How to Set Smarter Resolutions for 2021
With New Year’s Eve coming quickly and the end of 2020 draws near. This year was particularly tough for all, so it’s important to take a step back and analyze where we’ve come from and where we want to go. Essentially, it’s resolution making time.
The general consensus when it comes to resolutions is that they are pointless and that we will never keep to them, so what’s the point?
So, What is the Point of Making New Year’s Resolutions?
If we’re being honest, this consensus about resolution-making has some backing. In 2018, an average of 77% of Americans stuck to their Resolutions for at least a week and out of those, only 8% of those people will actually fulfill those goals.
Even sadder than this is that on average it only takes until January 12th before people start giving up, most of them claiming that it was a lack of time or motivation after the first initial week or so.
As someone who struggles to keep to their resolution as much as the next person, I sat down and tried to think through where I had gone wrong. Then it hit me, what if it’s not the resolutions themselves but how we set ourselves up in the goal-setting process?
A New Way to Make Resolutions in 2021
Let’s take a new approach to setting resolutions by throwing away the old view of one massive, solid, spanning goal; Let’s split it up and break it down.
When we do this, there are two types of resolutions you can set.
Let me explain…
- One goal per month.
- Monthly tasks that total up to one goal per year.
One Goal Per Month
If you don’t put so much pressure on a whole year’s worth of work, it can be easy. This also sets you up for an absolutely killer year. Instead of one big achievement that you may not keep to, you’ll be up to 12 achievements that only require a certain amount of time. The best part is that you can intersperse them so that you have some fun and some practical.
Related Article: Your 30-Day Inner Healing Journey: A Checklist
Dream big - but attainable
You aren’t going to lose 20 pounds in one month (healthily) so be realistic. At the same time don’t let this restrict you from dreaming big. If you can dream it, you can be it.
This year is going to uncertain, so also allow yourself room to change these goals. In our example below, we’ve set some that may not be attainable due to social distancing and the fight against COVID-19, but the flexibility of this schedule is what makes it fun, personal, and non-stressful.
Ultimately, it takes the pressure off of maintaining full-speed-ahead vibes for a whole 365 days. This strategy to creating resolutions lets you put full energy into a project and choose whether it is benefiting you. If you don’t feel like it suits you? Next month is a whole new ball game.
Imagine if we gained one new wellness trait a month?
Example: I will try and gain 12 new skills/experiences this year minimum.
How does this work?
It’s a common fact that it takes approximately 28 days to form a habit or develop a new skill. So what if we took that focus and divided our focus onto bettering ourselves one month at a time?
One Goal Per Year (Task-Oriented)
- Pick the one thing you’d like to improve or achieve.
- Break it down into individual steps (preferably 12)
- Spread them out between the months, each task is assigned to each month.
Example: I will be able to run 4km by December and get active this year.
This breakdown allows you to be flexible and build up your skills in a healthy and safe way. If you keep at these slowly building tasks, by December exercise will be fully built into your schedule. With this sort of goal building, it focuses more on the ‘how’ of a goal instead of that ‘what’ of the end result.
In your goal-setting process, make sure that all steps are actionable. Stating “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” is not something that inspires action and often leaves us with negative feelings when we don’t achieve it.
On the other side, “I’m going to walk around the neighborhood three times a week” is an actionable step that will lead to the final goal of getting fit and will leave you inspired to do the things you set out to do, despite the immediate feedback.
Be Kind to Yourself
We work 40 hours and then scold ourselves for not running a mile afterward. Please, if anything, be kind to yourself and your capacity when starting out. There’s no shame in starting slow and making the first month like a practice run.
New Year Resolution Ideas (tested by the Daily Life team)
- Cook X new recipe(s) a week/month.
- Read X new book(s) per month.
- Save $X per month.
- Leave the city once every month (even if it is just for a brief moment).
- Be sober an entire month.
- Complete X minutes of exercise this month.
- Drink only water for an entire month.
- Floss every day, twice. (It might seem common sense, but some of us truly need this).
- Doing yoga (or some other form of exercise) three times a week.
- Starting (and sticking to) weekly therapy sessions.
- Self-care: Waking up and meditating for 15 minutes (some people choose to also not look at their phones until after this time.)
- Reduce waste, attempt to recycle, and upcycle items instead of throwing them out.
- Learn to embroider by embroidering all my holiday gifts.
One major thing I can suggest in the process of making resolutions is to find your passions in the goals. Goals aren’t just things you don’t want to do that will help you later on, they are also things that are inspired by the things we love. Do you love acting? Maybe a goal is that you will take an improv class for a month.
Beyond this, it’s important to sit down and consider who you are doing these things for, is losing weight for your health, or because you think others will like you more if you lose 10 pounds?
You’ll know if it’s right when one of the reasons you’re planning the goal is relating to the wellness of your own mind, body, or soul.
You got this, Lovelies! Go on and take 2021 by storm.