Lately, I've noticed that it's become fashionable to look down on new year's resolutions. They are an artificial habit that we almost superstitiously maintain, as we yearn to finally be that better version of ourselves. These unrealistic, lofty goals, that we neatly list in our pristine yearly planners or diaries, inevitably fail and becomes another source of self-loathing. Right?
I think it can be useful to channel that surge of hope and energy we get as a new year begins into creating positive and sustainable changes in our lives (if we want those changes of course!)
But don't get me wrong. I am not going to be resolving to "lose weight" or "support cause A" or "run more" in 2018. As written, these goals are either too vague, too generic for me (do I really want to do X? Why? Are things around me convincing me that I * should * want X?) or too removed from my actual life and natural tendencies. Also, a year is a long time, and for me, a bit more planning and breaking down into tasks is necessary in order to accomplish any substantial goal.
So what I will do is set a handful of specific to-dos that I know I can complete in the next few weeks. These will be attainable and very precise, for exampl:e "Schedule physical with doctor XYZ", "Download Couch to 5K app" or "take the stairs instead of the elevator."
As these are being completed, I'll pat myself on the back and write new, simple tasks, perhaps a tad more challenging this time (depending on my level of motivation) for the following few weeks. These tasks will be the incremental steps that will take me closer towards my goal(s).
So, while the goal is still on the horizon, what I focus on daily is only the (manageable) task at hand, making progress tangible and measurable. Each time I reach a milestone on the way to reaching my bigger goal(s), I try to:
1) recognize that I've passed that milestone
2) mentally give myself a high five for having gone this far.
What do you think? Do you do dislike new year resolutions? Or do you think they are useful? If so, what are your tips to make them stick?