As we come to the end of the year, we inevitably reach that point where we start looking at ourselves and ponder. What is going to be my new years resolution? What changes to my life do I want to make?
It’s fantastic that firstly, you’re looking at a deeper mindfulness approach into yourself. Second, analysing what areas of your life you feel need improving to help better yourself. Not just for yourself, but those around you.
What changes to make?
I mean there are a whole host of ideas and reasons for making a change in your life:
- Join a gym
- Improve your fitness
- Lose weight
- Change your diet
- Becoming vegetarian or vegan
- Cut back on sugar treats
- Stopping drinking
- Changing a bad habit
- Stopping smoking
- Stop biting your nails
- Start being more positive
- Smile more
- Become more spiritual
- Learn to meditate
- Start a gratitude journal
There are so many to choose from. Whatever you decide on, it must come from a desire. You must have the drive to want to make that change. Something I’ve noticed, is that more often or not we’ll bump into a friend mid-January and ask them how they’re getting on with their resolutions? Where the most likely answer you’ll hear is. “nah it didn’t last”, or “I’ve broken it already”. I’m sure we’ve all given that answer before too right….?
Am I interested, or Am I committed?
Dr Charles Herrick at Nuvance Health carried out their own research (HERE) and summarised as many as 50% adults in the US made a resolution but less than 10% actually stuck to them for more than a month. A huge number for a country with a large population.
This ultimately highlights the commitment people have when making a change. You need to ask yourself “Am I interested, or am I Committed?”
For me, this is the perfect question to truly understand how driven we are into making a change. For example, I want to stop biting my nails. I’m getting better, but at the moment I cant help but bite away. So, I ask myself this question, and I truthfully answer that im only interested. I also want to learn a new language. So, I ask myself the same question, and yes im absolutely committed. As I’ve now been practising Japanese everyday for at least 20 minutes for the last 6 months. I do this because I want to be able to watch my favourite anime shows without subtitles and I want to travel to Japan more, so solves a double purpose (watashi wa nihongo ga sukidesu). This is the difference. Your goals have to be clear and solve a purpose. It should be something you’re passionate about wanting to do, otherwise you’ll have to force more drive and effort, making the experience less enjoyable.
Make the change now
Now this brings me onto another main point. A game changer for me is deciding to make changes now. By deciding instantly that you want to change shows a desire. It shows how important it is to you that you accomplish your goals.
Don’t say, “I’ll wait till new years”, or “I’ll start next month”. By saying this, you’re in theory saying you’re not ready. So, there’s no commitment there. Therefore, you will never get going or most likely, you’ll start but not follow through. This is coming from experience.
The same theory goes for novelty months like ‘Dry January’ and ‘stoptober’ for example. You shouldn’t wait for events like this in order for you to start.
Please, don’t wait. Make the change now. I know it can be scary or a little overwhelming at first. One thing I found really helpful is breaking down my goals into small achievable goals. Take a look at your goal and think about how you can break it down so much that you’ll achieve something every time you work on it. Finally, reward yourself each time you cross off one of those tasks. You’ll feel great for it and will keep encouraging you to want to achieve more.
There’s a whole next level of inner strength in all of us. I know you got this!