As I’ve mentioned before I’m a bit of an annoying new year’s person, maybe because my birthday is in January. I don’t necessarily agree with the “new year, new you” narrative, which implies there is something wrong with you. However, I do think January is a great time to take stock of the year gone by and set intentions for the coming year by building on what’s already working.
I think why resolutions as such don’t work for people is because they can often be a huge goal without a proper plan of how to get there & then they are dropped after a few weeks as they are deemed too hard.
Some people prefer to have a word, theme, or mantra rather than a goal for the coming year, e.g., joy, hope, and thinking about what you can do to bring more of that into your life.
1.) The first thing I would suggest is a bit of self-compassion at this time of year. A lot of people (myself included) can overindulge over the festive season & then we really beat ourselves up when early January comes around. The reality is the Christmas period is only a couple of weeks out of 52. It’s the end of the year, another one which has been very challenging, so most people needed a break from work and everything else so it’s fine to take a bit of time out and let off some steam.
2.) Next, before looking forward, it is important to spend a bit of time reflecting on the year gone by to see what lessons can be learnt, what’s working, what’s not to establish what you most want to change.
I would ask yourself questions like:
• What gave me most energy?
• When did I feel most alive?
• What do I want to do more of?
Also ask yourself, what you want less of and what you want to let go of? If you’re hanging on to negative emotions like anger, frustration, or guilt, now might be the time to try to let go of them.
3.) Then looking into 2022, it can be beneficial to create emotion and energy around what you want for the year ahead.
• You can do this by firstly asking yourself WHY you want it?
• What will it give you if you reach it?
• What are you willing to give up to achieve this goal?
• Will it become a regret if you don’t do it?
4.) The next thing is to get your goal/ intention/ theme down on paper in some way. This could be writing it out or if you’re more visual, a lot of people like to do a vision board. The most important thing is that it is on paper & you put it somewhere where you can regularly see it.
5.) The final step is to break it down into smaller goals and looking at when and how you are going to review it, e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly, to keep you on track. And giving yourself little rewards along the way to keep up your motivation.
And for the next week, thinking about what is the first small thing you can do to move you towards your goal?
Wishing you all the best for the coming year and I’m always here if you want help with your plans. Elaine x
PS: You can catch me chatting about this on Dublin City FM.