It is almost the end of the year. Christmas will soon be a distant memory, Elf has gone back to the North Pole and our minds are looking to the year ahead. What would you like your next 12 months to look like? Making sustainable New Years resolutions can help us set our goals and put us on the path to achieving them. This is your plan to make your resolutions work for your new year.
Facts about New Year’s resolutions
Far from resolutions being a modern idea, they have their roots in the ancient Babylonians, 4,000 years ago. The beginning of their new year was in March when they would plant their crops. At this time, the Babylonians would affirm their loyalty to the king and make promises to their gods. Early Christians carried on this tradition but adapted it to thinking about their mistakes and resolving to do better. Then they slowly evolved into the resolutions we have today.
Types of sustainable New Years Resolutions
Sustainable New Years Resolutions are fundamentally firm decisions. A recognition that we need to change something in order to achieve a goal. These tend to fall into the following categories.
- Changing bad habits
- Good practices
- Accomplishing a goal
Sustainable New Year’s resolutions
‘The new year is like a blank book, the pen is in your hands, it is a chance to write a beautiful story for yourself’.
Sustainable New Years Resolutions are a beautiful thing but can also be a little intimidating. We have made a promise to ourselves that could alter our lives. At this point, we could either falter in the face of adversity or succeed in pushing ourselves further toward a vision. But our sustainable New Years resolutions need to be realistic and baby steps toward a bigger goal. Below are the ten broad categories we tend to look for change in.
- Work/life balance
- Social life
- Quality family time
- Mental health
- Life goals
- Romantic relationship
Break down your goals
Many resolutions are too lofty in their ambitions and set us up to fail. To succeed, we need to break them down into more manageable chunks. Use the resolution setter to improve your mindset, work and set your goals.
Examine each of the categories above and make a list of what you would like to change/improve. Then ask yourself the following questions.
- Why do they need changing?
- How does it make you feel, to suggest change?
If it induces anxiety or stress, break each area into more manageable chunks. Set yourself a timeline but make it fairly fluid. This way, each task does not seem Herculean but is possible. This is the best way we can build each resolution into an achievement.
- Choose a category to change/improve
- Examine your reason for change
- How do you feel about this change? Does it induce anxiety/stress?
- Create a breakdown of this goal into manageable chunks
- Set a fluid deadline
- Tick off when achieved and look at the next sub-category toward this goal.
Yearly goals bullet journal
The more visible sustainable New Years resolutions are, the more likely we are to stick to it. Are you a paper person or purely digital? Or a happy mixture of both? The perfect pairing is a resolution pad that can be printed or kept on your phone. Keep your goals visible on a daily basis and they will inspire you to work towards them day by day. Success is within your reach and you know you have the ability to achieve it.
Here are five realistic goals that will succeed in improving your quality of life and set you on the path to success.
Self care goals for the New Year
1. Set your alarm half an hour early in the morning
It’s surprising how much you can accomplish with an extra half an hour in the morning. You may need to adjust your bedtime but that quiet hour will soon become a vital part of your routine. Whether it’s for exercise, making food for the day, answering emails, or meditating, you will soon feel the benefits. No longer will you start the day feeling flustered, instead you will be ready to face the world.
Exercise should be a priority in our lives. The impact on our bodies and minds when we do not exercise is immense. Even if you just start with a stretching routine morning and night, exercise is proven to have fantastic benefits. When you move more, you feel happier, more energetic, less depressed, and more fluid physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Everyone is aware of what they are currently putting in their bodies. Most of us could do with improving our diet. Our busy lives make it too easy to have a takeaway or processed food. But are we really aware of what this ‘fast food’ is doing to our bodies?
Improving your diet can be daunting. We eat the foods we are used to, which fit into our lives. The first, manageable goal would be to read how we can improve our diet and learn what it can do for us. Then, like before, break it into smaller chunks. Take one area at a time. For example, you could use your extra half an hour in the morning to make a fresh lunch for the day ahead.
We’ve looked at the start of the day, now let’s examine the end. Most adults go to bed too late. This means they wake up tired, can’t concentrate fully, and don’t eat properly. The repercussions of poor sleep are immense.
Calculating a good sleep pattern is an important part of establishing deep sleep. Whatever time you need to wake up in the morning, make sure you get approximately 8 hours sleep. This will set you up for the day ahead. Your initial resolution could be setting a weekday bedtime. It will not take long for your body to start reaping the rewards.
5. Screen time
At night-time, our bodies release melatonin, the hormone that calms and prepares us for sleep. However, if we are on our screens – phones, laptops, and computers then cortisol, the stress hormone is released. This means it takes us far longer to go to sleep. The implications of not enough sleep include lack of concentration, bad mood, and ill health. It can also lead to obesity and mental health issues such as anxiety and loneliness.
An achievable and sustainable New Year resolution would be to stop all screen time one hour before bedtime. Instead, maybe read, have a bath, and get everything ready for tomorrow.
New Year’s resolutions for mums
As busy parents, it is important to sometimes look inward and the New Year can be a good time to do this. Although we have the biggest role in the family, we are often the most overlooked. This is an opportunity to have a list of resolutions based around self-care just for you. Here are five achievable goals.
- Set one hour aside weekly just for yourself. No interruptions and no noise. Do whatever you want to do. Suggestions include: meditating, having a bath, reading, or listening to music.
- Choose one day a week when you do not cook. Maybe your partner could cook the family dinner with help from the children.
- Use the family organiser – even if your life is packed, having an organiser can help. Knowing where you have to be and when helps alleviate stress.
- See your friends – it is important to nurture relationships with people outside of your family. Having a laugh, relaxing, talking through problems, and being with people who care about you is cathartic.
- Go on a date with your partner to remind yourself that you are a woman as well as a mother. Get a babysitter, book somewhere, and dress up. Enjoy feeling admired and appreciated.
New year’s resolutions for teens
The teenage years can be tricky ones. With raging hormones, friendship issues, establishing boundaries, and school. They have so much to look forward to but are not always sure of how to get there. Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a way of establishing boundaries and goals at the same time. But as they are in different stages of their lives, their needs and aims are different. Here are four resolutions for them to choose from and personalise.
Four resolutions for teens
- Learn a new skill – whether this is cooking, navigating public transport, first driving lesson, or booking onto a new club, these are all steps towards independence and a belief in themselves.
- Taking a beat before reacting – for all of us with teens, we know hormones can mean an instant and emotional response. By encouraging your teen to take deep breaths and count to ten before reacting, we are teaching them to control their emotions and realise they have a say in a situation.
- Volunteering – this is a great way for teens to learn about work and also experience the emotional satisfaction of helping others. Whether it is volunteering in the local community or helping the coach in whichever team they are in, it is all included. They are learning to not be selfish and to see how their actions affect others. It is another step towards being a successful adult.
- No screens an hour before bedtime – this is definitely one for teens. Whether it is a phone, laptop, Xbox etc, teens are glued to their screens and are often the basis of their social lives. This needs regulating for several reasons and one way to do so is to encourage your teen to turn them off one hour before bedtime. By setting it as one of their goals, you are giving them choice and independence. If it seems difficult for them, break it down and start with one or two days a week.
Goal setting statistics
A depressing statistic says that 25% of New Year’s resolutions will be given up within a week. But don’t let that make you walk away. Getting this far into this post should show you that you are interested. Making a list, and then breaking down your goals is the next step. Those who notarise their goals are 20% more likely to achieve them. Goals keep us motivated and accountable to ourselves. You are setting yourself a mission or a dream and taking the first step to converting it into reality.
Believe in yourself
By setting goals, we are saying that we believe in ourselves. Our vision is no longer just in our heads but physically in front of us, to see and work toward each day. Baby steps and perseverance keep us going and achieving each small step toward that goal gives us pride and self-belief. Use a yearly resolution planner to decide which areas you would like to work on, and you will become the best version of yourself. Don’t forget to dream big.