I’ve got a bone to pick with New Year’s resolutions. Maybe the idea started out nice, but these days, it seems they’re made to be broken. Even the word “resolution” just seems to carry negative weight. This year, my advice to you is throw everything you know about this annual tradition out the window. This isn’t to say I’m against setting long-term goals. On the contrary, I love planning for the future — here at the firm, we started having 2019 planning sessions last October. It’s the mindset and approach we typically take toward New Year’s resolutions that I take umbrage
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with. So I’d like to share some of the techniques that work best for me whenever I need to make a change or achieve something in my life. First and foremost, I don’t make this a yearly exercise. While the symbolism of renewal and starting fresh can be a great motivator for some, I feel like it also makes it easy to arbitrarily stop the first time you stumble. Making a major life change for the new year doesn’t feel nearly as impactful in March as it does in January; the more time goes on, the more tempted we’ll be to shrug and say, “Better luck next year.” You don’t need an arbitrary number on the calendar to tell you when you can make a positive change in your life. Second, I’ve found that the more intentional I am with my goals, the better. As the saying goes, if you don’t write them down, they’re just
dreams. For me at least, I’ve found putting pen to paper helps make my plans more than just internal musings. It helps me begin to think of my goals in concrete terms, forcing me to confront logistics and challenges that I may not have otherwise considered. Plus, having something tangible you can keep close at hand to give you that extra boost of motivation is a very powerful thing. Lastly, know that having a goal for the future doesn’t say something negative about your past. This is my biggest issue with New Year’s resolutions — they are so often framed as “fixing” something. They carry the connotation that we were somehow “not good enough” last year and need to make some radical change as the year rolls over. This is a toxic mindset. We should never seek motivation by dwelling on the things we don’t like about ourselves.
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“YOU DON’T NEED AN ARBITRARY NUMBER ON THE CALENDAR TO TELL YOU WHEN YOU CAN MAKE A POSITIVE CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE.”
-Heather Qu ick
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