Realistic Resolutions for the New Year
After the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season comes, of course, the New Year. And with it? The expectation of a clean slate, a fresh start, and commitment to resolutions to make yourself better in some way in 2019. It can all feel a little overwhelming, to say the least, and most of us have made big resolutions in years past with the best of intentions only to watch those resolutions fizzle early in the year.
If you want this year to be different when it comes to resolutions, try going a step further and identifying ways to help you reach your goals. Here are some examples:
1) Learn a new skill. Whether you want to try a language, learn to sew, take a martial arts course, or become a baker, this is most definitely a great resolution. It can help you meet new people, learn new things about yourself, and push you out of your comfort zone. But...how to get there? Take action to set your new skill in motion. Does a local art studio offer a photography class you’d like to take? Sign up for that (and take the time to think through how that will impact your schedule overall). Can you recruit a friend to try something with you? Surrounding yourself with community and plugging into existing resources will make this goal far more fun and attainable.
2) Break a bad habit. It’s helpful here to start with just ONE habit to address. Maybe this is the year you finally break that nail biting habit of yours! Studies show that an effective way to break a habit is to replace it with another activity. Continuing with our example, you might find you bite your nails when you’re stressed or distracted. What can you replace that with? Maybe it’s drinking water or even chewing on a pen instead. Have a game plan for what you can do when the urge to bite occurs. Also, celebrate your achievements. If you realize you haven’t bitten your nails in a week, take time to be proud of yourself!
3) Save money. Most of us wish we were better at this, but to help make this resolution more realistic, if you aren’t a big saver now it’s fine to start small! Look at your spending and figure out how you can set aside just $10 per week to help increase that nest egg.
4) Read more. If you’re not careful with this resolution, your bedside table might start to overflow with unread books (which can make you feel more discouraged than inspired). Rather than making a huge reading list to tackle in 2019, identify a couple of books you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, and start with those. Once you’ve read them, if you want to add to your reading list, go for it (but don’t set yourself up to feel like you’ve failed if you don’t become a voracious reader overnight).
5) Look for a new job. If you’ve been unhappy in your career for a while and are ready to make the change, it can be hard to know quite where to start. Why not begin with updating your resume? Spend time crafting it intentionally, incorporating your latest accomplishments and reading up on best resume practices and trends/inspiration within your industry. From there you can map out the next steps in your new job search.