It’s almost that time. The time of year where your heart alternates between motivation and anxiety. The time of year where you don’t know whether to block Instagram and Facebook updates from friends or subscribe fully to the deluge of inspirational quotes. The time of year where you ask yourself, “Will I use this fresh start to make a change?” The start is fresh because it’s a brand new year, and after the festivities (or not, you do you, boo) of New Year’s Eve are over, resolutions are all anyone can talk about.
For some, this annual reset can feel great—the gym membership they always wanted to try? Paid in full! The art class they had been too scared to explore before? Enrolled! The resolve to journal every day? Put into practice! Logging on to the platform at a consistent time each week? On it! It’s exciting and full of hope. For others though (myself included!) it often doesn’t feel actually that hopeful. The days are still dark, the snow still sits on the ground, and the only “beastmode” you’re tapping into is whatever comic book hero you’re seeing on Disney+.
In the new year, there’s pressure to reflect on your life to date and to know what you want for the year ahead. There’s pressure to set goals and to achieve them. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! We surround ourselves with people who want the best for us and for themselves. We work to improve our health, relationships, contributions, and purpose. Setting goals and striving for better not because we have to, but because we want to, is part of what makes us human. But if you’re one of those people who doesn’t vibe with the Gregorian calendar, and thinks the word “goals” is a bit stuffy and bland, you’re not alone!
But, no fear, there are ways to totally crush your goals. It just may take a bit of a brain-shift. Read on for my tips and tricks for making the most of the new years when “goals” are totally not for you.
- Take charge of your “goals.” An approach I like to take is to check in on my resolutions and make sure I’m setting them on my own terms.
- Share on your own terms. Some days, I’m really moved by sharing this experience of betterment and accountability with people all over the world. Other days, I like to remind myself that it’s okay if my reset usually comes at the end of summer and the beginning of a new academic year. If I’m not genuinely inspired to post reflections or resolutions, that’s totally fine.
- Show yourself some kindness. A huge part of giving yourself the stamina to go after what you want is also to give yourself the space and forgiveness to move at your own pace.
- Make your own lingo. I also like to play with language to see what feels the most fitting. I find the word “goal” a bit…boring. It doesn’t land for me or make me want to push myself forward. So I change it! An “aim” feels better, a “leap” (kinda like when my heart leaps at the idea) feels better, an “intent” feels better.
- Try something new! Psssst—now is a great time to try a new weekly Crisis Counseling schedule (ready to become a night owl?). Go for it. You totally got this.
The point of New Year’s Resolutions isn’t just humblebrag about doing them. It’s about doing what works for you in order to live the life you want. So bring on the New Year! With your own pace and your own words, there’s no resolution you can’t handle.