New year resolutions that fit your life: 4 Questions to consider when thinking about the year ahead.
January. The time when lots of people commit to new year resolutions at the start of the month, and an alarmingly high % (estimated 80 – 92%) of people fail to stick with them past the middle of February.
It can feel refreshing and motivating to start the year with fresh intentions. And there are plenty of guides and articles out there sharing lots of useful tips about how to set better goals, and create robust plans to increase your chance of successfully sticking to your resolutions (I have a few articles like that here on my blog too!).
Too often though, people think about their goals in isolation, making it harder to sustain your focus. Before you start diving into setting resolutions for the coming year, and following the goal setting tips, take a few moments to think about your intentions within the context of your whole life and consider the following questions:
Is this the right time for you to start?
When I began my motivational training one of the crucial things that I learnt is that for someone to successfully change or achieve a goal, you need to be ready to genuinely change for yourself.
The time needs to be right for you. You need to be feeling that you are really ready, really want this goal and it’s really important to you. It needs to be something that you feel ready to make sacrifices for, and make a priority. This doesn’t automatically click into place because it is 1st January or because someone tells you that you should do it.
It is not always a smooth process, even with the most robust plan in place and strongest desires you will have challenging days. If you are starting the process because you think you should you won’t have as much resilience on those tough days.
Ask yourself, whether you are compiling your list of resolutions because you genuinely feel ready to begin the process or because it is what is expected?
Are you nourishing yourself?
Before embarking on a new challenge or goal, it is always worth taking time to check if you are nourishing your whole self enough. I often speak with people who are feeling frustrated at their lack of motivation or will power. When we explore what else is happening for them, we often identify that they are running on empty in some area of their lives. You will not be able to keep going when faced with adversity, if you are already running on a part empty tank.
I’m a big advocate of reviewing and refining your self-care practices as part of your preparation for any other goals or resolutions. These promises you make to yourself, to nourish your whole being will make sustaining the other changes or goals a lot easier.
As an added bonus, often your resolutions will also be enhancing your self care in one or more areas, which is fantastic.
What impact is this resolution going to have on the rest of your life?
There may be certain ripple effects elsewhere in your life that need considering, in order for you to be able to maintain the changes long-term. For example, if one of your intentions is to begin training for a sporting event, how much time will you need to be dedicating to your training? What other things may need to be sacrificed to give you this time? What additional support may you need?
Will your resolution require you to make changes that involve others or have an impact on them?
You might need to talk it through with your partner, children, family or employer if it is going to have an impact on them. You might need to ask for support or compromise.
What impact is the rest of your life going to have on your resolutions?
What things are due to be happening in other areas of your life, that are going to require time and energy, and may slow down the progress you can fairly expect of yourself? For example, if you have a big DIY project about to start; or a large work project due to happen; or trips planned to visit friends/family. You need to be realistic about your capacity and how much you can dedicate to different activities.
Some useful prompts to consider:
- Work / Education / Volunteering
By considering your resolutions in the context of your life, it allows you to be kind to yourself with the expectations that you place upon yourself. It makes it more sustainable long-term.
And if right now you are not feeling motivated or inspired, that’s fine too. Why not leave setting intentions until the Spring, when everything feels brighter and more inspiring?
I hope that this next year is full of love, laughter and good times for you and your family.