With the holidays behind us, and the New Year quickly approaching, many people are thinking of what they will choose as their new year’s resolutions. We look back on the year and recognize all of the things we wish we could have done differently. We look forward to the upcoming year and the chance for a “clean slate” and the opportunity to accomplish what we want in our lives.
I think it’s great to recognize that some areas in our lives need changing, and to have the willingness to do something about it. Although the idea of setting resolutions is great for some, not many people keep their commitment and end up breaking their resolution before the end of January, unfortunately. The reason this is so common is because most of us do not set realistic, tangible resolutions in which we can hold ourselves accountable and truly achieve. In my own experience, I have learned that the feelings that come about when a resolution is not met are very discouraging and can set a negative pace for the months to follow. It can place us in a funk and also set in the feeling of “failure.”
So, this year, I challenge you to skip the hype of new year’s resolutions and instead make real, tangible changes that you can achieve.
Here are 5 Ways to Make Real Changes this New Year:
Don’t Wait Until January 1st to Make a Change
If you are serious about making real changes in your life, start today! We have the power of starting over any chapter in our lives that no longer serves our greater good, at any given time. Even if 6 months down the road you feel that something in your life needs adjusting, do something about it right then! You do not have to wait ‘til the next January 1st to make changes. Every single day is a brand new opportunity; a chance for a new beginning. Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight otherwise we wouldn’t have taken so long to try to change. It takes honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness each and every day.
Write Down the Changes You Wish to Make
Seeing is believing, right? Write your goals down on a piece of paper, and even on post-it notes. Place them in random areas around your home. On the fridge, bathroom mirror, in your car, etc. Seeing your goals daily will help you stay motivated to fulfill them. Also, this ensures family and friends also see your goals and they can help hold you accountable if you start slipping.
Changes Should Be Realistic
Many of us have bad habits that we wish to change. Whether it be smoking cigarettes, biting nails, eating junk food, etc. Instead of saying, “This year I’m going to lose weight,” set a realistic, and more importantly, achievable way to make it happen such as, “I will exercise 30 minutes daily before work, and lose one pound per week.” When we set open-ended goals there isn’t any accountability, nor are we able to see the progress or real changes being made. Each week that you lose that one pound, mark it on your calendar so you can see your results coming to life. It will give you that much more motivation to continue on.
Reflect on Your Past Resolutions
Think about some of the new year’s resolutions from the past that you did not fulfill. Try to figure out where things went wrong so you can be mindful of how to prevent that from obscuring your goals for 2021.
One Goal at a Time is Sufficient
If you know your history has proven that having too many goals can lead to not fulfilling any of them, then focus on just one goal at a time to ensure you keep a steady pace. You do not need a list of 10 things you want to change and overwhelm yourself. Focus on one goal at a time, and when you feel a bit more confident to work on another change, add that to the mix.
My hope is that this article has shifted your thoughts on what your new year’s resolutions will be in order to make them achievable for you.
Remember, be realistic and detailed with your goals so you can make real changes in your life. Don’t overwhelm yourself; You can do this. I believe in you!
Wishing all of you a happy and abundant 2021
(This article was originally published on December 31st, 2015)
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Ashley is a recovering addict, that also lives with a dual diagnosis for Bipolar II. Her mission is to strengthen her own recovery and mental health by sharing her experience, strength, hope, and support with other addicts and those in the mental health community. Ashley uses her online resources to reach addicts (those recovering and also those still suffering from active addiction) and their loved ones across the world. Through this journey, she has discovered her passion for writing, blog management, and content curating, which has turned into a fulfilling and passionate career for her.