Enough looking back at the past year! Let’s look ahead today to the gift that is a new year.
Whether you are a fan of New Year’s Resolutions or not (and I am), recent studies have proved the benefit of “The Fresh Start Effect”. The external stimulus of an outside calendar event, such as the New Year, can be just the boost you need to get started on new goals or pick up old goals you’ve put aside.
That sounds so dry, though, doesn’t it? How about this? Let’s create our most awesome year yet by spending some time thinking about what we’d like to accomplish this year.
I said earlier I was a fan of New Year’s resolutions and I am. I’ve had success in the past with the traditional New Year’s Resolution format. I ran my first 5K in March, 2004 because I made a New Year’s Resolution to do so. I kept running after that 5K and ultimately ended up running a marathon in November, 2005. That’s a successful resolution!
But I’ve also failed at my New Year’s resolutions for the same reasons everyone else does: my resolutions have been too vague (earn more money!), too specific (wear a size 6), not focused in reality (I resolved to run a half-marathon one year when I had not been running at all), and, like a lot of people, I’ve just forgotten about some resolutions a week later because I wasn’t that invested in the first place.
I like the intention and focus on the year ahead that a New Year’s resolution requires, but I didn’t want to include the pressure and, if we’re honest, the expectation of failure, that “making a resolution” entails. Also, “making a resolution” is so passive! It sounds like a parliamentary motion. How is that inspiring?
So I spent some time today simply brainstorming about this: who do I want to be at the end of next year? How would this person be different than I am today? What life would this person be living? What are her accomplishments and challenges? What makes her happy?
At this point, you don’t even need to worry about goal setting. Instead, spend a good bit of time getting to know and like the future self you want to be. As it turns out, if you really get to know and like your future self, it’s much easier to follow through with any goals you do end up setting for the new year.
So spend some time getting to know your future self and in January we can spend some time mapping out how to get to her.
This is part of my 31 Days of Holiday Self-Care Challenge. To see all the posts in this series, visit here.