Self Improvement

I Don’t Make Traditional New Years’ Resolutions – Let Me Tell You Why

I really love the start of a new year, the feeling of twelve unwritten chapters full of endless possibilities to shape into the year you want to have. I’m 28 and still get excited about a fresh start – I just approach it differently.

I used to make my New Years’ Resolutions on January 1st, write them in my brand new diary so I can be reminded of them often. Sometimes write them out again, pin them to the cork board and firmly reassure myself that “this year, I will be successful.”

I still don’t drink kale smoothies, practice yoga, call my friends often enough or keep my clothes folded in the wardrobe rather than thrown on ‘The Chair’ (we all know the one)! Life gets in the way, I forget how much I *hate* smoothies containing veg, I don’t want to do yoga when I get home at 9pm after a busy day at work and by mid-March I’ve abandoned all hope of reaching my unattainable goals. I inevitably scrunch up that list of resolutions, throw it in the bin and feel bad about myself. Why can’t I improve myself? Why can’t I form new habits? Am I really going to be stuck as this same, unevolved person forever?! My inner voice has always very hard on me…

I decided that I had enough of setting myself up for failure and instead of setting grand activity-based goals I would scale down and focus on mindset and smaller, attainable changes that required far less effort but would feel equally satisfying. The idea being I choose bitesized intentions I can congratulate myself for doing again and again instead of a big goal that may take months to achieve.

This year, I have chosen to commit to the following things:

  • Looking after my health by listening to my body, feeding and watering myself properly, allowing for plenty of sleep, seeing my massage therapist or osteopath regularly and going to the gym consistently to improve my physical fitness and maintain my mental health.
  • Renewed energy and passion for my work by celebrating my wins when my patients say they feel better, choosing interesting CPD courses to broaden my training and finding ways to improve my business so that every person that walks through the door feels cared for every step of the way.
  • Maintaining a sense of organisation, something I feel I have lacked the past 2 years since the rise of COVID by planning my work diary ahead of time, scheduling my social media posts and automating as much of the tech side of the clinic as I can. This allows me more time to focus on what matters: helping people feel better!
  • Forgiving myself if I don’t perfect my goals. This one is super important; as an over achiever at school I find it hard to fall short of perfect as an adult, but being a working adult is very different to sitting GCSE’s – if only I could tell 16 year old me this because my GCSE’s, although excellent, did not help me get to where I am today and the stress was a factor in my health decline as a teen! Finding the positives is a less productive week and drawing a line under to start the next day fresh will be the key to this.

As you can see there will be plenty of opportunity to talk kindly to myself and give myself a little pat on the back. Each time I go to the gym is a win, every social media post is an opportunity to tell myself “well done”, each blog I post (aiming for 1 per month) is a reason to smile and if I feel I’ve fallen short then I can remind myself that tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to try again. You get the idea!

Ringing in the New Year in sparkles!

Top Tip: If setting big goals is your thing then I wish you every success, but remember to celebrate the small achievements, too. Enjoy the process, acknowledge each step because goals are just the end of the journey and so much can happen between now and the end of the year.

Interestingly the only New Year Resolution I ever reached was to quit smoking, but I set it for several years in a row before I stopped bothering with resolutions. In the end it was Novemeber 2020, I finished a pack of cigarettes and as I tossed it in the bin I thought to myself “that’s it, no more”. Since then I haven’t looked back! Why wait for the new year to try and do something I want to do, eh?

Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you all health, happiness and strength for 2022 in whatever way that means to you!