Have you set yourself a new year’s resolution?
Personally, I never used to bother. I thought they were half-hearted and insincere… like the Christmas cards you get from family members you haven't seen in well over a decade. The sentiment is sweet but it feels like it’s just about following protocol!
But in the last couple of years I’ve been beaten over the head with this lesson:
“If you want something you've never had
You must be willing to do something you've never done.”
Once you’ve taken this to heart, the idea of a new year’s resolution doesn’t seem so silly.
We have a natural desire to progress and become better than our previous selves.
Setting goals (big or small) is how we choose the direction in which we want to grow. Things like resolutions and/or habits are how we get our metaphorical ships sailing in said direction.
So why not start the new year by giving yourself a little extra direction?
A resolution can be a great tool to keep us on track to our goals, instead of just sailing around in open waters feeling like a mapless dumbass…
Really, we don’t need the turning over of a new calendar year in order to create change.
Any time is a good time! The new year just offers a little extra convenient structure and symbolism. So, if you haven't made a new year’s resolution yet then it’s not too late. Jump on it whenever you want, you non-conformist you!
But wether you do or don’t have one, there are some great guidelines for making a resolution. Keep them in mind if you’re making a new one, or check to see if your current one lines up with them.
Here we go!
1-Is it a great “theme” for the next chapter of your life?
One of the main differences between goals and resolutions is that resolutions tend to be more long term. They often carry more personal meaning or call for serious change. That kind of work doesn’t happen overnight! So, would this resolution make a good recurring theme for the next year?
2-Is it part of your “bigger picture”?
If you have long term goals and plans, does this resolution line you up with them?
If you don’t, does it put you on a path that you can see yourself on for the foreseeable future?
If it doesn’t tie into something that you feel you want to commit to for the long haul then maybe you should chose something else. Things that are less long term make better goals than resolutions.
3-Does it light you up?
If the work itself doesn’t light you up, make sure the “end state” does.
The actual process itself doesn’t necessarily have to light you up. Sometimes we have to do some grungy ass hard work in order to achieve the goals we’ve laid out for ourselves… like paying of debt for example! But even when it is hard, if the end state lights us up, the work is worth it! The end state isn’t actually the completion of the goal. It’s what happens because of it, like the feeling of a personal transformation, or the impact on the people around us.
4-Are you willing to do the work?
No matter what the resolution is, it’s going to take some effort.
We might need to do some research or ask some questions in order to find out what kind of steps are involved in attaining our resolution. These steps often involve creating new habits. Habits are only formed by repeating an action or behaviour… so intentionally making new ones can be a lot of work! Once you have a clear picture as to what the steps look like then you need to decide if it’s the kind of work you’re actually willing to do.
Once upon a time, I decided that I wanted to make a lot of my own clothing.
I wanted to be able to express my personality, improve a skill, and have a new creative outlet. I made a resolution to have at least 25% of my wardrobe made by me before the year’s end… Well it turns out I hate sewing with a fiery passion!
Once I learned this (after many attempts resulting in tears of frustration and endless F-bombs) I abandoned that resolution and chose a new one part way through the year. We’re allowed to do that!
Whatever direction you decide to steer yourself in this year, I hope you level up in your badassery and do some really cool shit.
In the meantime,
Stay awesome and rage on!