Although it might seem strange to some that we humans have big parties whenever the earth completes another circle around the sun, it’s just kind of what we do. Not only is it a great time to sip champagne, spend time with loved ones and make horrifically-good ‘see you next year’ jokes, it’s the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on the past year and start looking forward to the next.
Maybe it’s the excitement of the occasion, maybe it’s the changing of years (or decades), maybe it’s too much vino making you very optimistic. Either way, you might find yourself making a very hefty list of resolutions for the new year. If you aren’t into resolutions, you might have thought hard about what healthy habits you want to pick up and what unhealthy ones you want to drop. There is nothing wrong with ambition, there is nothing wrong with having big plans for yourself but usually, you need a strategy and chasing two rabbits usually means you catch neither. Besides, smaller ideas are usually more effective than big ones anyway.
To avoid the inevitable disappointment of not fulling all 37 resolutions and habits that you want for yourself in the new year, I always find one week into the new year to be the perfect time for a second, perhaps more important look at your new year plans…
The one-week in review
We’re around one week into the new year. Either the ‘new you’ is in full swing, you’re not doing too bad but could be better or you are already struggling with motivation for your big plans. Wherever you sit in early January, it is worth your while reflecting on your goals for the year or whatever variation of that term you are using and deciding what stays, and what goes. Here are some questions to think about:
What have I already started doing well this year? – It might be a good habit that you have continued from last year or a new one that you are doing well to keep up. Either way, one week into the new year is a good time to realise what you are doing well already. It’s a good sign of things to come and shows that you do actually value this behaviour change, to whatever extent that may be.
What hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet? – There are no doubt a few things on your list for becoming a ‘better you’ that you just haven’t managed to get round to yet. That’s fine. Many habits and behaviour changes take a lot of time to implement, often with two steps forward followed by one step back. The most important thing is getting started. We’re already one week into the year, so it’s probably time to get round to that thing soon, otherwise, you risk it falling into the final category…
What was on your list that you haven’t started and have no intention of starting anytime soon? – This year, I decided that I wanted to be more creative. I had the New Year’s Eve intention of starting the whole ‘10 Ideas a Day‘ thing to keep my mind ticking over. It’s one week into the year and not only have I not even thought about it until now, but I have also decided that I probably won’t have time to start it this week, or the week after. So what is happening to it for now? It’s getting taken off the list. I might go back to it, I might not. The whole point of asking this final question is to prioritise what you have put into the first two questions. They’re the priority for now and deserve your undivided attention while the things that you kind of want to get round to shouldn’t get any.
Review your resolutions and move forward
The thing about the new year is that we can often get carried away with mega plans and think about all of the huge changes that we want to make in the coming year. One week into the year, reality sets back in and those rose-tinted glasses start to become a little clearer about what you actually want to improve, what you are actually trying to achieve and what was just a merry pipe dream before the new year started to settle in.
Making big plans for the new year is a great start, now is the time to cut the deadwood and refine your plans for going forward.