New Year's resolutions are always a bit of a minefield. We make them because we want something in our lives to get better - but picking resolutions always seems much easier than actually sticking to them.
The truth is: following through on resolutions actually has a lot to do with the resolutions you pick! When you take a second to be thoughtful about your resolutions - professional or personal - you set yourself up for a year's worth of success. Typsy's here to tell you how.
The start of a new year is always exciting - a fresh page, full of hope and opportunity. Resolutions are always a fun way to imagine what this new chapter might look like. Who knows what's around the corner?
And then there's New Year 2021. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty ready to be done with 2020.
It was one heck of a year, and this January 1st is probably the most significant since the turn of the millennium. So let's really make the most of it.
Here's how you can choose your resolutions for 2021 - whatever they may be - and actually stick to them.
1. Make a list of things you wish were better
No, it's not a trick question! Start by casting a very wide net - as wide as you like. Anything from working out more often to world peace.
Don't worry yet about what may or may not be possible. The point of this is just to get a clear understanding of your priorities and values. What are the common themes in your list?
On the other hand, you might write down things like 'more hours at work', 'more money in my savings account', or 'upgrade my car' - so your focus might be on financial security.
Other themes might include mental health, physical health, emotional intelligence, and heaps more.
Write down as many things as you can think of! The more you write down, the more clearly you'll be able to identify those common themes.
2. Choose ONE major theme to prioritize
One of the main reasons resolutions fail is that we try to take on too much at once! Of course, that doesn't mean you can't aim to change multiple things for 2021, but you should prioritize.
If the theme of 'financial security' comes up most often in your list, that doesn't mean you can't also, say, work out more often. But everything you change should be in service of financial security.
For example, if you also want to get healthier, you might decide to take up running rather than buying an expensive gym membership. If you also want to upskill at your job, you might look at affordable online courses.
Understand yourself and what you really want, and keep that in mind when you make decisions.
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3. Pick small, specific goals...
... and when we say 'small', we really mean 'small'.
Another major reason we find it hard to stick to resolutions is that we tend to go too broad! Say you identify a theme of career advancement - you might think that your goal is to get a promotion.
How are you going to achieve that promotion? Just generally keep trying to do a good job and hope someone notices? This is a sure-fire way to let this goal fall by the wayside.
Your goals should be things like:
- Arrive on time every day
- Learn, and strengthen, one new skill each quarter
- Speak up at least once in meetings
- Make detailed written reports of any issues that come up on shift, and then bring them to your manager
These are small, consistent actions that will help you progress to what you ultimately want.
In this example, the promotion isn't the goal - it's the reward for achieving your goals!
4. Be realistic - resolutions take time
There's a very famous poem that I love:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The strength to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference
That last line is absolutely vital.
Being realistic isn't just about picking realistic resolutions - it's about understanding that they won't necessarily happen right away, or in the way we imagine they will.
In other words, we have to understand the difference between things we can control and things we can't.
Say your priority is physical health, and you set a goal to go running three times a week. If you get an injury that stops you running, you will probably very quickly become discouraged.
You might stop running altogether, even after your injury heals. And then, in your mind, it becomes just another resolution that I didn't follow through on, so why bother?
Bad leg? Do core or arm exercises until your leg is healed.
Made a mistake at work? Take actions to help you understand the mistake, and actively show your manager how you're ensuring it doesn't happen again.
In both of these examples, your response to the set-back is actually still helping you stay on track to achieve your resolution!
Resolutions can seem intimidating, but accomplishing them is just about understanding our values; picking achievable and specific goals; and rethinking how we approach set-backs.
From all of us at Typsy, we wish you a happy, fulfilling, goal-busting 2021.
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