Let's Redefine New Year's Resolutions
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Let's Redefine New Year's Resolutions

Who really sticks to them anyways?

17
Let's Redefine New Year's Resolutions

Every year on December 31, people around the world dress up in their sparkliest attire, celebrate the changing year, and make a promise to themselves to change. Every year, by January 31, millions of self-made promises have been broken.

I stopped making resolutions because I knew myself well enough to know I wouldn't keep them. Besides, my resolutions could not change the things I wanted to change about myself in promise form. "my New Year's Resolution is to workout every day" reads the same in my head as "I wish I worked out every day." Neither is a specific enough plan to generate tangible results or motivation.

This year, I've decided to do something different. Mentally, I'm in a much better place than I was last New Year's, so while 2021 was a good year to heal, I'm now in a place where I can move forward, not just move back to stability. This year, I'm not making a New Year's Resolution. I'm creating a New Year's Plan.

I started by dividing my life into categories: Relationships, School, Clubs, Style, etc., totaling out around fifteen. And within each category, I've set subcategories under which I've detailed what I want to be and what I want to work on. In doing this, I'm putting a clear focus on the direction and goals I have for every part of my life.

After choosing how I want all of my life to look, I created Pinterest boards for each of them. Yes, this is extra, and so is my next step, which is creating mood boards for every category. I'm a visual learner, and creating a board of inspiration helps me stay encouraged. I also briefly journaled what I wanted each part of my life to be like, so I could really feel it and picture it in my head. This method helps me assess how much I need to change and helps me realize it's a lot more realistic than I thought. Often my goal is just a current good day, so I only need to make a few tweaks to get there.

After I had a clear image, I took the categories and their details and put it all in a google doc. Under each one, I made an achievable plan for how to complete them. For example: Relationships -> Friends -> try to text all long-distance friends at least once a week; say yes to any favors you can that friends ask of you; always check in if you feel something is off...

These goals aren't enormous tasks, like "be best friends with everyone," that could never be accomplished, nor are they too broad to be realistic, like "be a better friend." By setting small, specific goals, it is more likely I'll be able to accomplish them.

I also have taken care to leave myself some room to fall. I know myself and I know I may struggle to do something every single day. To allow myself room to fail without feeling like a failure, I have realistic goals. For instance, I want to journal daily in 2022. However, I know I may miss a day or two, so the goal is written as "journal at least five days a week." That way, if I only do five instead of seven, I'm still not failing.

The next step is to create a realistic schedule. While these are my goals for the New Year, I know I will be out of town from January 1 - 7, so I don't expect to start these until the 8th. Many goals also have room for understanding by including words like "in a typical week," so there is a different expectation for the weeks that just get crazy. I also know completely changing your habits isn't easily done all at once, so the schedule may vary week to week to allow the goals to stay realistic, rather than forcing myself to do something I can't until I stop entirely.

The final step for me will be printing out my plans and schedules and putting everything I need (like a planner) together in a big binder. It helps me consolidate everything, and I can refer to it easily whenever I need it.

Yes, this is a lot, but no one has to do it to the extent I am. If you wish to change something for the New Year, I simply encourage you to take a little time and make it not just a wish but a realistic plan. And if you try something and it doesn't stick, that's okay! The only goal we really need to worry about for 2022 is to be happy, so allow that to mean whatever you'd like to for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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