“Though February is short, it is filled with lots of love and sweet surprises” – Charmaine J Forde
New year’s resolutions are a fantastic idea. Any excuse to mark your past achievements and to set new goals is, in theory, positive. The only problem with new year’s resolutions is that we often make them at a time of celebration and optimism, namely, the festive period. This means that when we are thrust into the new year, into the depths of January, the resolutions can transform into self-inflicted pressures that we could probably do without. Resolutions are usually made to boost our wellbeing, but the resulting self-annoyance at not following through can sometimes do more to harm our wellbeing.
I wonder if February is a better time to reset our aims. February comes after a month of getting our ducks in a row after the abandonment of December, and some reflection, based on our usual day to day lives, on what we actually want from the rest of the year.
So, now that February is here, I encourage you to pick up that list of resolutions you made at the end of 2021 and consider them for a moment.
Your New Year’s Resolutions…
1. Do I Really Want This For Myself?
Consider each of the aims you have set out for yourself. When you made this resolution, did you properly consider whether it was something that you actually wanted for yourself, or did you make it because perhaps you ‘felt you should’? Resolutions do not need to be many in number. Indeed, it is much better to have a few goals about which you are passionate than many that you are not especially bothered about. Whittle down your list!
2. Is This A Priority?
Be mindful that it is hard to give all of your resolutions equal energy simultaneously. So maybe it is better to tackle them one at a time. Which resolutions are genuinely a priority for you? Which of them can wait a little while?
3. Do I Want to Get Back on The Wagon?
Often, we will say, ‘right! On the first of January, that’s it! This is going to change!’. Then the first week of the year comes and we don’t hit the ground running like we thought we would. At this point, many of us decide, because we didn’t manage to ‘smash it’ right away, that it is not worth pursuing. I know that, for me, I have often resolved to get on top of my diet, only to decide not to bother because I had too much chocolate on some random day. I have since learned that these days are essential to my wellbeing, and that one ‘off day’ is not a good enough reason to throw a whole resolution in the bin.
4. Is This An Achievable Goal?
Looking at your increasingly curated list, are your goals achievable. Be mindful of who you are and how your life operates… are these resolutions that are conceivably reachable or are you being overly optimistic? Stretching ones-self is important, of course, but to aim for a target that is far out of reach will ultimately end in disappointment.
Your February Resolutions
1. What Are You Keeping?
So, which of our initial list of goals are you keeping? They should be ones that matter to you, ones that you are already making progress with and ones that you have the time and energy to tend to.
2. Do You Have Space For Some New Resolutions?
Be mindful that you don’t have to add to the list. It might look a bit short to you, but you need to be conscious of what your comfortable limit is. Two or three targets in which you are invested is great! However, if there are, on reflection, a few more things that you could stand to work on, consider adding them to the list.
3. Look Ahead. Make A Plan.
Our resolutions are often vague, by which I mean we don’t always nail down a plan or plot a journey to help achieve them. So, take a look at your year, set some checkpoints, make a plan. Looking at the desired outcome of a resolution can be overwhelming, but dividing it into steps and smaller goals makes the whole thing seem much less intimidating.
4. Consider A Monthly Check-In
Why stop at February when it comes to reconsidering your resolutions. Why not reacquaint yourself with them every month and have a proper think about where you are with them?
By Chris Thomson
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