Happy New Year! Did you make a resolution this year? How do you feel about resolutions? The word seems to illicit mixed emotions in people. For some, it’s exciting. An opportunity to turn over a new leaf and set some intentions for the year ahead. For others, it’s viewed as an unnecessary exercise. Why should a seemingly arbitrary date on the calendar push me to lose weight, save more, be happier?
Really, if we think about it, a resolution is just a call to action, given a fancy name due to it’s timing in the year. Google results for “resolution”:
1.a firm decision to do or not to do something
We are constantly making resolutions, even if we don’t know it. Finish school. Get promoted. Buy that investment. Sell that investment. Go to Jimmy’s soccer games more often. Sleep in. These are decisions to do (or not to do) something.
I think one of the biggest obstacles people face is the fear of failing. Setting resolutions can be intimidating. If I set a resolution, I have an opportunity to fail. Therefore I will continue doing what I am doing, without the prospect of failure. Ah. Bliss.
The problem with this is it provides no momentum for personal growth. Over the Christmas break I was able to read “The Happiness Project”, by Gretchen Rubin. This is a great book, I highly recommend it. It’s an easy read, entertaining, and most importantly full of good tips and advice on how to be happier. One of the ideas presented in the book is that personal growth is crucial for our happiness. I really resonate with this. I truly believe if you are not moving forward, you are falling behind, as the world forges ahead regardless of your decisions.
But personal growth is so hard. Who has the time to learn a new language, travel to Thailand, or exercise every day. The key is baby steps. Instead of telling yourself “I’m going to save $1000 this year”, say “I’m going to put $20 in my savings account this week.” The latter sounds much more achievable and you are more likely to accomplish a small, specific action. The satisfaction from following through with it, will give you motivation and maybe you’ll save $25 the next week 🙂
So this year, have a new outlook. Put aside fear, and start small. You may be surprised how far it can take you.