So is your list ready? Have you set out your new year’s resolutions yet? Is this something you do every year? Do you review them at the end of the year and how many goals did you achieve? Or do you rather focus on gratitude?
In all honesty, I don’t remember the last time I made an actual new year’s resolution list. I think after a while they never made sense to me. I’m sure the fact that you need more than just a list of goals to actually reach them has a lot to do with it. I also got tired of the disappointment with myself after getting 3 months into the year. This is when you wonder why you made that resolution in the first place and how come you haven’t made any concrete plans to actually reach them.
First, let’s find the definition of New Year’s Resolution:
Oxford says – A firm decision made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year.
Wikipedia says – A New Year’s Resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their lives.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary says – a promise to do something differently in the new year.
A Disaster Waiting to Happen
The common thread in these definitions is setting a goal and trying to reach it for one whole year. Now to me, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I mean this is 12 months we are talking about and we all know a whole lot of stuff can happen in one week let alone one year. So, of course, it’s difficult to keep these resolutions.
I always thought there must be another approach to this. So I started surfing the web and watching what my mentors are doing to reach their goals. I came across one of my favorites Lisa Nichols, who made a video (The 4 Things You Should Do Before Dec 31st ) that talks about writing a gratitude list before ending the year. Now, this caught my attention because we do not take time to be proud of ourselves for any achievements we have made.
Why There is Power in Celebrating Little Successes
Firstly, it helps you see that you actually have done something with your year, no matter how small.
Secondly, instead of feeling disappointed again and again every year for not reaching your goals, you feel pride. I think this is a great place to start thinking about what and how you want to move forward in your life.
Thirdly, there is power in self-celebration. When I wrote my list and I looked at it, I just felt happy and proud of myself. I had self-worth instead of self-loath, which is so much nicer to feel.
Fourthly, I was then able to start thinking about what do I want to achieve for my new year. Instead of just making these hard, not easy to achieve goals, I was able to start from a happy place. It enabled me to ask myself, what do I want to do that will keep me feeling this good and even better.
The Power of Gratitude
There is power in gratitude, in appreciating what you have now and not, what you don’t have. Oprah explains it so well in this short video – The power of gratitude. It makes you feel better and feeling better makes you want to do better and that actually helps you reach those goals you have set.
Gratitude helps us become aware of what is important and valuable to us. Have you noticed when you put more meaning into what you do, you get more motivation to actually do that thing? When there is a bigger motivation than just a sentence written out. It’s not just about losing weight this year, it’s more about feeling healthier and your body feeling good so that you can have more energy to get through your day. It’s not just about getting that promotion, it’s about pushing yourself and your potential to see what you are made of and improving your skills.
Okay, let’s recap a little on how we can start this gratitude journey and I would encourage you to do it with a friend (it ensures you to actually do the activity ????)
- Start by writing 10 things you are proud of doing this year: It can be anything at all, as small as “I am proud of making my bed every day”. Or I am proud of being a good friend to Olivia this year”. Anything that gives you the feeling of pride. When you get to 5, you may want to stop but please don’t. Take your time and keep at it. Then share it with someone close to you.
- Start a gratitude journal: Write 5 things you are grateful for every day. Make a routine with this to encourage yourself to actually do it. Set a specific time of the day when you know you can get 5 to 10 minutes quiet time. For example, in the morning, or during your lunch break or after having dinner. Some days it is easy to get the 5 points and this is especially when your day went well. Bad days are harder of course. On these days I write silly things like, “I’m grateful I got through the day, or I’m grateful the sun was shining today” LoL. (Gotta get the good feeling from something). Something to seriously note is, you change the way you look at your day. You start looking for things to be grateful for. Even if it’s to write those 5 points. You start seeing the positive around you.
- Set your resolutions or goals for the year: Don’t write too many so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Think of that happy place. Think, “What do I want to feel after reaching this goal.” What is my WHY?
Let’s make ourselves proud this 2018. Happy gratitude and goal setting ????