Resolutions & Goal-Setting: Why a New Year Doesn't Have to Mean a New You
January. Whether you’re bubbling over with motivation or still firmly settled in hibernation mode, it’s an undeniably weird time. Around you, so many people seem to suddenly have their sh*t together, as if they sprang out of bed on the first day of the year and slipped seamlessly back into work, like it was some kind of luxury hotel pool. All this can make you feel as if you’re simply treading water, just trying to stay afloat among the posts and Tweets and stories sharing success after success. Swimming metaphors aside, I’m here to remind you that it’s perfectly okay for you to show up this year as the EXACT SAME PERSON as you were in 2021. A new year definitely doesn’t have to mean a new you.
When it comes to resolutions and goal-setting, I’ve learnt two main lessons over the years: keep it broad, and focus on the things that matter. If you’d looked at my diary four years ago, you’d have seen things like “make X amount of money a month”, “work for *insert name of incredibly specific client*” or “run 20k a week”. If this style of resolution works for you, then that’s great! But what I’ve personally found is that honing in on too much detail left me feeling like a failure when I didn’t exactly meet those goals. This year, my resolutions sound a little more like: “go for more walks”, “cook a wider range of recipes” and “take more photos”.
Whilst I would LOVE to be the kind of person who starts their morning skincare routine at 5:30am before launching into a complex workout and then heading off to a full working day, my bed is simply too cosy. And I’m slowly learning not to beat myself up for that. Because the past two years (yes, TWO WHOLE YEARS) have made us so much more resilient than we’ve been giving ourselves credit for, and we need to learn to show ourselves a little compassion.
This year, when setting your goals and resolutions, don’t think about a new version of yourself. Instead, think about the best version of the person you already are, and the things that bring you joy. Maybe you’d like to spend less time on your phone, or take up a hobby you adore but never seem to have time for? The more you take care of yourself and the people around you, the more results you’ll start to see in the other aspects of your life, too. Remember also that you don’t have to wait until January to make a change, and that you’re allowed to change your mindset more than once a year.
So bear in mind when drafting up your goals and resolutions for 2022 that you don’t need to be a new version of yourself; try aiming for a happier, more fulfilled version of the you that already exists. Now, go and run yourself a bubble bath.