances, and gives me control over the actions I take to achieve this end. If I merely focus on losing weight, and then don’t, I’ve failed. But if I focus on living a healthier life, I could achieve this through a myriad of ways, like walking, eating healthier, thinking more positively, or even having therapy. Through these actions I’ve achieved my goal, even if I don’t lose weight.
The same approach can be used for almost any scenario. ‘This year I will fall in love’ can be rephrased as ‘This year I will appreciate the relationships I have the new ones that come into my life’. This may translate into love. Or a love different from what you expected.
So, when making plans for the year ahead, think about how you approach the goals you want to achieve. Use phrases that allow room for movement and don’t trap you into an all-or-nothing scenario.
Allow yourself to have a happy new year!