Every year, on the 1st of January, as millions of people around the world, I would write down a list of resolutions for the year.
Of course, my list would ALWAYS include something as “Lose 10 kilos in 3 months”. Besides being stupidly unreachable, I would only work out during the first two weeks of the year and then forget about the resolution.
And as the majority of those people, I would get to the end of the year without accomplishing most of my resolutions.
Nothing new so far, I’m sure many of you relate to this situation.
So what changed, you ask?
My last year was incredibly random. I hadn’t made any plans for the year, things would just happen to me and decisions were made spontaneously.
The year flew by, and when I did the math and had travelled to more countries than the years before, heard more music, went to more festivals and read more books. I made new friends, started new projects and learned new skills.
Of course it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. But I embraced the hard times and acknowledge that they helped me grow. So when looking back, I realise that I finished the year much happier, confident and at peace with myself than ever before.
I can actually say it was one of my best years so far. I know I shouldn’t be trying to qualify my years. But it truly was a fulfilling one (yes, fulfilling, that’s the right word).
And this is what got me to writing this blog post. I’ve reflected on why a year without resolutions was a much happier year.
1. Goals make you feel less-than
Some resolutions are about doing more of something, stop doing something or doing less of something.
For some people these work just fine. Setting specific goals helps them stay focused. In my case, I believe it keeps me from enjoying what I have right now.
After achieving goals, we are likely to realize that it lacks meaning or relevance and want more. In this endless seek for happiness we forget to enjoy the ride.
2. Lack of commitment
A list of goals set on January 1st will keep me motivated for one, maybe two months, if I’m lucky. These resolutions are set on such a wide timeframe, that procrastination beats that soft new year’s motivation.
And this leads me to point number three.
3. There’s no plan
Most resolutions don’t include a plan of action. And of course, it can be hard to define a plan of action to a list of 5 to 10 goals.
Instead, I try to define smaller weekly goals that seem more palpable and achievable. When I get to the end of the week and see that I’ve accomplished them, I get more excited to set goals for the following week.
Of course, this is an opinion based on my personal experience. I understand that some people are goal oriented and objectives function as their fuel.
I just understood that I function best and feel better as a non-planner. So, this time next year, I’ll give you an update on how this worked out for me in 2019.
Happy New Year!