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Promise of a New Year

I truly believe that any day/time you want to make a change is the perfect time to take steps towards implementing that change. You never need to wait for the start of a new week, month, or year. That being said, the start of a new year is often a popular time to set sights on what you want to accomplish in the upcoming 365 days. It’s like a fresh start, a chance to try again … it is a full new beginning.

In recent years the idea of ‘new years resolutions’ seems to have caught a bad rep. There are more and more articles out there discussing why people can’t keep their resolutions. Whatever you make of the reasons why resolutions may/may not stick, there is definitely value in reflecting on the past year and setting up an action plan for the year to come.

While the start of a new year can bring with it a flurry of excitement and enthusiasm to accomplish more, a lot of times the objectives we set for the year to come are ‘solutions’ to ‘problems’.

For example:

Problem: Gained weight. Resolution/Solution: Lose weight.

Problem: Procrastination. Resolution/Solution: Get things done on time.

Problem: Not enough self care. Resolution/Solution: Set aside time each week just for myself.

While these are great intentions, not having proper action steps to help you fulfil your resolutions can be problematic. Moreover, when you are focused on a single resolution/solution, as soon as things don’t go according to plan (you start to gain weight or plateau for several months; you continue to miss deadlines/be late etc.) then frustration sets in and that initial new year drive soon starts to fade.

Here’s a new strategy for 2018 — instead of making very specific resolutions, why not make some overall promises to yourself. Promises that you will try to keep throughout the year and that will help you work towards living a wholesome, more fulfilled life. You can still line your promises up with what you want to achieve, just think about the underlying premises of what you want to achieve and focus on those.

Here are a few examples:

Target: Lose weight

Promise: I promise to do so something each day that makes me feel positive about my body. 

Target: Avoid desserts. 

Promise: I promise to eat in a way that nourishes my body. 

Target: Make more ‘me’ time.

Promise: I promise to not feel guilty saying no to things I do not really want to do. 

Target: Avoid procrastinating and falling behind on my tasks. 

Promise: I promise to prioritize my tasks and not feel like I have to accomplish every single thing on my list each day. 

Target: Reduce my anxiety and stress.

Promise: I promise to react proportionately to the situation at hand and not dwell on ‘what if’ scenarios. 

The idea is to develop a solid foundation from which you can grow. Therefore, even if a specific final outcome is not achieved, you will still have implemented a practice that will help you develop more positive habits overall.


my personal promises to myself this year

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