Keep this in mind as you make your New Year’s resolutions this year!
Setting goals and trying to accomplish them is admirable. It’s an important part of how we grow.
But there’s something about New Year’s resolutions that bothers me.
On January 1st, the gym is always packed. People buy and cook healthier meals. They make plans to organize their home, learn a new skill, get more sleep, or spend less money. These are all great things, and they are done with the best of intentions.
But by February 1st, the gym is back to its normal level of business. People are back to eating fast food and processed meals. They may have organized one closet, bought a book to learn a new skill and put it on a shelf, gone to bed early a few nights in a row, or have gone back to their normal spending habits. And in addition to being back in their regular routine, there’s an added sense of guilt or failure.
No judgement to anyone who has found themselves in this situation. It’s good to make resolutions, but it’s also okay to not follow through with them all.
It’s okay to change them, postpone them, or even drop them.
And that’s my point.
The thing about resolutions is that sometimes, the resolutions we make, just aren’t feasible after a few weeks. Sometimes life happens and what was once achievable no longer is. Priorities change and you may not have time to accomplish or even interest in keeping your resolutions.
Our lives are so dynamic that we can’t possibly expect to make five resolutions in January and still be sticking to them all in December. So much can change that it’s not fair to put that kind of pressure on ourselves. Yes, we should make goals, but we need to give ourselves grace when we have to change those goals.
Too often we make a resolution and then feel guilty when we don’t stick to it. We drink too much caffeine or eat a cupcake or sleep in instead of going to the gym and we beat ourselves up over it, when in reality, it’s okay. We’re not perfect!
Instead, we should be flexible and set resolutions, or even better, goals, with the awareness that we may have to change them. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to keep them. We should just do our best and if something comes up, adjust.
This January, as you think about how you want to improve in the coming year, remember that nothing is set in stone. It’s great to want to learn a new skill, but if you end up not having the time, it’s okay. Wanting to be healthy is important, but if you can’t cut fast food out 100% or go to the gym in the morning, that’s fine.
It’s good to want to improve yourself, but it’s also okay to change your goals. And if that means rethinking or even dropping your resolutions in February, don’t feel bad. You can always start again!