Work out your goals for this New Year with our Free New Year’s Resolution Worksheet
In the hustle and bustle of today's world, it's easy to fall into the particularly common trap of workaholism. This January 1st, hunker down and plan out a banner year! Most of us beat ourselves up about being late, work extra hours and demand a lot from ourselves all year, only to stare in the mirror and tell ourselves we aren't doing enough. We say things like "you're clearly pudgier than last year" or "you could be happier if you just got motivated to [insert daunting task]." We all have areas in which we can improve but are we really doing as badly as our inner critic points out? It sometimes seems the thing that needs the biggest overhaul in our life is our attitude about ourselves.
Tips on working smarter not harder
Are you tackling a large goal or just focusing on a small one this year? It's easy to keep our goals broad but in my opinion, broad goals are always overwhelming and unattainable. When focusing on a large goal, consider narrowing it down to smaller easily achievable tasks that you can feel good accomplishing.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, write a list of things you need to practically do and pare it down until you have something small you can do every day. The list could start with "make better food choices" which could then narrow down to "cook at home more often" and progress to be even more specific with "cook extra portions of dinner to use for healthy lunches." This is something you can schedule. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Quality results take quality dedication.
Get beyond the writer’s / creator’s block
I'm not a proponent of laziness but as a millennial, my life is always on. On Facebook, on Pinterest, on Instagram. I need to stop and unplug... and real talk: unplugging it's a good thing. As a graphic designer, I am all too familiar with designers block. Sometimes it feels as though I'll never have a good creative idea again. In these times I know it's time for some R&R. Was I actually focusing on the problem too much? Am I taking proactive action or falling into illogical obsession?
If your resolutions seem overwhelming and the festivities of December have you stressed about things you need to change, maybe it's time to... well, ignore it all? But really? Ignore my problems? Yes, actually. Obviously not indefinitely but still yes. Go somewhere new, read something you've been wanting to, learn a new skill. Because after all…
Being more authentic invites more real experiences
Here are the top three resolutions people make, what they actually could mean, and how we can switch our focus:
Make more money
Do you truly appreciate what you have?
Would working at something you love and helping others fulfill you more? When we enjoy what we do, we're just more successful in every way. In our dealings with others, our satisfaction ripples outwards, making us magnetic and this brings good things our way. It's entirely possible you do need more money. Just be real about how much you think you need to be happy. "I'll be happy when..." isn’t the greatest attitude to take. The key is to be happy now, for what we currently have and appreciation is an active thought of gratitude. When you’re brain is thinking gratitude, it’s hard to be negative at the same time.
Lose more weight
Do you accept yourself as you are and are you able to stand in front of a mirror and love yourself in your current state?
Instead of focusing on muffin top and saddle bags... (I don't know why we classify our fat like this) pick something you like about yourself and compliment yourself on it. Not to sound too cosmic, but your body is the shell that carries your existence. Honour it with a healthy lifestyle don’t punish it with one. Make the changes you want to make from a place of deep respect for yourself rather than a place of criticism. We all have times where we feel less-than. I personally try and catch that and then compliment myself with one thing. It’s all about breaking that over-played negative synapse in your head that’s gotten so strong over years of self-criticism.
Spend more time with family
Do I feel guilty about how much time I spend at work?
In some instances it's just not possible to work less but could you find little ways to let your family know you care? Is this a permanent predicament or will things change soon? Often times we lose hope when there isn't a deadline on a particular trial we are enduring. Remember you are not a bystander in your own life. You can change what you're doing at any time. Don't fear that change so much. Very few things feel permanent when you are empowered and fearless. Sometimes this is about perspective. There are so many ways you can live your life. I like to imagine a totally different version of myself when I feel like I’m getting stuck on something. If I had different experiences in my life and I was a slightly different person, how might I respond to this? Is my emotional response just something automatic?
In conclusion, please be kinder to yourself
Still, all the above is easier said than done and if you must make a resolution this year, I implore you to be resolute in your resolve to be kinder to yourself. I promise, you can't go wrong with love and you'll find the kinder you are to yourself, the kinder you'll be to others. Positive self reflection is always a good idea. Truly wishing you, dear reader, a wonderful year, full of the good things you desire, ripe with the wisdom to know that you're good enough and the clairvoyance and authenticity to ask for what you really need. You’ve come a long way and you’ve made it this far. With gentleness and hope, you’ve got so many more new places to go.