As we head into a New Year as always there is heightened chat about setting ourselves New Year’s resolutions. It’s the same every year and normally focuses on losing weight, getting fit, feeling better about ourselves, feeling healthier, new life, job, more money etc.  With a new decade being thrown into the mix the pressure to come up with a New Year’s Resolution seems only greater. Sound familiar?

My question to you is are New Year resolutions realistic and are they good for us? Hands up if you have ever stuck to a New Year’s resolution? Well done if you have, but I think if we are honest with ourselves most of us will admit to not sticking with our resolutions.

There are many reasons for this, with both personal and more psychological reasons to support why we don’t stick to them e.g. set unrealistic goals, resistance to change, need for control, unexpected life events, setting New Year’s resolutions that don’t match your purpose or motivation, not knowing your purpose, fear etc.

As mentioned often the New Year’s resolutions we set ourselves are unrealistic e.g. I will lose 5 stone in 2 weeks!!!! Likewise, it’s easy to get pulled onto the New Year’s resolution bandwagon because you have been led to believe you have to. It’s a habit we seem to have formed over the years and like with any habit it’s not necessarily easy to break.

Before we go any further it’s important to note that I don’t think setting ourselves goals is a bad thing, quite the opposite; however, I do question whether setting a New Year’s resolution is the best way to go about this. Even the title “New Year’s Resolution” comes with a lot of pressure don’t you think and even more so this year as we head into a new decade. This is the stress we just don’t need to place on ourselves.

This is why I no longer set myself New Year’s Resolutions, and over the last couple of years have instead developed a list of questions I like to ask myself before I step into a New Year.

1.List five things you love about your life right now?

2.List five key events that made you smile over the last year?

3.List five things about yourself that you love?

4.List five key people in your life that light you up?

5. List five activities that give you energy?

6. List five things you are looking forward to this coming year?

7. List one thing you would like to achieve by the end of 2020 and why it’s so important to you? How will achieving it make a difference in your life?

These questions not only help you focus on the good stuff that you already have going on in your life right now. They also help you reflect on the positives from the last year. This is important because there is a tendency especially at this time of the year to focus on what hasn’t gone right, and to internalise our mistakes and failures; which let’s face it don’t leave us feeling that great.

These types of questions flip the script on this type of thinking and help you keep positive. If you are someone who loves to set yourself goals then the final question will support you in setting a realistic goal, enabling you to drill down on why this is important to you and what difference achieving it will have on your life. In doing so it helps you eliminate those more unrealistic goals that may have come to mind. You will notice it’s just one goal as well which stops overwhelm in its tracks.

So instead of stepping onto the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon, make this year different by stepping off and reflecting on the good stuff in your life right now, things that make you smile, things you like about yourself and those important people who light you up. Set yourself one goal that is sustainable and important to you personally.

Happy New Year to you all and here’s to stepping into a new decade a different way, breaking free of the New Year’s resolution habit.