I’m going to tell you something super controversial – I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. There is nothing that you can say to convince me that New Year’s Resolutions should be a thing. In fact, I’m going to spend a good chunk of this post telling you why they do more harm than good. For now, you’re let’s agree that nothing magical happens when the clock strikes midnight. You’re definitely not going to reverse Cinderella and shapeshift into a completely new human being who left all of their baggage in 2019.
Let’s start with why New Year’s Resolutions suck and how they can set you up for epic failure.
- They’re typically monumental or unrealistic with no plan of action attached. I’ll use everyone’s go-to as an example – “I’m going to lose weight.” Now, let me hit you with the tough questions: How are you going to lose weight? How much weight? Why are you looking to lose weight? What changes are you making to lose weight? How are you going to modify your behavior and change all of your bad habits? What makes this time different?
SMART goals are your BFF when setting any goal or intention (Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based). Don’t just decide that you’re going to “lose weight,” set smaller goals or intentions to help you achieve your ultimate goal.
- Setting one big goal and not meeting it is a severe blow to your mental health. It sets you up to engage in a ton of negative self-talk, engage in self-harm, or revert to all of your poor coping skills. You walked into this new year with the best of intentions, but after one bad day, you’re telling yourself that you’re an epic failure that can’t do anything right.
When we have a setback, we decided that we’re a failure and continue to repeat the behavior we’re trying to change. I call this the “might as well..” mentality. You ate a cookie. You failed by eating the cookie. Might as well eat the whole box of cookies. Skipped the gym this morning. You failed by being lazy. Might as well lay here and watch TV all day. Had a cigarette. You’re obviously not ready to quit. Buy a whole pack of cigarettes to enjoy later. You get the idea. While it can take a lot of time and practice, it is possible for a cookie to just be a cookie rather than the start of a binge. Enjoy the cookie, savor it, the cookie doesn’t represent your failure. Every second is a new opportunity to make a better, healthier, wiser decision. You are not bound to the choices that you made yesterday. You will learn and grow from each setback and every poor choice. It is never too late to change your mind.
- It is unrealistic to believe that you can change who you are over the course of one night. My fiancé has been walking around saying “New Year, New Me,” and I really can’t even. He lives with me and knows how I feel about this phrase, but just like a lot of people, he believes in the magic of January 1st. I’m not here to ruin anyone’s fun (especially his), but there is no new you in the new year. It’s the same you but with an optimistic outlook, the best of intentions, and kickass goals.
My fiancé and I have talked about our 2020 goals ad nauseum. We each have career goals, health goals, and personal development goals and support each other fiercely. We discussed 2020 travel plans, including business trips, vacations, and most exciting – our July 2020 wedding in Mexico. There are vision boards, budget trackers, closets being cleaned out, sage being burned, and plans being made. None of this happens overnight. I am an ongoing project that requires continuous work. I am so happy with this life that I’ve build, but one thing I know for sure is that happiness is not a destination. It takes a lot of work, self-reflection, and self-acceptance.
Let 2020 be the year of you.
Go to the doctor and get that check-up that you’ve been putting off.
Start saving for retirement.
Open your heart to new adventures. Step all of the way out of your comfort zone.
Fall in love with yourself. Fall in love over and over and over again.
Stop apologizing. Eliminate “I’m sorry” from your vocabulary unless you actually owe someone an apology.
Create a vision board. Manifest the shit out of what you want your life to look like.
Invest in yourself! Invest your time, your money, and energy into achieving your goals and making your damn dreams come true.
Take charge of your life. No more giving credit to others for what you have or blaming others for what you don’t.
Radically accept where you are at this moment. All of your choices have resulted in you being here. If you don’t like it, make different choices.
Stop letting other people dictate your worth.
Stop criticizing your body. Celebrate its power and beauty as is.
Fuck what other people think of you or expect of you. What you think of you and expect of you is everything.
Deepen your relationships.
Hold yourself accountable.
I hope 2020 brings you all of the beauty, happiness, sparkle, and shine that you deserve.