Could NOT setting resolutions be the ultimate act of Self Care this year?

Most of us have been there, at some point in our lives, perhaps again over the past few days “resolving” to lose weight, change jobs, stop people pleasing, drink less, be more productive etc. etc.

But the problem is, especially when we start things in the New Year, that we’re creating a stick to beat ourselves with if we don’t stick to them.

The first point of this blog –

If you have a history of setting and then “failing” at your resolutions this ISN’T your fault – The whole approach is likely wrong for you – not YOU doing the wrong thing.

Even with the best of intentions if we don’t plan on making resolutions, I bet some of you still got swept up in the “New Year New Me” wave of posts across social media and perhaps amongst your friends and you started to wonder if you DO need to change.

The answer is very simple in some ways and a little more complex in others

Simple – No, you don’t need to change

Where you are is where you are right now. If you’re not unhappy, you’re caring for yourself and it’s only because you see others around you talking about it, stay in your lane – you’re nailing it, honestly.

More complex – it depends, what you would like to change and why

If you feel like you’re in a good rhythm with habits that support you and you’re already finding your way, bit by bit, then throwing a spanner in the works by trying to change things up even more could be the quickest route to self-sabotage and sending yourself off track.

In my humble opinion I would steer clear of any radical change, perhaps deciding on one small thing you’d like to do more of in your day to day over the coming months.

But if you’ve struggled with forming habits which you know will support you long term, then it could be time to try and approach this a different way from how you have before.

(as a note, you can grab my free habits guide by clicking on this link)

A few very key pointers linked to the method of “The New Years Resolution”

1. January is almost always a shock to the system in itself.

You’ve likely spent a week or two being a bit more relaxed about what you’re doing/eating/drinking/leaving out/not working and therefore you’re ALREADY out of your usual routine.

By trying to not only get your head back in the game of “normality” but resolving to do things differently IMMEDIATELY you’re not giving yourself time to transition from holiday mode into “real life” mode.

Unless you have a will of steel (and I will share about why willpower rarely works another day), going flat out overhaul is likely to leave you crashing and burning within weeks.

When we repeat this pattern of – Time off – New Resolutions – Back to the grind – Trying to fit in new behaviours – Oh crap I’ve “failed” – it doesn’t help us create a sense of believing in ourselves and our capacity for change and progress.

It does the opposite and reinforces our beliefs that “we never stick to things” or “I’m such a failure” and can lead to patterns of not even trying because we already believe we’re not going to be able to do it.

2. We tend to go all or nothing if we get swept up in the New Yearness of it all

More than any other time we create lists of all the things we want to change. And embark on them ALL. At the same time.

If you take a moment to think about how things you’ve changed in your life up to this point have happened, can you see the problem with this?

Change usually happens little by little, it’s not linear, it’s based on habits and repeating them over and over again to lead to where we want to go.

The smaller the habit/change the easier it is to establish because it’s easier to repeat more often – I won’t go deep dive into habits right now, but safe to say, the more times you can repeat something, the more likely it is to stick and lead to the changes you’re after.

And when we try to change everything all in one go, it’s no surprise that we often end up changing nothing because we don’t have a focus

I want you to succeed in implementing whatever it is you’ve decided is the right change for you.

So I say this hand on heart, pick something smaller. It will help you avoid the all or nothing cycle and help you look back feeling chuffed that you’ve stuck to something. Honestly.

You can’t:

Lose weight

Drink less

Change jobs

Exercise every day

Cook all your meals from scratch

Read a book a week

Go to bed earlier

All at the same time (although if you can please share your secret you superhuman)

3. Linking change to a particular time period can mean that if it changes we automatically read this as “failure”

If we start something in January, all guns blazing and then by February our enthusiasm fizzles out. We can again treat ourselves unkindly when we think about this.

If something is important enough to you that you want to change it, I’m assuming that this means it’s a change you’d like to make for the rest of your life?

So linking it to being a “New Years Resolution” can make you feel as though not being able to stick to it for even a few weeks means you’ll never do it.

This isn’t true.

And like all or nothing thinking (point 2) if you keep trying, keep picking up, keep exploring and don’t give up on the thing you’re wanting for yourself, you can’t fail.

Unless you stick an unrealistic expectation or timeframe on it.

Repeating a positive action MORE than you did last year is progress and should be celebrated.

Doing something that challenges you a LITTLE bit more is progress and should be celebrated.

Being closer to what you want in a few months than you are now is progress and should be celebrated, NO MATTER WHEN you actually did the things that brought you closer…

So what can we do? 3 super simple tips in summary:

1 – pick one thing to change, and make it something you really want, not something you think you should do

2 – Resolve to do more of this over the coming year, rather than linking it to having to start in January and continue all year

3 – Pick something smaller – then even smaller – THIS is the key to progress – honestly

And a little bonus tip – celebrate every effort you make, NOT the outcome – this teaches your brain to prioritise action rather than overthinking and helps you build strong habits – which are key to creating the change you want, whatever time of year it is.

And to help you get started, why not help yourself to some of the resources I use with my 1:1 clients including guides on habits, purpose and empowerment? – just click on the link to access them completely FREE


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