Thursday, December 25, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: Why You Should Make One

The New Year is just around the corner. The days left in the year are quickly diminishing and so you may be starting to think about resolutions for the upcoming year and reflecting on the resolutions that you made last year. 

Maybe you planned to start a workout routine and eventually fit into your old jeans. Or, maybe you resolved to be more organized. Maybe you wanted to read a book every month, or read to your kids every night.

Whatever it was that you wanted to do or do better this year, you are probably at least somewhat disappointed in yourself that you didn’t fully follow through. 

You might have worked out five days a week for the first six weeks, but then you started slacking. You might have read five books this year, but you didn’t read one every month. You might have reorganized your house and bought more shelving for your storage room, but you still had a hard time keeping it organized.

It is discouraging to look back at the past year or years and feel that you have not accomplished as much as you wish you had. You may even feel like New Year’s resolutions are bound to fail and that it is just pointless to keep making them. 

New Year’s resolutions are commonly joked about and scoffed at by some. Those who set them often start out highly motivated and determined and then quickly lose steam and “fall off the wagon.” 

You might not want to make a resolution, because if you do, it is almost a guarantee that you won’t fully succeed.

If they are worthwhile, New Year’s resolutions are challenging to stick to for good reason. They are hard to stick to for the same reason that they have been hard to stick to before making them. They are personal and important to us, though we have not been able to fully put them into practice for some reason or another. They are significant enough to be our personal focus for an entire year.

Though you may have not fully followed through, there is probably some part of your New Year’s resolution from the past year or years that made you a better person. 

Maybe you did not work out five days a week, but tried yoga for the first time and began going to a class on a couple of days a week. Maybe you did not read to your kids every night, but you read to them more than you did the year before. 

Or, perhaps it was just an overall tone that was set for the whole year. Perhaps, you tried harder to think positive, or worked on not gossiping so much about others. 

Just because you did not fully accomplish your resolution this year, does not mean that you should give up on making one for next year.

If you desire to live a fulfilling life and continuously strive to be a better version of you, it is important to set goals for yourself. New Year’s resolutions give you focus and intent for the year ahead and call attention to what you would like to improve upon. 

A popular quote from Zig Ziglar states, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily.”

It can be easier to set smaller goals throughout the year rather than try to narrow in on one big resolution. A good resolution can be something simple like drinking more water or making your bed every morning. A resolution is considered “good” not if you follow through, but if it involves working on something that will improve your life or the lives of others around you.

Many critics will say that New Year’s resolutions are limiting, because you should be trying to better yourself all year and not just at the time of the New Year. But, the end of the year is a great time for reflection and evaluation of your goals and desires. It is a time to think about the big picture and to pinpoint what it really is that is important to you and where you could improve upon your life for the future. 

The New Year offers a fresh start, much like a Monday, or a new day. In a way, the New Year feels like a blank slate to begin again.

So, do yourself a favor and make a resolution. 

Take some time out of your busy schedule to assess the current state of your life and to envision where you want to see yourself in the future. 

Resolve not to give up on yourself and what is important to you. Resolve to work towards a better version of you. Resolve to take this opportunity to start fresh and make this coming year better than the last.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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