As the New Year has arrived, many of us are thinking about what we want to change or improve in our lives. New Year's resolutions can be a great way to set goals and work towards self-improvement, but it's important to choose resolutions that are practical and achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can set us up for disappointment and may even discourage us from continuing to pursue self-improvement.
So, how can we choose New Year's resolutions that will actually improve our quality of life without setting ourselves up for failure? Here are a few tips:
Reflect on your values
Think about what is most important to you in life. Your resolutions should align with your values and goals. This sounds obvious, but so many times we hear/think New Year's resolutions should be about improving our physical health or appearance when those aren't the things that actually matter most to us if we think about it.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses
Identify areas of your life where you feel confident and competent, as well as areas where you may need to improve. Choose resolutions that build on your strengths and address your weaknesses in a realistic and achievable way. Building on strengths is an often ignored path when setting our goals, but can have a significant impact on our quality of life, while also being easier to achieve than completely reversing a weakness.
Make your resolutions specific and measurable
Instead of resolving to "maintain a clean and organized house," try setting a specific goal like "create a new storage system for rotating kids toys" or "get bookshelves/boxes/a dedicated space for the children's books." This way, you'll know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals and will be able to track your progress.
Just a little progress IS better than no progress. Starting with small, achievable goals will help you build momentum and increase your confidence as you work towards larger goals. If your real goal is to have and maintain a more organized house, starting with small goals like: organizing toy storage, creating a book nook, getting child locks on your dining room cabinets, etc., will give you the measurable improvements that will help keep up your momentum.
Don't try to do too much at once:
It's important to focus on one or two goals at a time, rather than trying to tackle a long list of resolutions all at once. This will help you stay focused and increase your chances of success.
Whether it's a friend, family member, or a professional, it's helpful to have someone to support you and hold you accountable as you work towards your goals. This can provide motivation and encouragement when you need it most. In the case of "maintaining an organized house", we suggest you work on getting your family members involved. Everyone, even children, are more likely to "buy in" to a solution when they get to be part of the problem solving. If you want to organize your children's toys, start by discussing the issue with them and asking if they have any ideas on a solution. Then, depending on their response, run your ideas by them. They're far more likely to put x toy in x spot regularly when they agreed to it ahead of time and understand why it is they're doing it.
To recap, choosing practical new year's resolutions is key to avoiding disappointment and setting yourself up for success. By setting specific and measurable goals, starting small, focusing on one or two goals at a time, and seeking support, you can create resolutions that are both achievable and meaningful. Remember that self-improvement is a journey, not a destination, and it's important to be kind to yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. By making small, consistent changes, you can make a big impact on your quality of life in the coming year. So, let's make the most of this new year by setting practical and achievable resolutions and working towards a happier and healthier future.
P.S. If you'd like to see some of our suggested resolutions for improving mental health and increasing self-love, check them out here.