As 2016 draws to a close and 2017 arrives all shiny and new, it is normal for us to reflect on what the year has brought us - we have done, our successes, and more so, our failures. It seems to be the human condition to be hard on ourselves, which is why January is often greeted with apprehension and even a little dread.
Now we have no options but to confront the goals that fell to the wayside over the year, usually somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and suddenly we regret all that eating and drinking and being merry. As we gorge ourselves on appetizers and champagne on New Year's Eve, we can can end up being hyper-critical over our lack of follow through and how easily we discarded the goals we set with such vigor at the beginning of the year. It is in this somewhat morose state that we are charged with the task of setting a whole new set of resolutions. A task that can seem daunting, especially if you're not in the proper mindset.
But isn't that the beauty of a fresh year? A fresh start. A blank sheet of paper we can write upon, and it's important not to let the previous 12 months taint it. Which is why we are calling on understanding and self-love for 2017. In an effort to help you create achievable and maintainable goals, we have come up with 3 tips to aid in the process, here they are:
As you set the goals you hope to achieve this year, don't fixate on whether or not they're the same ones you made 12 months ago. We don't want you obsessing over the fact that two of your goals are the exact same ones you've previously set the last three years running. Just because you haven't met them doesn't mean 2017 won't bring you success. You are not a failure. And we don't want to hear that kind of negative talk because it's counterproductive to your health and well-being.
Tip: Before you start writing down your New Year's resolutions, take a moment to write down 3 things you are proud of from 2016. Ensuring you are in a positive mind frame when creating your goals will allow you to be more optimistic about their outcome.
So many people set themselves up for failure by creating goals that are unattainable. You don't know what the next 12 months has in store for you so be realistic when setting your resolutions. Instead of saying you want to lose 30 pounds, make it 10. Instead of saying you'll get out of debt, say that you will pay off one of your credit cards. By setting realistic goals you will be more likely to follow through and find success, instead of setting yourself up for failure and giving up before you even get started
Tip: Think of your goals in long and short-term scenarios. Your long-term goal may be making new friends, but a short-term goal of talking to more people may seem more realistic and doable.
Oftentimes, people go overboard at the beginning of the year because they're so amped up on the possibility of change that they forget it's actually incredibly hard. Gym memberships skyrocket in January only to peter out and get cancelled halfway through March. Our intentions are good but if we don't notice results our interest can wane. This is why you need to be sneaky. On your list of resolutions, ensure to include easy ones, things you know without a doubt you'll be able to achieve. Instead of having a goal of eating healthy everyday, make it having a piece of fruit or a raw vegetable at lunch. Drink more water. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Cut your hair short and donate it. Drop off donations at the food bank each month. These little goals that you can accomplish easily will give you the feeling of succeeding and will encourage you to stick to your more long-term resolutions.
Tip: Variety to a set of goals keeps things interesting. Consider more than just physical appearance or health when creating them. Try to think of goals that can benefit your community or friends and family as well.
Like we said, change is never easy but we believe if you make realistic resolutions you will set yourself up for success. Always remember, failure is not the end and just because you stumble doesn't mean you can't get back on track. Here's to a happy, healthy, and exciting 2017.