The Way I Look at the New Year
Just a few more days and the new year will be here! I was hoping to put covid behind us, but I doubt it will magically do that. I know a lot of other people want to put 2020 behind them. t has been nice to be stuck at home binge watching Netflix, organizing the house and enjoying a slower life.
It’s really been a strange year. Even though covid isn’t going away, I want to stay positive and focus on the new year.
Here's the way I look at the New Year. Each year, at the end of December, I go though my goals for the new year. I also have a word that represents the year. For example, a few years ago my word of the year was simplify. So, throughout the year, I’d focus on way that I could simplify my life. My goals are specific and thought out.
The practice of making New Years resolutions dates back 4,000 years ago. Resolutions were a lot different then. Back then, they made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot.
Now, we make resolutions to ourselves and purely on self improvement. I read some research that said most people make resolutions only to themselves, and focus on self-improvement, which may explain why such resolutions seem so hard to follow through on.
Also, they found that 45 percent of Americans make goals and of those that do, only 8% keep them.
Merriam Webster defines a New Years resolution as a promise to do something differently in the new year. For me, promise is a strong word! Maybe we should look at resolutions in a different way.
A Guide for the Year
For me, so much changes in life, that I’m sure I haven’t kept my New Years goals, but I’ve revised them throughout the year, changed them and focused on keeping the ones that worked. I’ve allowed to tell myself that my goals can change. I use my goals and resolutions more as a guide. A guide that I follow, reflect on and revisit.
When we talk about goals, it’s important to make SMART goals. A SMART goal is:
Here’s a SMART goal that I’m going to work on: I will put my phone on silent everyday from 3 - 9 pm and keep it put away. #momgoals
Read more about how another mama, Lisa looks at SMART goals in her blog about taking action of your goals. Click on the link here.
Word of the Year
Along with goals and resolutions, I come up with a word for the year. It’s the word that I focus on. Having a word for the year is another way that I look at the new year.
Renee Bauer from mereneebauer.com writes, “Resolutions are too easy to forget. They are too black and white. We either do that thing or don't. Instead, what word feels good to you? It should be a word that you can turn back to with every decision you make.”
This year, it was a combination of words that inspire me. It was found from the book The Unexpected Joys of Being Sober. One of our fans posted the words and they spoke to me. This holiday season, joy was a word that came up a lot. So, when I read the passage in the book, it said bright, joyful, and serene. With what’s ahead of me in 2021, having 3 words to focus on is probably what I need.
Set Yourself up for Success
Some goals and resolutions come from the things in the year that you don’t want to repeat again.
My eating in December wasn’t the best. So, for 2021 I want to focus on eating more healthy. One reason why I’m not eating so healthy is because I’m not going to the grocery store that much. Today, I researched options of drive up grocery services. I was surprised to see that Target has some great pick up grocery options. I’m going to test out their app and get started on the right foot.
I check my phone when I wake up in the morning. I don’t like doing this, so I’d like to change it. So, how can I change a bad habit for 2021? One of the reasons why I check my phone is because I want to know the time. Maybe I should buy a clock so I know what time it is. If something may make your goal difficult, find those obstacles and then find ways to set yourself up for success is another way that I look at the new year.
It’s Not All About You
Last year I talked to my daughter about setting goals. It was great to have her be part of our traditions of setting New Years goals. This year, I’d like to talk to her about goals again. I’ll share a few of mine, explain what a goal is and why we should set them.
She’s a little older now, so I may also talk about a word of the year too.
Share your process of starting the new year with those important to you.
Also, have goals that have to do with others. Remember, it shouldn’t be all about you! One year we did some goals for the family. They were family goals that had to do with being more present parents, exploring more during the week, and taking a family trip.
Personal and Professional
Goals can be put into categories too. For me, I have specific goals for my work and then personal ones too.
If there are other areas in your life, think about those and come up with goals that are more based on your life.
No matter how you do it, the new year can be looked upon as a fresh start. It's a way to start again. You can make goals and focus on what's important to you. Above are just ways that I look at the new year.
For me, after my goals are set, I'll write, “This is a guide. My life may change. It’s important to focus on what’s positive and what’s working. If something isn’t bringing me joy, then that goal wasn’t mean for 2021."