One week into the new year and it seems every year, the same old trope is trotted out – the dreaded resolution. Losing weight, getting a better job, or buying a house, for many of us, these goals seem like a distant dream. The pressures of a new year’s resolution can be mentally draining, and the guilt associated with many resolutions that are never fulfilled, can be crushing. It’s time to set aside the traditional new year’s resolution and make a daily resolution instead.
For many of us, slipping into the new year with a resolution to reach a seemingly impossible goal can seem like a good idea. We set our sights on something great and inspiring and think “This is the year I’m going to do it!” We start with enthusiasm and optimism, and for the first few days or weeks we work hard and make progress. But then life gets in the way – work, family, illness, and before you know it, the goal is forgotten. We’re left feeling frustrated, disappointed, and like a failure.
This is why it’s so important to stop setting these large, vague goals and start setting daily resolutions instead. Daily resolutions are small, achievable goals that can be managed and accomplished within a single day. Examples of daily resolutions can include things like helping an elderly neighbor with their groceries, making dinner for your parents, or even just smiling and saying hello to a coworker you don’t particularly like.
These small, achievable goals are far more likely to be accomplished than a large, all-encompassing goal like losing 100 pounds. Not only that, but they are also more satisfying to accomplish. Every day as you look back on what you’ve achieved, you can be proud of yourself and your progress. This feeling of accomplishment is far better than the feeling of failure that is associated with a large, unachieved goal.
Daily resolutions don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming either. They can be very simple and easy to accomplish, and they can be tailored to fit each individual’s lifestyle. For example, a busy parent may choose the resolution of taking 20 minutes each day to read a book with their child, while a student may choose to spend 15 minutes studying each day.
Another advantage of daily resolutions is that they don’t have to be related to physical tasks or goals. They can also be related to mental or emotional goals, such as practicing self-compassion or taking time out of each day to be mindful. These types of goals can be incredibly beneficial for our mental and emotional wellbeing, and can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Finally, daily resolutions can also be tailored to our values and beliefs. We can choose to focus on developing relationships, being kinder to others, or giving back to our community. These types of goals give us a sense of purpose and can help us become our best selves.
So this new year, set aside the traditional new year’s resolution that cause anxiety and guilt, and replace it with daily resolutions that inspire changes that stick. Focus on small, achievable goals that will help you feel accomplished and proud of yourself. Take time to reflect on your values and beliefs and choose goals that are in line with these. And above all, remember to be kind to yourself—no matter how big or small your goals are.
And have a happy, wonderful, and inspiring new year!