Are you sick of talking about the new year yet?
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Hey there my friend. Here we are, at the end of another calendar year. I’d like you to think back on any resolutions you may have set a year ago for 2019. Did you actually stick to them, or did they seem to get lost? Do you even remember what they were? Did you set some impossibly high expectations for yourself and ultimately let yourself down for no good reason?
You see, I don’t like the idea of “new year’s resolutions” for this exact reason and a few others too. Today, I want to share with you why I don’t think you should even bother with new year’s resolutions AT ALL. And what you could do instead–set inspired intentions!
Every single year, people from all walks of life experience powerful periods of growth and change. Along with trauma, heartbreak, stress, frustration, plus MANY other things.
We’ve come such a long way, and we’ve learned so much about ourselves. Think of all the different things that went on this year–all the ups and downs. Things weren’t always easy, and things weren’t always so terrible. We all deserve to give ourselves a big pat on the back.
Setting intentions for the new year is actually pretty important because it helps us live our lives with purpose. But getting caught up in overthinking this phase is super easy. We can’t forget to honor all the hard work we’ve already done that’s got us here now.
What is the point of working so hard if we can’t enjoy it? If we don’t take the time to recognize our past accomplishments, it becomes less meaningful. Even if it feels like you’ve had the absolute worst year of your life, there is at least ONE THING you’ve achieved and can be grateful for right now.
What is that one thing? Or perhaps there are many things! Think about it, and then congratulate yourself for doing all those things.
The Universe has a hilarious way of throwing all sorts of curve balls at us that are meant to test us. And you’ve survived all the tests so far! Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here right now. Right? So be proud of that!
Give yourself a pat on the back . You absolutely deserve at least that for all you have done in the past year. Look in the mirror and tell yourself “Well done! I love you!” If you ask me, that is the perfect way to end one year, and start the next.
Related Article – 5 Manifesting Misconceptions
First of all–the whole idea of resolutions make it seem like there is some mysterious goal-setting significance behind January 1st. As if this is your ONE magic window to make real changes in your life. And if you miss it then you might as well give up. Is it just me? Because that’s obviously not true.
The best time to commit to making positive change in your life is RIGHT NOW. This current moment. No matter what time of year it is.
It is true that this time of year does feel like a fresh start because it is Capricorn season. Meaning the sun has been traveling through Capricorn for the past month or so and isn’t quite finished yet. If you are not familiar with astrology: Capricorn is all about planning, setting goals, thinking big picture, and making dreams come true.
So every year, the collective picks up on this cosmic energy that inspires them to promise changes. That part isn’t the issue for me so much. The issue comes when they start to believe that this is the ONLY time they can make changes.
The longer you put off pursuing your goals, the longer you will live without their benefits. And if you’re waiting for perfect time to begin, you will be waiting your entire life.
The perfect time to begin is NOT the new year. The perfect time to begin is NOW. If “now” happens to align with the new year, that’s great! If not, you should begin anyway.
Another thing that bothers me about resolutions is the cultural hype. I get that people feel like they have a fresh start at the beginning of the calendar year. Something about seeing January 1st in their planner combined with Capricorn energy. I know I enjoy that feeling too. It definitely has a time and a place.
But a lot of people act as though they NEED this “fresh start” in order to succeed. Without that fresh start, there is no way their new habits will stick. Obviously, this isn’t true either. I feel as though this is just an excuse some people cling to when they are afraid of doing the work that actually will change their lives. It’s along the same lines as waiting for the perfect time to begin.
The cultural explosion around the new year seems to be coming from the idea that all goals can be achieved once you are given this blank slate. The blank slate is the secret key that unlocks everything you’ve ever wanted. Is that really true?
I think the cultural hype is justified. It is an exciting time of year. And the Universal energy is working in our favor. I just wish that more people felt this excited to commit to personal growth more often.
Perfection Over Progress
Resolutions have a tendency to be really extremely specific and quite overwhelming. At first, people are excited about the potential results of their resolutions. But by February, they’ve given up because they couldn’t handle the stress they’ve put on themselves. The pressure becomes too much.
It’s no one’s fault–we’re only human. Everybody gets caught up in striving for perfection instead of progress sometimes. And when we set overwhelming resolutions that we never achieve, we feel like failures.
This is a nasty cycle that doesn’t actually result in positive change–it only results in lowered self esteem. Maybe you’ve experienced this cycle before, once or twice? Wouldn’t it be nice to finally end that cycle?
And if the resolutions aren’t too specific, they are much are too vague. Following through on any goal requires a solid amount of soul searching to discover the “why” behind it. People don’t always have strong reasons for setting their resolutions, other than getting swept up in the hype. And because they don’t really know why they’re doing what they’re doing, they stop doing it all together eventually.
Even if they DO have good reasons behind their resolutions, they often choose to forget them quickly. It is so much easier to fall back into our old habits than to try to change them. Even if it literally means the difference between life and death.
Creating real change truly is a commitment that requires adequate preparation. And some people simply aren’t willing to put in the effort to make it happen. It’s a choice we each make. Everyone wants to improve themselves and their lives–but not everyone will actually do it.
Instead of making resolutions, set inspired intentions
Setting intentions is similar to setting resolutions, but there are a few important differences. Resolutions are more about determining a course of action to fix a supposed problem. While intentions are more about determining the purpose behind our desires, and then taking mindful actions.
You can resolve to do something, and you can intend to do something. But when you resolve to do something, you are looking for a certain outcome–it’s a pass/fail situation. When you intend to do something, you are moving forward with direction and determination. It’s more about the journey and less about the end result. Because of that simple difference, intentions are much more successful than resolutions for creating lasting change.
Goal-achieving is a marathon, not a sprint. Instead of creating fake resolutions that aren’t going to enhance your life in any way, consider setting intentions for the new year (or new decade). Simply write down a few major themes you would like to live by in the next year, then brainstorm a few ways you can do so. It’s not about making a giant to-do list, it’s about coming up with ways you can tweak your lifestyle to better reflect the life you want for yourself.
Remember to consider the reason why you want these things for yourself. Dig deep–don’t be afraid! Your “why” will become a source of constant motivation. The thing that reminds you of the intentions you set.
Here’s an easy example. One of my new year intentions is to bring even more spirituality into my everyday life because it’s a form of self-care for me. And I’ll do that through yoga, meditation, or/and journaling in the morning. As opposed to making an empty resolution to meditate for 20 minutes a day. See the subtle difference? When it’s framed in this way, your intentions seem much more doable and realistic!