As we move forward in another new year—and this time around, a new decade—many of us will emerge from the daze of the holidays and start thinking about the year ahead.
Remember the start of the year is a great time for reflection, planning and goal-setting. It may be a cliché and a marketing tool, but the idea of a New Year and a New You holds a lot of promise. It’s a fresh start, a reset, an opportunity for change—it’s all new.
As we embrace this mindset of newness and change, many will hopefully sit down to create a list of New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve probably all been there. Fitness, finance, diet, career, skills, travel and wellness are among the themes that people turn to most often.
However, what about learning a new language, drink less sugar based soft drinks, read at least a book a month, join a gym or do the Company run/walk every week of winter, be kinder to your friends and of course family? All of those are virtuous pursuits that would likely change your life for the better.
So, why are they so hard to follow through with? Why do, according to U.S. News and World Report, nearly 80% of resolutions get dropped by February? One of the reasons I’d submit is this: when we resolve to eat more vegetables, or take up cycling, or write more letters, why we’re doing it isn’t always apparent. And when we don’t have a purpose, or a why, behind our actions, there isn’t much of a foundation to inspire us to do things consistently over time. Sorry, basically you, and only you are to blame for forgetting those resolutions.
This year, I encourage you to try something different. Instead of making that list of resolutions and weighing yourself down with a bunch of I should, and I could statements that you will be struggling to maintain come March, consider shifting your attention towards why. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, try refreshing your values for the New Year.
Instead of just having a laundry list of things to do, create a clear and purposeful set of reasons behind doing them. As an individual, clarifying your values can be just as powerful for your personal life, giving meaning to what you choose to do and how you choose to do it. And as you enter another year, having a renewed connection to your values can also lead to real changes that stick with you well past Spring.
Ready to ditch the resolutions and get started on values? Most importantly, make sure that your values:
Resonate with you personally
Support your purpose
Happy New Year and much success!