Hard to believe, but 2018 is here! By the second week of January, it’s likely that most people have already decided on some New Year’s Resolutions.
For me, I love beginnings, like the beginning of a new year. It’s a fresh start with new possibilities. How about you?
In many ways, beginnings give us natural pause and allow us to reset many things, especially behaviors or attitudes that we choose to engage. And once a year, this leads us to make New Year’s resolutions. Our culture has somehow defined January as the celebrated resolution time.
But there is nothing magical about the new year; you can make resolutions any time during the year!
Here are the top resolutions from 2018:
- Eat better
- Exercise more
- Spend less money
- Self care
- Read more books
What do you think are the top five most broken resolutions? You guessed it: They are quite similar! And, it turns out that only about 8 percent of people that make resolutions actually achieve them. In fact, if you do some research into New Year’s resolutions, you’ll find a few of the stories are inspirational. The majority are about why the resolutions didn’t work. And my New Year’s resolution stories would also fall into that bucket!
I’ve never been a big New Year’s resolutions guy. I usually say, “Why wait for the new year to make change?” Plus, it seems to me like something ought to come first that fuels our enthusiasm around these resolutions.
In recent years, I have become less turned off by the demand for New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I’ve opted to use that energy and hype as an opportunity to pause and evaluate the answers to a few questions that I realized to be foundational in the process of choosing change. These are universal questions, and I visit them often and in times of change, stress and big adjustments in my life. The answers to these questions serve as a constant guide, which usually leads me to positive change in my own behaviors and attitudes. I would contend that they can do the same for you, or at least allow you to begin the process of asking bigger questions that are more relevant in your own life.
Even if you have made 2018 resolutions already, pausing and pondering the answers to these questions can only strengthen your commitment and resolve around your resolutions.
- What are my unflappable values?
- How have I experienced meaning in my life and work?
- How have I experienced happiness in my life and work?
- Is there anything keeping me from owning my choices as I answer the above questions?
- Do my New Year’s resolutions align with my answers to the above questions?
Over the years, pausing and evaluating my answers to these questions has been difficult because if I am being truly honest with myself, the answers can be tough to accept. However, I’ve realized that asking these questions, writing down the answers, and discussing them with a few trusted friends (no matter how difficult the process) has transformed my life one day at time, year in and year out.
The beginning of any year is a great opportunity to reimagine our lives, which can motivate not only resolutions for 2018, but also lifelong goals for a new phase that lasts well beyond the year.
Wishing you and your teams the very best in 2018!