Alright, it’s time for those New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’re looking at big lists from blogs that are telling you to go for that big promotion at work or magazines that have the top 20 ways to lose weight.
These aren’t terrible goals to have by any means, but do they reflect the type of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live for the next 365 days?
Maybe, maybe not.
What were your resolutions last year?
If you wanted to lose weight, did you try diets that made you miss out on birthdays and parties?
If you wanted to get that promotion at work, did you work long hours and rarely see your family?
If you wanted to start a new relationship, did you go out on dates with people who didn’t spark?
It’s time to think if those trade-offs were worth it. Because if you aren’t willing to happily trade your time or energy for your new goals, they aren’t worth having.
Let’s reframe those New Years resolutions in terms of goals that you ARE willing to sacrifice for.
If you’re aiming to look like a magazine model just because that’s the (airbrushed) standard of beauty staring at you from the checkout stand, it all seems pretty meaningless when you’re turning down social events just so you can avoid temptation.
If your goal, however, is to get back below a Normal BMI, reduce your risk for medical issues, or get fit enough to play with your kids, then maybe that’s a very good reason to turn down a second piece of birthday cake.
Are you pushing yourself hard to attain your next career goal, regardless of how you feel about where you’re at now? There’s an interesting tendency for people to get promoted until they hit a position that they’re not quite suited for, and then they stagnate. In the process, there’s a whole lot of constant reaching for more without much appreciation for what you have now. Oh, and let’s not forget just how many extra hours you’ve been putting in at the office to obtain it.
So maybe your new goal is to negotiate a pay raise by becoming great at what you do now. Maybe you’d like to figure out how to accomplish more with less time at work. Pay raises don’t tend to fall off trees, so it’ll still take quite a bit of effort!
This one is tough and we both know it. It’s probably the most important place to use last year’s reflection wisely. Did you have a plan for putting yourself out there to find a partner? Did you actually implement it? And finally, did you feel like you were heading in the right direction?
If you didn’t have a plan, did you feel stagnant in your general romantic goals? If you failed at implementing a plan, don’t just double up on it for the coming year. That’s a sign that the plan wasn’t doable for you in the first place! And if you didn’t feel like you were heading in the right direction, maybe it’s time for a new plan.
Everyone has different goals. And for those of us who like to use the new year to mark the start of a new wave of motivation, it’s actually a pretty convenient way to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.