As the hour chimed midnight and fireworks danced across the skies of Sydney Harbour, I sat on my favourite couch and eagerly Googled this term: New Year’s Resolutions. As a firm believer of “what will be will be”, I’m not one to dwell on resolutions. After a particularly tumultuous 2017, however, a confidence booster would have been most welcome. Google wasn’t there to deliver it though, in fact, it practically told me to place my NYRs where it belongs in the shredder, as only 8% of those who create them actually achieve their goals.
Granted, I’m supremely skilled (and I mean supremely) at never doing the things that I said I would, but a new year offers the perfect opportunity to gloss over past failings and look forward with fresh resolve. Here’s my top 3 insights into why NYRs fail so spectacularly, and how I’m going to be doing things differently in 2018.
1. Lack of clarity
This is what I consider to be the number one killer of NYRs. Have you ever had grand plans to kick-start the new year with a “new you” by vowing to exercise harder, eat healthier and focus on fostering better relationships, only to flounder before the ink is barely dry? Resolutions that are fluid and can be subject to multiple interpretations are doomed from the start. A more effective way of structuring such resolutions would be to have regard to the SMART way: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Running 5 miles per day for 3 days a week, or kicking the KFC bucket for good, would be a better bet in longevity.
2. Lack of motivation
Having the right mindset is paramount, but most of the time, motivation wanes when we view NYRs as a chore, a burden on our already laborious lives. So much of NYRs these days focus on doing what we should be doing, rather than what we inherently want to do, that ultimately drive us to despair. Forget what Kim Kardashian is flaunting on Instagram and check your envy when your best friend is basking under the Tuscan sun for what seems to be the umpteenth time. Life is not a race; at least not one where racing by someone else’s standards will serve any relevance or purpose. Focus on what fundamentally motivates and sustains us longer term will inevitably bring about a deeper sense of meaning and fulfilment.
3. Lack of support
Whilst it is somewhat easy to start a venture on our own, sustaining one when feeling lonesome is a perennial challenge. We quickly lose momentum and the motivation to track progress, celebrate success or reset the bar when goals become too easy. But we are never alone. Joining the WP community broadens our horizons and provides strength in numbers, which is why I’m counting on my WP extended family to be my witnesses in this journey. I will be holding myself accountable for my 2018 NYRs and hope to revert with an official stocktake before the year is out.
With all that’s been said and done, I doubt you would let me off the hook without sharing my NYRs for 2018. So here goes:
1. Reconnect with at least 1 old acquaintance.
2. Learn 2 new skills.
3. Try 3 new activities.
4. Explore 4 new countries: I’m hoping this will be a low hanging fruit, as I will be visiting Finland, Iceland and Switzerland in March. Any suggestions for the fourth?
5. Read 15 books.
6. Follow 20 bloggers on a regular basis.
7. Watch 30 films.
What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions? Any suggestions for travel destinations, books, films and bloggers are also welcome!