Well here we are again, recovering from the festive season at the end of another unusual year. Probably, in some ways at least, not the year that most of us had planned. So it might seem strange that I bring up New Year’s resolutions. Because imagine how many were bent or broken in March of 2020 when news of the pandemic first hit and we were forced to change the way we lead our lives. And consider how many resolutions weren’t made in early 2021 when we were still living with uncertainty and many of us were disillusioned and aggrieved, reluctant to put another thing on the To Do list, defiant about not living with any more unnecessary pressures!
As a coach I’m an advocate for change, and for change from within. By exploring our lives; our values, strengths, limiting beliefs, obstacles, dreams and aspirations, we can learn so much about ourselves and especially how to transform our own lives for the better. Contrastingly, we cannot predict, assume, manage or change the behaviours or reactions of others so it’s even more important that we take personal responsibility for making intentional moves towards adopting healthy habits and seeking self-fulfilment.
New Year’s resolutions can be all about that, a tradition that presents an opportunity to commit to something and improve your life as a result. But – spoiler alert – they don’t have to be made at new year! We have the power to take control of improving our lives, and those of others, every single day. A little bit of motivation is all it takes, not always as the result of suffering the after-effects of inebriation on January 1st or the perennial guilt of not having achieved those previous unattainable goals.
Whether you choose to make changes from 1st January, today, or some arbitrary date during mid-summer, how can you ensure that you stick to your goals, even when it gets hard, when the distractions of daily life submerge you and the doubters try to put you off? A resolution is ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something’. So rather than plan to give up an unhealthy habit or pastime, why not plan to take something new on? This positively psychology, practiced upon ourselves, prevents it from feeling like a chore or punishment but an opportunity to fulfil something new or long-desired.
We know that some simple actions can enhance our wellbeing; things like acts of kindness – free to give, precious to receive. Or engaging in contact with others; remember that making social connections with others has untold benefits like decreasing our vulnerability and enabling us to cope better with stressful life events. Plus it’s more fun with company! Why not make intentions like these your resolution in 2022? Making positive changes for yourself with the ripple effect of enhancing the happiness of others too.
Try this year, like me, to have some Resolve!