If you’ve been reading a while, then you know I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s not that I’m opposed to goal-setting or the process of bettering ourselves, per se, it’s just that I get annoyed at all the hype surrounding the process.
Maybe my attitude is a direct result of our society. A rejection of our pro-diet culture and antipathy toward relaxing or going easy on ourselves. A big “F you” to our “all in” and “go big or go home” mindsets.
Nevertheless, I realize the importance of starting the new year fresh. With a clean slate, so to speak, which is why I want to share my thoughts on the process of making goals and traditional New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s important to be aware of our “why” when setting goals or working toward self-improvement, so hopefully you’ll benefit from these tips.
Things To Remember When Making New Year’s Resolutions
1) Is this something I want?
Do you want to lose weight because your health is suffering and you know you’ll truly feel better with fewer pounds on your frame? Or has the diet culture infiltrated your thoughts and made you feel inadequate because you don’t have a “perfect” BMI and a 6-pack?
If your goal for losing weight is anything other than your own health and confidence, then you may want to reconsider your motivation. If your weight loss stems from “I am inadequate, nobody will love/want/respect/etc. me looking like this,” then I don’t think that’s a very healthy motivation. Similarly, if you’re comfortable in your body and your physicians agree you’re healthy, then you shouldn’t be losing weight to appease a critical spouse or attract a mate.
2) Does this lead to self-improvement and self-fulfillment?
If your goal doesn’t lead you to become a better person, then is it really a goal? When I set goals, it’s because I want to develop more healthful or character-building habits. I may want to exercise more frequently to keep my body in shape. I may want to work on controlling my reactions and temper to treat my family and peers more kindly and graciously.
If your goal leads to anything other than self-improvement or fulfilling a certain path/destiny you’ve longed to achieve (perhaps your goal is to pass a fitness certification exam so you can become a personal trainer or to learn sign language in order to communicate with your deaf cousin), then it may not be the goal for you.
3) Is this goal reasonable/attainable?
Here’s a big reason I balk at the stereotypical New Year’s Resolution game: the goals are often unreasonable and unattainable (or unsustainable in the long run).
It’s one thing to set the goal “to consume less sugar” because it’s affecting your health or causing you to feel lethargic or carry extra weight. It’s another thing for your goal to be “cutting out ALL sugar” simply because some blogger or author tells you that’s the new healthy.
Is cutting out all sugar attainable or sustainable? If you have children, probably not—chances are they’re going to want a real birthday cake once a year. And do you really want to live in a world where you deny all of your cravings for the sake of living a “pure” lifestyle? I know I wouldn’t want that.
4) Do I have a support system in place to help me?
This one isn’t essential, but trust me, it’s definitely helpful to have a support system in place. Whether your entire family is board with dietary goals and exercise goals or a life coach (or therapist) is encouraging you to pursue your passion of a career change, having accountability for your goals is especially beneficial.
But if you don’t have a support system, consider journaling to keep track of your goals/progress. Or join an online community (I’m in several blogging groups on Facebook) of likeminded individuals.
5) Am I willing to put forth the effort?
In other words, is this resolution of the utmost importance to you or is your heart not fully in it? If you’re half-heartedly attempting to reach a goal because of other major obligations or previously-set ambitions, you’re probably not as likely to achieve it.
This sort of goes with #1. If the goal is truly for you and the time is right, then you will have the positive motivation to attempt it whole-heartedly. If not, then maybe you should reconsider and make entirely different goals.5 Things to Remember When Making #NewYearsResolutions #goals #motivation Click To Tweet
Whether you set New Year’s Resolutions or make small goals throughout the year, the important thing to remember is to be compassionate with yourself.
All of us win some hard-fought battles, but there are times when we lose them. The important part is the journey and what we learn about ourselves along the way! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018.
[linking up with Amanda for thinking out loud]
So tell me…
- Do you normally make New Year’s Resolutions?
- What is one of your recent goals—and what was/is your motivation?
- Any tips of your own for setting goals?