Instead of posting a series motivational quotes (I’m sure there are enough of those going around!) I’ve decided to write a little bit about how I feel about the new year and my take on resolutions.
I found that for ages I’d make resolutions and they’d never stick around for too long. Get to bed earlier, eat more veg…you know the ones. It can be so easy to scribble down a long list but it can also be easy to forget we even made them by the time February comes around. The “new year – new you” phrase can put so much pressure on us. Should we try and entirely reinvent ourselves at the stroke of midnight? Perhaps waiting until the first cup of the coffee on January the 1st would be more realistic? If we really want to make changes why keep trying a technique that doesn’t work? Perhaps it’s time for another approach.
With the types of changes we’d like make in new year resolutions are often based around our behaviour and behaviour takes time to change. But where to start? And are we looking in the right place?
The Emotional Connection
The emotional connection to decision making plays a huge role for me. While I may feel I understand the reason why I’d like to change a habit or behaviour I may not actually verbalise this. For example, one aspect I’ve been working on is getting to bed on time.
So, on my list goes “get to bed on time”. Great, I know I need to do this but in the past I haven’t, or at least not for long. Why? For me, I feel I need to understand the real reasons for this. My reasons why I want this change and what it will mean to me and how it will improve my quality of life. Instead of making this resolution another bullet point on a list of 10 I make it a heading and then list the reasons why. Working to list as many reasons as possible, however silly they make be helps me to connect emotionally to the change I’m wanting to make.
Getting to bed on time makes me feel…
- happier the next day
- more connected to other people
- I make better decisions
- as though I have more energy
- ready to face the day
- better able to serve those around me
- as though I enjoy life more!
For me the point is, where is the focus and why is it important? Is it on the behaviour simply because we know it’s a ‘bad’ behaviour or is the focus on how we treat ourselves? If I place my own health and wellbeing front and centre in the new year resolution it helps me connect to the reasons why I want to make the changes. Over the last 6 months this approach has been really helpful.
The only new year resolutions worth making?
Perhaps one of the only new year resolutions worth making is the one to be kinder and more compassionate towards ourselves? If I’m able to cultivate an understanding of how I’m feeling and remain connected to that (through meditation and journalling practices) I’m better able to work towards a healthier and happier life.
Wishing you all the health and happiness for 2020!
P.S. As a bonus read check out the approach Tim Ferriss has to the new year. His view is always interesting.