And just like that another year is behind us and a new one just begun. How are you feeling about that?
For some of us the uncertainty of a new year can be uncomfortable, perhaps our financial situation, job, health, family or overall wellbeing is on our mind and we’re not sure how we will get through another twelve months.
Others may thrive on that same uncertainty and use it as a catalyst and motivator to find new challenges, step up to new responsibilities or make plans for the months ahead or set up a list of resolutions. Which are you?
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions for a couple of reasons.
The first is that making any promises to yourself on the back of what can be a busy, overindulgent, expensive and exhausting time of year is likely to be unsuccessful. Secondly, it’s all too easy to listen to and believe our negative inner dialogue that is reminding us for all of the things we could have, should have, would have done differently whether it’s our food, sugar or alcohol intake, lack of exercise or over-spending. It can result in us being very unrealistic about our ability to change something, setting unachievable benchmarks, goals and targets.
A resolution can essentially be described as ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something’ and, as such, can be made at any time so why do it in January if you’re not ready or serious about making the necessary changes?
To me the key considerations for any decision is who am I doing this for, what is my reason for doing it and why now.
When we explore our resolution or decision through these three lenses it gives us clarity and the opportunity to unravel what’s really driving it. It can be easy to do something because that’s what someone else wants for us or we think that’s what we should do, or others expect us to do, rather than doing it for ourselves because it’s important for us.
Our reason may not be positively motivated, driven more by moving away from something we fear or don’t want rather than being attracted to an optimistic future point of achievement or progress. Timing is particularly important, are you ready and willing to make this decision and put it in place now?
My last point is that a resolution normally indicates that some type of change is required and there is a saying ‘we don’t change until the pain of change is greater than the pain of staying the same’. To me this indicates, on a deeper level, that we need to identify what is causing the pain in staying the same because that’s what really needs to be addressed. Depending on what it is you discover, you may need to approach it differently to a hastily made or standard new year’s resolution.
Food for thought for 2020.