It’s that time of the year again: Facebook, YouTube and pretty much every other social media platform is stuffed with New Year’s resolutions, (self-) motivating quotes and selfies with the description „New year, new me!“ – and, of course, the Hashtag game with #newyearnewme is going strong. Everyone wants to become a ‘better person’.
I am not really sure how to feel about it, because on the one hand I love setting goals, thinking about great achievements and finally working stuff out – and man, how cool is it to finally have a new, clean and fresh notebook? You know the drill. On the other hand it kind of leaves me skeptical about that huge amount of positivity and optimism, because it is always the same. Every year starts with twenty lists full of good resolutions and most of them seem do die on their way to February and are buried not later than in March. At least that’s what I’ve noticed in the past years. I also used to have New Year’s resolutions, but as I remember I was one of those people who stuck to them for like a few days. Spontaneously I can recall only one thing I kept for a year (or a little bit less than a year) and that was fighting with my own health issues, but I am not sure if it was a ‘resolution’ or more a general goal after I suffered a lot from my disease.
I think sticking to New Year’s resolutions requires not only setting goals, but also openness, logical thinking, seeing a point in what you want to achieve and finding a good way to do so, being motivated enough, a good structure and positive energy.
It is very difficult to achieve something without these attributes. We have to be willing to get out of our comfort zone if we want to accomplish new aims and that is often something we first agree to, but when it comes to starting the way into a ‘new me’, we become anxious and would rather stay in our comfy space, because everything else is too scary and uncomfortable. Sometimes we are also simply too lazy to get things started. We think „Well, life could be better…“, but as soon as we think about making a change, even though this change may have a positive impact on our life, our thoughts turn around and continue with „Okay, well, actually everything is fine. I just complain too much“.
But everybody knows that these thoughts will come back again – and we most likely will shake them off again and what does that mean? It means that we will not change anything and stay unhappy.
For me it is more about the New Year’s intentions than about the resolutions.
‘Resolution’ sounds static (at least to me) and cold. It sounds as if someone set those goals and that’s it. ‘Intention’ sounds more flowing, thoughtful, kind of matchable and as if the person who set this intention really had a point with it.
Also, when I think about setting intentions for myself, I like to point out what I’ve already achieved, what is already there and what I could extend, complete and/or upgrade. It is not always about a ‘new me’, but about the old me who already worked hard on so many things that came out great, but could do with an update or just need a little detour for whatever reason. It is so important to see the good things that are already there. Not only because it will save time, however this is nothing I take into account, but because it will open our eyes so we see that we had the right thought. This insight will give us positive energy and lead us further to the right direction – plus it is great for our self-esteem and also our self-confidence that connects to self-love which is so, so important (I will write another text about self-love in future).
I prefer setting intentions, because with having a look at my definition, it makes me really think about what I already have, what I need and, above all, what I really want – and by saying that I mean what I really want. This technique allows me to be nice to myself and to re-connect with my ‘old self’ in order to understand why I started certain things. I will only be able to decide if I would rather reshuffle and/or strike a new path when I fully understand why I did something. If we do not understand why we did certain things it is also okay, because then we know how to not organize life. That kind of experience is equally important, because we are constantly on our way of learning.
Keeping it realistic is another aspect of the whole situation. Having realistic aims we actually can achieve within a certain amount of time, let it be a year for this topic’s sake, will less likely make us feel depressed when we realize our goal was too far away from where we are at the moment. Being disappointed will probably disencourage us and leave us feeling distressed or just as if we are ‘a loser (again)’ what can lead some of us into depression in the worst case. I often used to be in this dark place because of my suboptimal approaches.
I hope you all had a great New Year’s Eve and an even more amazing January, 1st 2017.
Much love and blessings. xxx