2018. We’ve entered a new year on the Gregorian calendar. And with it, many of us will be marinating in ideas of new beginnings, fresh starts, and cleaner slates. In this spirit, I’ll be undertaking my annual declaration of resolutions here on the blog.
Obviously, this notion of setting new year's resolutions is not a new custom. In fact, according to history.com:
The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.)
Seems reasonable. We’re back to that nod to new beginnings. And why not? Why shouldn’t we have a culturally designated recurring time for taking inventory of our lives, and renegotiating our terms of living, with ourselves?
The dictionary defines a resolution as a decision or determination upon a course of action; a firmness of purpose. (www.dictionary.com) Setting resolutions can help give concrete direction to the creation of a life of purpose. This is why I continue to make resolutions at the turn of every new January. I want to be an active participation in the creation of my life of purpose.
Before I reveal my personal resolutions for 2018, let’s go over some quick notes on what makes for a well-structured resolution.
5 Tips For Creating Effective New Year's Resolutions:
Use simple, direct language. No need to get flowery or philosophical with your resolutions. Keep it short and simple to clearly state the directive. Vagaries won't help you here.
Use actionable language. Remember, resolutions are defined as decisions toward a course of action. These statements should include clear language on what action(s) will be taken to achieve the purpose in question. Poetic proclamations like 'make the world a better place' may sound nice on paper, but unless there’s a direct and definable action, they will likely be unachievable.
Less is more. It’s easy to get excited about rebooting our lives at the turn of the calendar. It can be tempting to create a long laundry list of changes to make in the new year. And, to be fair, there’s no set correct number of resolutions that any one person should or can successfully make. However, it has been my experience, that focusing on fewer, higher impact changes is a more attainable plan. When all your resolutions are met, you can always add more. Just remember: tempus fugit - time flies. We may be full of hope and optimism following the holiday break, but a year fills up quickly with responsibilities, obligations, and busyness if we aren’t careful. Leave yourself room for success by practicing conscientious brevity.
Include some fun resolutions! If everything on your list belongs to the Should family, it can be harder to get excited about actually doing them. Add in a few resolutions that are indulgent, frivolous, and luxurious.
Spend some time reflecting on where you prospered, where you were stagnant, and where your greatest challenges were in the year you’re exiting before creating your resolutions for the new year. Honestly reviewing where you’ve been can give valuable insights into where you want to go, and how you are most likely (or least likely) to get there.
There. Those aren’t so hard, are they? Five simple suggestions for keeping your resolutions well-structured and attainable. An unofficial sixth point would be to have fun with it. This is not a royal decree you’re devising. Resolutions are meant to add value, not stress, to your life. Don’t be afraid to change things up mid-year if your initial proclamations aren’t working for you.
Following are my personal resolutions for the new 2018 calendar year. Maybe they can help inspire you to setting your own authentic resolutions. I hope your 2018 is a magickal one, Bliss Bunnies. xoxo!
MY 2018 RESOLUTIONS:
Practice yoga asana at least 5 days per week. (health and wellness)
Participate in a minimum of 2 social activities per month. (social connection)
Cultivate a mindfulness meditation practice by sitting for at least 5 minutes every day. (self awareness and personal growth)
Reduce financial debt by a minimum of 50% by year’s end. (financial success)
Do something just for the bliss of it every single week. (happiness)
Choose an organization/movement to devote time/money to during the year. Devote a minimum of either 20 hours or $100. (giving back)