LETSS Talk....New Years Resolutions


 It can be so easy to fall into the idea that with a new year we should suddenly evolve into a new and improved version of ourselves. While some people may find it motivating and empowering to set and follow through with new years resolutions, this is not necessarily everyone's experience. Given it's that time of the year that we may feel a little (or a lot) of pressure to set resolutions and raise the expectations we have of ourselves, we thought we'd talk a little about keeping this experience realistic, enjoyable and non-judgmental.

So, what is a new years resolution really? Ultimately it's just a goal that we've set at the beginning of the year, right? While it may feel like it has a bit more gravity to it because it's a new years resolution, at the end of the day (or should I say year) it's just another goal. We set goals all the time, some small, some big, some we complete, some we don't. That's just life. So how can we embrace the motivation that sometimes comes alongside a new calendar year, without getting caught up in the judgement and anxiety that sometimes crops up when moving towards that resolution (inevitably) doesn't go as quickly or consistently as we had hoped.

We don't necessarily have the answer to that but we have chucked together a few tips from our peer workers, that will hopefully be helpful!

  • Tip 1: Embrace the ebb and flow

Moving towards a goal/resolution is very rarely a linear process. Just like with any goal there will be periods where we feel energized, motivated and empowered and periods where we just can't be bothered. That doesn't mean we're going backwards in our progress. Trust that in the periods where it's more challenging to assertively and clearly move towards goals, there are good reasons for that. Allow yourself some room to breathe, and re-focus on what you may need (or not need) in these moments. Another wave of motivation will inevitably come, whether it's for your original one goal or another one that comes up and takes priority.

  • Tip 2: Find something meaningful

Perhaps this one seems obvious. I mean of course we're going to set goals that feel important to us. But will we really? It often feels that new years resolutions can feel pressured and sort of... impulsive. With the fast approaching end of the year it can feel like we just need to make a resolution, doesn't matter what it is. But this can often leave us feeling a a bit unsure about what we're really working towards. Instead, if possible, take some time to reconnect with values, explore what you're needing and why you're needing it. Instead of just 'I need to exercise more' explore why you feel this way. Is it so you can have more energy? Improve your mental wellbeing?

  • Tip 3: Smaller = bigger

In recent years I've really embraced the idea of setting (and celebrating) smaller goals and achievements. I know this tip gets thrown around a lot but perhaps that is with good reason. It often does feel tempting to set a big and ambitious goal in the midst of a wave of motivation. And if this is something that has worked for you, absolutely go for it (and please share the secret of how you do this with me). But so often big goals can end up looming over us and creating more stress than anything else. Smaller endeavors, are no less meaningful in my humble opinion, and often feel far more friendly!

  • Tip 4: Incorporate joy!

Working towards goals can often be hard and tiring, and that's perfectly okay. Finding joy in this process doesn't mean always feeling joyful not at all, but rather tapping into this feeling here and there. It may involve taking the time to share the ups and downs of your journey with those close to you, or thinking creatively about how you can keep working towards your resolution in ways that are fun. Some resolutions can absolutely be and feel really serious and important, but finding lightness and excitement within the little milestones, or humor in the things that go wrong can make the process feel a little less daunting.

  • Tip 5: Explore what works

There is a loooot of information out there about how to set and stick to a resolution. While all this info absolutely has its benefits, realistically we all work towards goals in different ways. Experiment with what works best for you. For some it's meticulous planning, scheduling and structure. For others it's about embracing bursts of spontaneous energy as they come up and easing up a little when that energy ebbs. There is no right or wrong. And if you feel like you've tried to work towards a goal in the same way over and over again, with little success, consider testing out a different approach. And hey, if that means discarding every tip we've given in this article, go for it.... we will forgive you!

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