Every January, people fall into two categories: Enthusiastic Resolution-ers, or Non-Believers. A Non-Believer is someone who either, 1) made resolutions in the past, and broke them before you could even say ‘Dry January’, 2) never saw the need to because they are totally perfect (if that’s the case, tell us your secret!). I, however, fall proudly in the Enthusiastic Resolution-er category. Each December 31st, I gingerly take out either my journal (or as of most recent, my iPhone notes) and pen down 5-15 resolutions. This is a sacred tradition. Sometimes, the resolutions are the same from year to year. Not everything is achievable in one year, after all. While people may argue that resolutions are pointless, especially when so many people “fail” so soon after making them, I believe they are really useful and let me tell you why…
They Make You Reflect
The end of the year and the beginning of the new one are a great time to look back at what you did well and what you didn’t do so well in the last year. Self-reflection is so important, and not many people do it. If you want to lose 20 pounds but you eat all the chocolate and pizza and have never stepped on a treadmill, your first step in achieving your resolution is some self reflection. Is it actually possible for you to lose weight (write a novel, learn a language, be more productive, etc.) without making some major lifestyle changes? Probably not. Admitting to yourself the areas you need to work on is the first step to achieving any goal.
They Make You Take Ownership
There is something powerful about penning down your resolutions and actually attempting them. It shows that you’re taking ownership of areas in your life that need improvement. It doesn’t stop with the pen and paper, however. While resolutions are an excellent way to reflect, they mean nothing until you start taking action, and that’s where the beauty of it sits. Even though many people see New Year’s Resolutions as a waste of time because so many people ‘fall off the wagon’, so to speak, what other thing motivates THAT many people, COLLECTIVELY, to get off their ass and stop drinking, smoking, start going to the gym, learning a new skill, start being kinder to people, etc.? At least for a short time, they feel empowered to take control back of their lives and do something about it!
They Don’t Go Away With One Failure
I’m the kind of person that likes starting (or restarting) things on the first day of the year, month, week, etc. Starting it at the beginning of something like the New Year makes it easier to measure how far you’ve come. That being said, just because you ate a pizza on the 15th of January, after having resolved to ‘eat healthier’ does not negate your resolution. It’s all about progress, and not perfection. I highly recommend for you to listen to this podcast by Cassy Joy Garcia, from Fed and Fit, on being Progress Driven, rather than aiming for perfection. If you throw out those 14 previous days of healthy eating, just because you had one day of fun, that’s never going to show you any progress. Accept the moment of ‘weakness’ or whatever you want to call it, and learn from it. Did the pizza make you happy? Did you feel good physically afterwards? Is that a feeling that is worth it? Take note, rather than quit, because your resolution can still be a year long thing, and allow room for enjoying your life and having those days of fun!