A new year is born! And you know what that means? It’s time to redefine yourself and set a New Year’s Resolution. New year, new you, right?
But what if that isn’t quite right? What if that whole “New Year, New You” mindset sets us up for a lot of grief?
Turns out that New Year’s Resolutions and grandiose goals can really tear us down! Honest to goodness, they can have a pretty powerful effect on our well-being.
But fear not! There are healthy ways to chase those big dreams of yours. And we’re gonna dive in together and find out how!
Here are 4 Sure Fire Ways To Rock Your New Year’s Resolution:
The Downside of New Year’s Resolutions
There’s a problem with New Year’s Resolutions… they’re often grand, super difficult (if not unachievable) and aimed at reinventing ourselves. And while I champion the idea of learning and growing, putting ourselves under too much pressure, like we often do when we set a New Year’s Resolution, can really backfire.
According to a Tom McAvity, a psychologist and fellow New Brunswicker (holla!):
“[when you set a grand New Year’s Resolution] you are actually creating more tension by attaching yourself to an outcome.” (source)
McAvity went on to explain that we may even be emotionally harming ourselves when we set a huge resolution.
It turns out that beginning the year by vowing to make often unrealistic, grand life changes can place us under a significant amount of stress, increasing our cortisol levels. Which, as I’m sure you can guess, is bad news bears!
A boost in cortisol can affect our thyroid function, weight, digestion and even suppress our immune systems. All things I personally don’t have time for, thank you! And I’m pretty confident you feel the same way! (source)
Oh, and even worse! If we don’t achieve the goals we set in our New Year’s Resolution we get another icky boost in stress. Which in turn reduces our self-esteem and even our sense of wellness.
Did I mention that approximately 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February? That’s a heck of a lot of us stressing ourselves out. (source)
Does That Mean That We Should Stop Making Resolutions?
Not necessarily (although, hey, it’s totally cool if you don’t make a New Year’s Resolution! There is nothing wrong with being perfectly happy where you are).
What matters is that we change the way that we approach our goals and New Year’s Resolution.
If we decide to make one, we need to take some of the pressure off and be more realistic.
Dreaming and working to achieve the things that excite you is wonderful. But there are a few key factors that can make all the difference and save us from a lot of the unhealthy side effects.
4 Sure Fire Ways To Rock Your New Year’s Resolution
1. Realize That You’re Already Awesome
Self-love isn’t easy. But it’s absolutely worth it. And, honestly, it should be at the heart of any changes you decide to pursue in life. Self-love is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle after all!
It’s important to remember that accepting yourself is not the same as becoming complacent.
You can still dream, grow and learn and accept yourself as you are at the same time! In fact, you should absolutely strive to do that.
The problem with many New Year’s Resolutions is that they don’t often come from a place of self-acceptance and love. Typically they’re aimed at re-inventing ourselves and focused on what we view as our worst faults.
On top of that, they often inspire us to hold our self-love for ransom until we become this mythical better version of ourselves.
If you exist in a constant state of ‘I am not enough and I can’t love myself until I become more’ all you’re doing is creating more suffering for yourself. And there is absolutely no sustainable growth in that mindset. It sets us up for a ton of stress and failure.
Need a little help? Here are 8 Ways to Work on Self Acceptance (And a Free Self Love Affirmations List)
2. Take a Moment to Reflect on Your Progress
It’s so easy for us to forget how far we’ve come and even undervalue ourselves. In fact, sometimes we’re almost completely unaware of our progress. Because a lot of the strides we make in life happen slowly, over time. If we don’t take a moment to look back with appreciation for a moment we might not even see it!
Reflecting is good for our self-esteem. And it can help us move forward with more realistic goals in mind. Oh, and it also helps to boost that whole self-acceptance thing we just talked about. Total score!
So stop for a moment, look back at all of the ups and downs you’ve made it through and see how far you’ve come! Give yourself some credit for all that magic.
Remember that you bring a ton of awesome to the table. You, right now, as you are, have made it through every hardship life has thrown at you. You’ve met so many goals, learned a ton from your failures (we all have them) and have grown so much. Current you is pretty wonderful!
And if current you wants to add more goodness to the pot, that’s cool! Just remember that you already rock and your resolution or goal is just adding to that goodness.
3. Rethink How You Approach Your Goals
How we go about setting our goals can have a huge affect on how successful we are and help to reduce that New Year’s Resolution or goal setting stress we talked about earlier.
Here are a few ways to set healthier goals:
- Make Inner Goals Your Main Focus – inner goals are all about how you want to feel and what you want to achieve, regardless of outer perceptions. They tend to be more fulfilling to both pursue and achieve.
- Embrace A ‘Less Is More’ Mentality – While it’s great to dream super, duper big, breaking your goals down into bite sized steps helps a lot. Focus on a couple of things that are essential and/or excite you and narrow it down into achievable steps.
- Forget About Perfection – When your goal setting is all about progress and not about perfection we add a ton of joy and discovery to our ventures (and remove a heck of a lot of pressure.) Progress cheers you on! It stems from an open minded place and sometimes even leads us in directions we never could have discovered under the pressures of perfection.
- Give Yourself Enough Time – It’s important to be realistic in our goal setting and give ourselves the time and space we need to feel safe and secure enough to achieve them.
- Set Goals As They Come – Remember that January doesn’t have to be the only time that you can resolve to follow a dream or strive for change. Every day provides us with the awesome opportunity to create and pursue. Don’t put all that pressure on the first day of a new year.
4. Know That It’s Ok To Change Your Mind
So you set a goal or New Year’s Resolution, make sure that it’s fulfilling and broken down into bite sized, achievable chunks and then suddenly, halfway through, you’ve changed and you’re no longer interested.
When you become uninterested in a goal you’re pursuing it’s important to pause for a moment and reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you had set out to do in the first place. If the goal no longer aligns with your path, don’t be afraid to let it go. (If you need a little help reflecting, meditation is a huge help).
You are not bound to these dreams. Sometimes we outgrow things and that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to walk away from something that no longer serves you, even if it’s your own dreams. You are allowed to outgrow goals before they are achieved. I promise you, there are new adventures waiting just around the corner.
Need a little New Year’s Resolution inspiration? I think this one is the best one possible…
The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution
If you’re excited to set a New Year’s Resolution but not quite sure what to work towards, I’d love to make a powerful suggestion that could change your life! Vow to work on loving yourself fiercely! Maybe it sounds a little bonkers, but hear me out:
Regardless of what other wonderful goals you may have, a loving, forgiving, patient and respectful relationship with yourself is the ultimate foundation. Whether it be to eat healthier, to exercise more, to follow a new career path, to find the right counselor… having a healthy, positive relationship with yourself makes all the difference when pursuing any goal.
Why Self-Love Makes all the Difference:
When you truly love yourself, everything changes. You feed your body with kindness because it’s part of your self-love language. Instead of developing a strict, unpleasant diet out of a dislike for your shape or size you’ll feel inspired to work to creative a healthy balance you adore.
Self-love helps you to change your dialogue with yourself, silencing your inner mean girl/guy. You do your best to remove yourself from scenarios that bring you misery because you value yourself and know that you deserve better.
And self-love helps you find the right help for you when you need it, because you recognize that you deserve love and support, just like everyone else.
When a love and respect for yourself exists at the foundation of your lifestyle, positive changes stick. Your well being is at the center of your actions. And that makes such an incredible difference.
Like any relationship, your relationship with yourself takes time, patience, love and care. But all of that time and effort is absolutely worth it.
Remember – you are worthy of the love you so freely give to everyone else. Be kind to yourself. Trust me – self-love only creates more goodness.
Did you set a New Year’s Resolution? Share it with us! We’re you surprised to learn how they can affect your well-being? Any healthy goal setting advice you’d add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: I am worthy of my own friendship. I will make treating myself with love and kindness a priority.
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