We are in the third week of the new year and already finding it difficult to follow through with the list of resolutions we had created for ourselves.
From practicing yoga every day to eating healthy. From spending more time with our loved ones to making some “me-time” daily. From being more present to travelling more. From starting to save to volunteering at the local NGO. Don’t we want it all?
While some of us do manage to keep up for a few weeks, even months, most tend to fall off the New Year, New Me wagon. I used to be one of them.
Every New Year’s Eve, I would make a list of things I would achieve on daily basis. A long, non-negotiable list of daily tasks that I believed would help me become a better version of myself. As expected, I failed most of the time which led to a guilt-ridden, restart mission by the middle of the year. I would again try to pack it all in and again fail. This cycle continued for many years, the one constant feature of the annual resolution saga. But before I talk about how and when I stopped making resolutions, let’s try to understand why anyone does that in the first place.
Universally, 31st December marks the closure of the physical calendar year, making us relive the highs and lows of the year gone by. We all tend to take time off to think about what we achieved and where we failed, often focusing on the failures. Now, with social media platforms auto-creating your “best moments” (which are simply the most liked ones), this exercise has become easier. We relive the moments, promising ourselves to do better, try harder.
Often because of this, we end up adding everything that we felt we did not achieve to our brand-new list. We don’t even realise that we are setting ourselves up to lose against this task list that we are creating.
So does that mean, we stop planning, stop wanting to be better, stop evolving? Absolutely not! But what we do need to do is reassess how we go about it. Over the years, I have come up with my own way of working on my personal growth and development. It can start any time, any day of the year if you are willing.
1. Make space in your life
If you have a list of ten things you want to achieve, you need to first make time and space for them. Prioritise and see what you can start immediately and what needs to wait. For example, if you want to go for a run in the morning, have only home-cooked meals, do yoga or visit the gym in the evening, write a daily journal and work on the first chapter of your book along with your daily work and home-related activities, you won’t be able to do justice to any of them. Instead, start with the walks, one home-cooked meal and daily journaling. As you start practicing these on daily basis, you might realise that you never needed the rest and if you did, you would know which activity you can give up to make space for more.
2. Create an overarching theme for the year
This is very helpful when you find yourself stuck with a really long list of daily and sometimes unrelated tasks. Why not focus and create a theme for the year and then plan your resolutions around it. Your theme can be “savings”, “new skill”, “closure” or anything else that you feel you have not been doing in the past and need to work on.
3. Don’t do everything in one go
Break it up into a weekly/monthly plan. It’s much easier to follow and keep up with. For me, I would break it into monthly plans. For example, by January end you declutter your work and home space and then maintain it that way, by February end add 5 new recipes to your repertoire, by March make some investments and so on.
4. It’s ok to reevaluate your resolutions on a monthly/even weekly basis
Finally, it’s completely alright to change your plans if they are not working out for you if they are not what you need anymore. Don’t feel guilty, take a break and restart at your pace whenever you are ready
May you all find your own resolutions that are as unique and special as you are.
Read more: 5 Skin Resolutions To Make This New Year