Welcome to 2022!
A new year is upon us, which also means that a whole new set of New Year’s resolutions are likely being made. The tradition of making resolutions in the new years is, of course, nothing new – people have been setting new goals since perhaps the dawn of civilization. But what makes New Year’s resolutions interesting is their link to modern times. Many individuals, for example, will set an intention at the new year to lose weight in the coming new year.
But how many people stick with it?
How many of us have been determined to lose weight in the new year, purchase an expensive gym membership, and by March discover that we might already be slipping back to where we were on December 31 of the previous year?
It’s for this reason that we may want to rethink New Year’s resolutions.
To begin, one way of thinking about commitments is to not focus on exactly when we are making these commitments (such as in the case of making new commitments at the new year), but, rather, focus on how we are going to accomplish our goals. Many individuals put undo pressure on themselves in January of each year to live up to their new found commitments, only to soon buckle under the pressure. By refocusing on how we can achieve our resolutions, we now put the focus on what we can control, rather than when we made the commitment.
Another problem with focusing on when a commitment is made obscures the reality that we can make changes in our lives whenever we choose. Those changes can be made May 1, July first, and – yes – even January 1. Thinking this way allows us to take control of our lives, and helps us to understand that each day is a new opportunity to grow, learn, and develop.
This may not mean that making a New Year’s resolution isn’t a completely fruitless endeavor. Indeed, perhaps a benefit to New Year’s resolutions: They are a yearly reminder that most people want to start the new year off a on positive note. The problem, as explored above, is that we may set unrealistic goals and fail in attempting to accomplish those goals.
So, if you had a New Year’s resolution for 2022 . . . great! But just remember that you have the power to change your life any day.