Why You Should Not Set a New Year’s Resolution & What to Do InsteadMelanie Tawil
The New Year is upon us, which means it’s time to make a resolution or two. So what will it be this year: lose weight, again; promise yourself a change of job, again; earn more money, perhaps?
The truth is, most of us will do the same thing we always do: set some goals that will be forgotten about by the 7th January, or thereabouts. So this year I’m proposing something different. And the goal-setting gurus will hate me for it.
Yes, I’ve heard it a million times before; the reason we don’t stick to our resolutions and don’t fulfill our goals is that they’re not SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
And while there is a lot of truth in that, for me it’s only half the story.
So this year, I’m throwing the rulebook out the window and offering you an alternative pathway. Do nothing. Don’t set any resolutions or goals. And if you must set a resolution, then make it this: Give up wanting anything to happen in the New Year. And if you have to set a goal, set a goal to set no goals.
“What! But it’s New Year. A time to restart the clock, to set about achieving all that’s possible and to fulfill my potential!” Rather than rushing forward in a panic to set resolutions or a list of goals you can start on New Year’s day, forget all that and enter the New Year in a mode of being absolutely present, and absolutely positive about how great it’s going to be. Stop the “I must” thought mill turning over all the things you should have done this year that you’ll “definitely do next year”. Enter the New Year with zero pressure on your back to do anything other than remain open to the possibility of your potential, receptive to change and ready to show compassion to yourself for your shortcomings.
The reality is that there’s no point in setting the same resolutions you’ve been setting for years on end, only to feel disappointed and down on yourself. Remember what Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This cycle only perpetuates feelings of failure and inadequacy, which is wholly negative and certainly not conducive to achieving goals. Consider for a moment why you haven’t shifted that weight, changed that job, built that shed in the garden or watched your son play football more often. Maybe you thought so hard about doing positive things that you didn’t get around to actually putting them in motion.
So this year, it’s time to make a real change. It’s time to take stock of where you are and what you want out of continuing doing what others expect you to do or what you think might make you seem or feel more successful or more appealing. It doesn’t matter how many goal-setting guides you follow, the moment you stop piling pressure on yourself to undertake resolutions that you aren’t wholly committed to, or don’t even really want, is the moment you give yourself a chance to breathe – to be present enough to see the wood for the trees. That breathing space allows us to see who it is that has been doing all the doing, who it is who has been trying to reach all these goals and get to these moments of self-actualization that never seem to quite plug the hole of fulfillment. Of course, there’s always room for improvement in life, and yes, goal-setting can be a positive activity. But if you always feel short-changed by your efforts and rewards, then perhaps it’s time you stopped forcing yourself, stopped making empty promises to a stranger, stopped living through the expectations of others and instead made friends with yourself and the wonderful being that you are. Let go of the expectations of others and, for once, let your intuition take the lead in guiding you through the year.
I guarantee you will attract an abundance of positive opportunities into your life.
7 Easy Ways to be Mindful Every Day
Mindfulness has a way of sounding complicated. It’s anything but. “Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” according to Marsha Lucas, Ph.D, psychologist and author of Rewire Your Brain for Love.
There are many simple ways you can be more mindful. Here are ten tips to incorporate into your daily life.
- Turn daily tasks into mindful moments.
- Pay attention to your breathing.
- Take a walk or spend time in nature.
- Focus on one thing at once.
- Meditate for a few minutes each day.
- Put your phone away or turn it off.
- Seek out new experiences and adventures.
- Take control of your breathing.
- Journal daily about anything.
- Feel your feelings