So here we are! 2014 is rapidly coming to an end and we are facing the excitement of a new year. I really like New Years. I like the surge people feel to let go of the past and place hope in the future. There are few times throughout the year where it is so common for people to evaluate what they want in their life and actually make a list of changes they want to make.
Interestingly, there are some themes among the New Years Resolutions that thousands of people make every year. Some of the most common resolutions are:
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Save money and get out of debt
- Learn a new language or skill
- Be more environmentally friendly
- Volunteer more or give to a charity
- Be less stressed
Sound familiar? I know I have set some of those same goals before. Wanna know why they are so popular? Because they are great goals! They are all about focusing on yourself, improving your health, expanding your mind, getting your finances under control and giving to others. This list shows me that most people want to be an overall better person each year and that is really inspiring.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that only 8% of people accomplish their New Years resolutions over the next year and only 46% of resolutions make it past June. I was told by a coworker today that they do not set New Years resolutions because they don’t stick to them and it just makes them feel bad. Why are New Years resolutions different from the goals you may set in say, April? Or August?
There is so much pressure associated with New Years resolutions. It must be the hugeness (that’s a word right?) of the entire year ahead. Maybe we feel like, because we have 12 months to accomplish these goals, there is no excuse not to achieve them. And given the amount of time ahead, we set HUGE goals – losing weight and managing your finances are no small tasks. We become so overwhelmed with excitement for the possibilities that we create overwhelming expectations for ourselves.
Setting huge, overwhelming, scary goals is so good for the soul. I think we need to set goals for ourselves that stretch our imagination for our lives, for who we can be. The New Year presents this amazing opportunity to really become a new person. This is who you were in 2014, and the New Year just screams this is who you can be. What we have to remember, however, are the many small steps that are required to achieve huge goals. And we need to appreciate every step of progress we make toward those goals, no matter how small.
So if you want to lose 15 pounds in 2015, remember you have to lose 1 pound first. Celebrate when you clean out your cabinets and fridge and replace junk food with fresh produce. Heck, celebrate the ONE day you swap those chips for an apple. Those are all steps toward a healthier you and need to be honored. And on December 31, 2015, if you haven’t lost 15 pounds, but did lose 7 – C E L E B R A T E. You made some changes and started down a path that you wanted to go down.
New Years does not need to be your only opportunity to set huge goals. You have 364 other amazing days to evaluate your life and reflect on what you want. Take time throughout the year to look back at your New Years resolutions and decide if those are still goals you want to accomplish. How do they fit into your life 4 months later? If they still capture what you want to achieve, take a look at how far you have come. If you haven’t even started those small steps necessary to begin a resolution, take a hard look at what’s stopping you. Remember why you set that goal in the first place. And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Be gentle when life throws you curve balls and you have to let go of some things in order to cope with more pressing matters.
You’ve set huge resolutions for yourself because you deserve to achieve AMAZING things this year. I wish you the very best tonight, tomorrow, and always and I can’t wait to hear about what you have planned for 2015 ❤