It’s that time of the year when people think about New Year’s Resolutions – things that we think we want to do or accomplish during the coming year. It is a good idea to have goals – things to work towards achieving in the new year. Unfortunately, for many, those resolutions and goals almost immediately are turned into pressure. Pressure to achieve and reasons to beat oneself up over missed deadlines; deadlines which were self-imposed in the first place. Don’t go there.
Rather than set deadlines, perhaps you can establish review points where you assess the progress that has been made on your journey towards your goals. Then you can adjust both your approach to achieving those goals and maybe even to the goals themselves. Taking this approach can help you turn what could have been a session of disappointment or negativity into a positive time to congratulate yourself for any progress that you have made and rethink both your approach and your timetable. There is no need to add pressure to your life over your personal goals. Find ways to add rewards for yourself for what you have accomplished.
A good way to make resolutions without adding pressure is to define your resolution in terms of a journey towards a goal, rather than a hard goal. Instead of a resolution that says, “I will lose 40 pounds by June 1, 2022”, maybe you can resolve that, “I will change my personal eating and exercise habits such that I lose weight by this summer”. The first resolution provides no path to accomplishing that goal, while the second sacrifices a specific amount of weight loss, but, if accomplished, will lead to a much better overall result.
So, think about what you accomplished this year and what you would like to accomplish or things that you want to change in 2022 and put some thought into how to construct a resolution that defines a positive and supportive approach to achieve those things, rather than just setting hard goals that you will likely just turn into more pressure and disappointment in your life. It’s not a contest with winners and losers, it’s an exciting journey. Use your New Year’s Resolutions to define journeys that you want to take towards those goals and then step off onto those journeys.
Have a happy and pressure free New Year!