“New year, new start,” but what makes a good resolution?

It’s January, the start of a new year. It’s that time when everyone takes advantage of the excuse to set new goals, decide on what they want to achieve in the coming year. But why now? We constantly set ourselves goals, we’re constantly thinking of ways to improve ourselves, but really the turn of the New Year is just an excuse. We can make changes any time of the year if we really want to.

But what makes a good resolution? The problem with coming up with a resolution just because it’s the new year, is we’re not necessarily choosing a resolution for the right reasons, more just because we feel like we have to. Recently I’ve heard people joking, saying things like, “For my resolution this year I’m going to give up drinking and smoking… How long do you think I’ll last? Ha ha ha!” What’s wrong with this quote? Firstly, quite simply, if you tell yourself you’re going to fail, you most likely will fail. If you only remember one thing from this rambling of mine, remember that.

So that’s lesson number 1, if you set yourself a goal, believe in yourself. Tell yourself you can do it. Imagine yourself succeeding. If you start with the mantra of how long will I last? When will I fail? You may as well just give up before you start. And setting yourself up to fail can only lead to you beating yourself up because you failed. This is completely avoidable if you make sure your resolution is right for you.

Secondly, let’s stick with the example above, do you want to give up drinking and smoking? Is it sensible to give up both at the same time? Your goal must be achievable. Now of course this is achievable. Of course you could do it if you really wanted to, but make sure you really want to. Make sure you’re not falling victim to the pressure of setting a resolution for the sake of it. In technical terms, your unconscious mind exists to protect you and help you achieve the things you really want. But you can’t lie to your unconscious mind. It knows all. If you’ve set yourself a goal you don’t truly want to achieve, your unconscious mind won’t do it’s best to help you achieve it because it won’t have the motivation. So knowing this, your goal must be yours, you must truly want it, with all of you. It cannot be a goal that someone else has set for you. If someone has said to you, “I think you should make your resolution…” This is not your goal. This is someone else’s goal for you. I’m sure everyone’s said once, “Part of me wants to… But part of me wants to…” This is truer than you might think. We do have parts in our minds. We can be internally divided. This is why, if you’re choosing a goal, you must listen to your internal voice, and make sure there are no parts of you which don’t want to achieve this goal. Only when your whole mind wants something, with no conflicting parts, can you expect your unconscious to help you achieve it. But believe me, if you get your unconscious onside, it’s the best asset you could ever have.

So quite simply, set yourself a goal you want to achieve with every part of your mind, do it for yourself and no-one else, and tell yourself you can do it! You will do it! Most importantly, make this year one of your greatest achievements. Let yourself dream without limits, after all we are our own worst enemies when it comes to our own limiting beliefs. Let them go! It’s a new year! This can be your year if you want it to be.