New Year resolutions – do they work for you?

Like Marmite, people either love or hate New Year resolutions. I’m more in the latter category. Yet having goals to aim for and a strategy for getting there is extremely powerful. One of the reasons resolutions often fail is that we tend to focus on what we think we ‘ought’ to be doing rather than what we ‘want’ to do. Hence, we’re not motivated from the start.

New Year Resolutions: Canva

This year, I perceive many have eschewed the traditional New Year resolutions that focus on achievements, and have adopted more qualitative, kinder goals with more emphasis on the journey taken rather than the end result.

If you’ve had enough of the standard, ‘lose weight, do more exercise, make more money’ type resolutions, but want to give yourself some direction, here are a few suggestions that might help:

Focus on one goal at a time

I find that I have so many things that I want to improve that realistically I don’t have enough hours in the day to fit them all in! Hence, it’s not a surprise that I fail. So the first recommendation is to focus on the most important goal for you. When you’ve achieved that, move on to your next.  

If you can’t focus on one goal, max out at 3

Identify some goals that cover different aspects of your life, perhaps one about YOU, one about development and one about something external to you, such as recycling or helping a charity. Remember to make sure they are things you want to do rather than feel you ought to do. This should give you a healthy mix of resolutions that you have a good chance of keeping.

Or, give yourself short-term goals

Who said you need to make resolutions for the full year? Why not set some 90-day goals and see how you go? You then permit yourself to start new resolutions later in the year.

So with that in mind, here are my 3 resolutions: I will do more yoga and go on more walks (2 activities I realised I liked doing during lockdown). I shall finish my doctorate and also set up a job club in my local area. So whatever 2021 has in store I should be able to achieve and enjoy these objectives.

Whether you choose to give yourself the challenge of New Year resolutions or not, I wish you all the best for 2021.

Happy New Year!

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