Although Monday is the Nickleback of the weekdays, the approaching first Monday of the new year is an exception. It’s the calm after the storm. Whether it’s the first day back in the office or the first truly relaxing day of winter vacation, there is a sense of routine and normalcy. As much as I love the holidays, I am looking forward to going back to the Cities and having days filled with activities and responsibilities that are more overarching than “exchange pants at Lululemon.”
Now that the shopping day countdowns, calories and chaos are behind us, it’s natural to wonder what the coming months have in store.
Spoiler alert: not much.
Unless you decide to create it, that is. Throughout the month of January, the words new year’s resolutions have about as much appeal as after-graduation, we-need-to-talk and moist. Goal setting is common for new school years, birthdays and professional opportunities, yet the cliché name we attach to our aspirations for the new year tends to make them irrelevant by Valentine’s Day. Here’s why-
1. Failure is an option– Although it can be helpful to make resolutions concrete, it’s this same tendency that makes it easier for us to say, “I tried, I failed, I quit.” If your goal is to go to the gym three times a week, and you only make it once or twice, this progress gets lost in the number. By focusing on your intention, to be active or to treat your body well, you are able to recognize every healthy choice as a small victory and each misstep another opportunity to move forward. The specifics of a goal aren’t the point, it’s the purpose and vision for results that matter.
2. It’s trending– No one is making you create resolutions, let alone making you choose specific ones. If you plan on fitting volunteering into your schedule because you feel like you should- or worse, because you have to- it’s rare that it will actually be prioritized. If it’s the cliché name that throws you off, ban it and make this your own. I am a big believer in goal setting, vision casting, bucket list creating, year-around; it’s what allows us to recognize if we’re living the life that we want to be. And maybe that in itself is your intention for this year.
3. We plan an extreme makeover– I rarely say this, but do less. We start with a few goals, and that tends to snowball into a laundry list describing the ideal human, something I am guilty of as well. The reality is, you have the tools to succeed at the aspirations that truly resonate with you. In yoga, we call these sankalpas. It’s the idea that you aren’t creating this brand new healthy, focused or punctual person; you’re removing the obstacles that have kept you from showing up in the world that way. Often times the root of these obstacles are stress or feeling as though we don’t have enough time. You can see the danger of adding gym 7x/week, volunteering 4x/week, making lunch 5x/week, traveling 3x/month, and learning 2 new languages to your plate.
2015 is yours for the taking, make it worth celebrating a year from today.