Here we go, the glittering mirage of 2019 had arrived and so the rumbles of the oncoming avalanche of resolutions can be heard, if they haven’t already snowed your Facebook under. Strap in for the onslaught of ‘New Year, New Me’ and claims of 2019 being everyone you knows’ year.
Despite the above cynicism, I actually like the idea of resolutions, I think that they are good for us. What I don’t like however, is how people so easily forget about them when the weather gets better. By the time we get to September our social media feeds are once again filled with classic self-loathing memes announcing that there are 3 months left to 20whatever and you haven’t done anything.
The last time that I saw a meme like this I took notice that 47k had shared it, and that is just the one I had seen, there are countless which are essentially the same thing. Forty seven thousand people felt as though they could relate to not achieving things they wanted in the space of a year, it’s mad and sad at the same time I thought, before sharing it myself.
So, as I’ve seen January resolution posts steadily increase over the last few days, I started thinking about where people may be going wrong in their resolution making and keeping, and decided it needed to change. Thus, I am once again proving my talent at giving advice no one asked for but I think is pertinent none the less.
- Focus on your feelings
If you find it difficult to pick precise resolutions to work towards i.e. you aren’t sure what you want to achieve in terms of actions, then focus on how you want to feel by the end of 2019.
Ideally, this feeling would be something you don’t currently have. Our happiness is something we should all strive to keep going, but I’m talking about more specific emotions. For instance, do you want to feel more confident in your professional position? Do you want to feel as though you are challenging yourself more? Do you want to feel fulfilled creatively? Do you want to feel healthier? Ask yourself questions like these and then work backwards to see what you can do about it.
The physical actions we undertake to reach our resolutions can often be for the benefit of other people, or just so we can be seen doing something. If you prioritise your feelings when making your resolutions, you can be certain that the pay off will be all you.
- Tether your resolutions together
If you guys have read any of my other posts then you will be aware of my complete lack of faith in myself. Specifically in relation to sticking to things of course. Thus, I have devised an ingenious (in my opinion) strategy to force myself to fulfil my resolutions/dreams: LINK THEM TOGETHER!
Dramatic caps aside, I honestly believe in this approach. How many times have we been dead set on achieving something in January and sometimes even February, but by the time March rolls around we have become completely preoccupied with life? ‘Countless times, J’, is what you need not cry, because I know and this is okay, we are fixing it!
To fully ensure that you have your dreams in a chokehold, you need to stagger them. By this I mean that they sort of need to work like a flow chart in that the completion of one leads on to the next. For example; I have vowed that I will go away and experience Spain this year. However, this cannot be done until I have improved my Spanish, another resolution of mine. Therefore, I cannot go to Spain until I have gone to more Spanish classes effectively forcing me to be productive. It’s kind of like a resolution reward system, in any case, I did it last year, and it worked so I’m sticking with it!
Another way to achieve this step is to split your resolutions up into manageable bite size stages;
Think about running a marathon in 12 months. Terrifying, thanks for the offer but no thanks.
Now think about being able run a half marathon by July. Hrm, still scary but there’s an outside chance of success.
What about being able to run 7 miles in March? Stop wasting my time talking, I’ve got a chic and breathable outfit to buy!
- It’s all about quantity
I am a firm believer in hedging my bets so, in my opinion, setting one resolution per year is risky. You will notice I didn’t denounce quality in the heading of this point so please don’t think I’m condoning making any old resolution to get the numbers up. Promising to match your socks every day or something equally weird will not be blamed on me!
No, they should all be meaningful/improve your life in some way but don’t hinge all your self-worth on one behemoth when an army of dwarves can arguably have a bigger impact. (There’s a mental image!)
A larger number of resolutions leaves you some space to be creative. Just because I don’t want us being frivolous doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun with them. Think of things you have always wanted to do or, in contrast, things you have never considered trying and, for lack of a less Nike-y phrase, just do them!
No matter what you decide to do, just don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Resolutions are supposed to be ways to get motivated and inspired whilst we are all drunk on the promise of a better year than 2018. They aren’t supposed to make you hate yourself if they get too hard or it isn’t the right time. If something isn’t working and becoming detrimental then leave it. If you follow my advice then you probably have too many as it is!
Lastly, if absolutely everything goes wrong and you can’t stick to anything, relax, there is always next year…
Thanks for reading