The allure of the New year’s resolution stretches back to the days of belief in the Roman God Janus, a God with two faces, one looking onto the year that has just gone and one looking forward into the year to come. It symbolises, for a lot of us, a shedding of our old skin and stepping into one that we imagine to be more comfortable. But now, less than a week into 2020, how many of us are sticking to our freshly laid New year’s resolutions? And how many of us see ourselves having the motivation to continue sticking to them two weeks, or two months, from now?
We’ve all been guilty of it – putting pressure on ourselves to be more fun, more motivated or more skilled with money, in the New year. And we set up these resolutions expecting the stroke of midnight on the 31st of December to act like a doorway onto an entirely new world.
But the problem with so many New year’s resolutions is, not that they are unattainable, but that they are goals we often set for the person we think we should be, not for the person we are at the moment of the 31st.
Some of us, who have never set foot in a gym in our life, will begin the new year by buying an expensive gym membership, expensive workout gear and aiming to go to the gym five days week. Plans like this will inevitably fail, because you’re trying to be what you think is ideal. Old habits and behaviours that we may feel have held us back from these goals won’t simply vanish at the stroke of midnight and as a result we end up stuck in cycles and stressed out over not being these fabulous new people within this allotted time frame. The best way is to be realistic about what you can do from where you are now.
There is no reason why you can’t be a millionaire, a five- day a week- gym goer, a financially responsible yet still ridiculously fun and glamorous person – but these are not overnight goals. The best resolutions are made up of baby steps. Setting up ten small and regular new habits every new year will get you closer to what you want, than trying to make one sweeping declaration of your impending transformation within twelve months. And above all, be proud of every single one of these baby steps. No one is going to build your motivation up or tear it down like the little voice in your head. Rejoice in every little victory and new habit adopted, without comparing it to the achievements and goals of others. Your path, carved for you alone, is all you need to focus on – you will get there at the at the right time.