I don’t believe in “resolutions”, whether they’re for the New Year or any time of year. But I’ll tell you what I do believe in – declarations. Here’s my reasoning.
Resolutions set you up to fail. Most resolutions sound like big decisions to change something – whether it’s to eat less or diet or get more exercise. But in my experience, resolutions are usually something you think ought to be important or something other people think is important or even something other people tell you to do.
It all adds up to a recipe for failure. You make your resolution, but you don’t have attainable goals or a solid plan to support it. Or you give it a drop-dead start-date, like January 1st. And when that day comes and goes with no real change in your life, you consider your resolution a failure and you give up.
Why go there! I’m done with resolutions and making false promises to myself about how I’m going to change for the New Year.
Instead, I make declarations about my life.
The first step is a solid evaluation of what I have accomplished so far. I think it’s important to give yourself credit for where you are now. Whether 2013 was smooth sailing or a year you’d much rather forget ever happened, you experienced it and you grew in some way. So look for those successes and give yourself time to appreciate them.
Next, I take time to think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year or longer. This is my time to reenergize myself for the coming year. I want to evaluate what things I truly love about my life and what things are distracting me or moving me toward a more negative path.
I don’t mean giving this a passing thought and throwing out the first idea that comes to me. I spend conscious time thinking about where I am in my life and what I want to do. The result might be an ending goal or it might be a step toward an even bigger accomplishment years down the road. The critical thing is to decide what is really important to me.
I think most people have something gnawing at the back of their minds, or hanging over their heads. It might be a childhood desire to do something that just wasn’t practical at the time.