New Year, Old Me: Why it is okay not to have a fresh start this year

January 1, 2021

It’s January 1st, 2021. A New Year had started and with it, a list of resolutions creeps into our lives. It has become almost habitual for most of us to set a list of expectations & goals for ourselves for the new year. We have all longed for 2020 to be over but now that it has we encounter new challenges.

This year, we are all a little tired of the idea that we need to change to be better. After the year that we’ve had, we do not need more pressure to be something we are not. Our most basic social & human needs have been challenged. People have lost loved ones, others have lost their jobs, and some have even lost their homes. We have been forced to social distance, have not seen our loved ones for months, have had to work from home, and restrained from our favorite activities. 

In this new reality, it would be madness if we expected people to have the same mindset when it comes to things that make us who we are. Setting New Year resolutions seems like the least important thing right now.

What to do if you can’t set resolutions

Be thankful for all that you have

New Year’s resolutions oftentimes make us focus on the things we do not have and possess. This year, try to think of what you’re thankful for and everything you were blessed with last year. 2020 was a tough year for all of us but there are still things to be thankful for. We learned some valuable lessons that will not be forgotten easily. There is always something to be thankful for.

Accept & Love yourself the way you are

No matter the good and the bad, at the end of the day we are stuck with who we are. The first step to happiness and contentment is accepting & loving ourselves. Only then can we set straight goals and expectations for ourselves. Only by loving and accepting ourselves can we understand what we need to do better. 

Make a detailed plan with actionable steps

Simply saying that you want to lose weight this year is a resolution ready to fail. If you really want to succeed at something set your goals straight. Instead, I want to lose weight, say you want to lose 10 pounds. Instead of, this year, say you want to do it in 4 months. By thinking of your plans and goals as measurable you set yourself u for success.

Don’t announce your plans

You’ve probably heard that to hold yourself accountable you should tell people you’re going to do it. The logic of this argument is that people will complete tasks to save themselves from embarrassment. However, Art Markman, Ph.D. argues the contrary. He says: “If you want to succeed, don’t tell anyone”. Dr. Markman says that research suggests we perform better when we do not announce our plans beforehand.

Find something to keep you accountable

Since announcing your plans and goals seems to work against you, find something else to keep yourself accountable. Writing your plans down and displaying them somewhere you can see them every day might work. What works best is something that is already programmed to keep you motivated and in focus. If you’re planning to lead a healthier lifestyle this year try the Fitonomy App.

Start Small

Making huge plans can be a demotivator on its own. If you want to make a huge change in your life try starting with baby steps. If you want to go Vegan this year start by eating Vegan once a week. If you want to start working out ease into it with shorter and simpler exercises, etc. Set yourself up for success by starting small.

Focus on inner goals

If you must set goals for the new year, try starting with things that have more to do with your inner self. Start doing more things that make you happy, find time for yourself & spend time with yourself, listen to your body’s needs and wants, make sure you take care of yourself. When we give up on things, most times it is because you have ourselves set up for failure. Our basic needs are not met and our body and mind refuse to focus on larger things.

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