New Beginnings: Resolutions or Not?
New Beginnings: Resolutions or Not?
This isn’t going to be your usual ‘Make a New Years Resolution List’ blog. I don’t believe in them! This is about seeing the New Year as new beginnings, a clean slate. A new opportunity? Yes, absolutely! But, let’s scrap the pressure and the expectations!
This world has become like a water-logged towel that we are trying to squeeze the last little drop out of. We are all suffering from overwhelm, stress and the pressure to be ‘who knows what, to who knows who’. We are living our lives under a cloud.
Find an Opportunity to Set Yourself Free
I’d like to think that a simple shift in our way of thinking can move us towards a better way of living. Focusing on what brings us joy instead of focusing on achieving some goal or other. Surely, finding happiness is the prize? And, happiness can never be an end goal. Happiness is a process, a journey, a way of being. By all means, set a New Years Resolution to ‘Be Happy’, but understand that it is not finite, it is your framework for your life. Being happy is a choice and a way of living.
When we create New Years Resolutions they become like the infamous ‘diet’ that hangs like a noose around our necks. This is like walking in the opposite direction of happiness. The weight of the expectation becomes too much for us to bear and we inevitably give up on reaching our goal. My advice? Don’t do it to yourself! Be kind to yourself. Find a motivation that brings you closer to joy. Set a goal to play more guitar, spend more time outdoors or sign up for a pottery class. Don’t hold a knife to your throat that you MUST loose weight or quit smoking (these are usually the big ones, aren’t they?).
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Why am I trying to stop you from making a change?
I’m not! The intentions behind New Years Resolutions are good and I have no problem with them. My problem is with the pressure we put on ourselves. This kind of pressure is never a good thing. If you are serious about making a change the date 1st January won’t make a damn bit of difference. Using New Year as a push to make a change isn’t a good idea.
Why not change your perception of what it is you are trying to achieve. Look at what the end results will be for you once you’ve achieved your goal. If you are trying to lose weight, stop that nasty self-talk that I know you are using on yourself and instead take small positive steps towards your goal. Then, think about what life will be like when you have reached your goal. The same applies no matter what the goal. The same way dieting will only ever work if you change the way you view and experience food, the only way a resolution will work is if you change the way you view and experience your goal.
Make Self-Love the new benchmark
Everything you do needs to be done from a place of love. Love for yourself. That way when we decide we want to open a new business or submit a manuscript for publication we can do it from a place of self-acceptance. We are not tied to the outcome because we love ourselves regardless of the outcome. We still strive to achieve our goals but from a gentler perspective.
If you approach your health goals (notice I stay away from the word diet) with a loving desire to feel better physically you are much more likely to feel motivated to eat healthy food than you are if you stare at that pre-planned menu that is an offense to your taste buds. Make small changes that make you feel empowered instead of pushing for a big change that leaves you feeling inadequate.
Do it for you!
Finally, this is not a competition. You are not trying to impress everyone around you with your list of New Years achievements. Even if YOU manage to stick to your list, most people don’t so the negatives shift to the way you make them feel about their goals. Deciding that 2021 is going to be ‘the year’ is a wonderful thing, just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
Whatever you choose to make your point of focus for this year, make it for you. Decide what matters most to you and what you want to gain from this year. Do you want to be more spiritual, more active, more creative? Do you want to be social or travel more? The start of a new year is the opportunity to reflect on what matters and what you are looking for from this year. Don’t turn it into something that increases the stress in an already stressed out world. Instead, see it as a way to lay the foundations for your year based on your strengths and passions.
Instead of lack, let’s look at abundance
Setting your New Years Resolutions is a bit like focusing on where you’re lacking. Let’s flip it around and look at where you are already doing great, on those new beginnings we are longing for! I chose the feature image for this blog because it is a negative image (before development into a positive photograph) and I love the symbolism of it (Photo Credit: JR Korpa on Unsplash). We take a negative image and turn it into a positive. What’s the secret ingredient? Light! How poetic is that! Take the light and use it to turn your negatives into positives! May 2021 be The Year, resolutions or not!
If you enjoyed this blog take a look at my post on Elephant Journal: Dreams vs Ambition for more inspiration!
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I Love the way you put that over. One never realises that you may be doing yourself more harm than good, making that New Years reselution. Do we?
I think it’s not so much about the resolutions as it is about the pressure. It’s all about how we approach it. Thanks for reading!
Love this post! Agree that every day is a be beginning and what better reminder that an a new year to start self care and self love. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas
You are welcome, I’m so glad you enjoyed them!
Yes, I am all about that abundance mindset this year! Especially coming out of a pandemic year it can be hard, but also showed us how much we have in us, both physically and mentally and how there is room for us to grow to wherever we want to reinvent ourselves!
Thanks for your comment, Robyn, and thanks for reading! I firmly believe the success of this year starts with our mindset, let’s make it a good one!
I this the resolutions stand point about making it a bench mark, so that it will stick, this is so good. We have alway set yearly goals versus resolutions for that very reason.
Absolutely agree! Thanks for reading Jen.
I so agree! I see the new year as a new beginning, a fresh start and move accordingly.
Yes, a fresh start! So much to look forward to 🙂
“Let’s scrap the pressure and the expectations!” Well said! I’m with you 100%. Focusing on what brings joy and love is a wonderful place to start … and that radiates out to others. Thank you for sharing this important message.
I agree; don’t put that pressure on yourself. I don’t set resolutions. I use each seasonal shift to revisit any intentions or goals I’ve set. I look at what’s working and what isn’t, to let go of what isn’t, move forward with what is, and shift or set new ones for the season ahead.
Well said! Look at what is working for you and let go of the excess that is dragging you down. 🙂
I enjoy setting goals and hitting small milestones in my life regardless of a New Year or not! I feel like I always have something to work for and it adds a lot to my life
Love this! You hit the nail on the head, the New Year should have no significance in our decisions to set goals and reach for our best life!
Where we are in the world right now I feel that giving resolutions are a bit difficult as the feeling that we don’t have any control over our lives or freedom right now. But working on our mental health and self care is always something that we should thrive to improve so even if it’s not a resolution itself it something that I will work on.
That’s a great idea Josephine! Working on self-care will boost your happiness and leave you feeling more able to take on the New Year!
A beautiful post, thank you for sharing. We do put too much pressure on ourselves and I love this an alternative way of viewing things.
Thanks, Wendy, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for reading!
I totally agree with putting self-care and self-love first…
There will be always new projects to work on and to-do’s to finish, but that doesn’t mean that we should put our health at the bottom of our to-do list…
I started setting an alarm and it doesn’t matter where I am in my to-do list, I just stop and do my work-out and self care routine… 😉
Loved your post!! Thanks a lot or sharing
Thanks Natascha. Wow, I love the alarm idea, that’s brilliant! Thanks for reading and sharing 🙂