As the end of the year approaches, the list for New Year's resolutions start. Every year, there are too many people with the whole "new year," "new me" attitude. Well, I'm here to tell you that as nice as it sounds to just hit the reset button on your past mistakes or bad habits, it's physically impossible. The best thing to do is reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of your year and look at what you've accomplished, and what you would like to improve on.
1. Reflect on the previous year.
Many people just think about the worst things that occurred during the year. We're all human, so not every year is going to be perfect. Whether you experienced the loss of a family member, ended a relationship, or had some difficulties with school or work, there are always positive things that come out of every year. So instead of writing a list based off the bad things that happened, take the time to see what struggles you encountered and how you can accomplish a small task to achieve those goals, and then focus on the things that went well for you and how you can improve.
2. Focus on internal goals to improve.
Maybe this year you lacked positive relationships with friends, or you focused too much on one person rather than all the people surrounding you. Think about what's going on inside you and look at how you are treating others. Ask your self-questions, such as "are you happy with the relationships you currently have," "would you like to make more friends," "are you spending to much time for yourself and not enough time on others," or vice versa, "are you not having enough me time?" Focusing on your relationships and how you can treat yourself and others better can be a great way to start your relationships off fresh.
3. Avoid setting unrealistic goals.
Let's say your goal is to lose weight, get straight A's, or earn a career promotion. Whatever your goal may be, you must consider how realistic the goals you're setting are. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you cannot expect to go on a diet and go from living a sedentary lifestyle to being a fitness model. Odds are, you will give up within the first few months and will put the resolution off until the following year. If you want to make your resolution stick, the best tip to achieving goals is to set smaller goals that will stick. For example, if your goal is to earn straight A's, but you are typically a C student, then this may be too unrealistic in such a short period of time. A better approach is to focus on the study habits of a good student and try to pick those up by setting a daily task and rewarding positive behavior.
4. Remember you are improving yourself, not changing your identity.
Oftentimes, people get caught up in the idea that when they restart the year, they can adopt the whole "New Year, New Me" attitude. Well, I'm here to tell you that as nice as that could be, it is first of all impossible, and it is also an extremely unhealthy method of thinking. Rather than focusing on "changing your identity," you should view resolutions as a chance to improve your strengths and conquer your weaknesses.
5. Know that there is always room for improvement.
Let's say you had a fantastic year, and that you accomplished all the goals you wished to accomplish. Whether you got the promotion, that job, or finally achieved the goal that you have been dreaming to achieve for years, know that you can always better yourself no matter who you are. People often focus on what they haven't done, or they get stuck in this "I'm happy, life is good, nothing needs to change" sort of mindset. Know that no matter where you are in life, whether things are going well, or you are at a time of struggle, there is always room for individual improvement.
As the year comes to an end, I hope you find yourself setting realistic, achievable goals, and that you remember there is no such thing as a goal too small.