A New Year’s resolution may not set you up for disappointment after all
It’s 2016. Social media pages are flooded with motivational quotes on starting fresh and abandoning the last 12 months. “Out with the old and in with the new,” they say, and with that comes New Year’s resolutions.
So what is it about the new year that makes people want to change? According to Minda Miloff, a Montreal-based professional work and life coach, a new year is symbolic of a fresh start. Miloff said that people who make New Year’s resolutions are those that have recognized certain aspects of their lives they want to change, and they have built some sort of momentum and thoughts around how they can make these changes. The new year is simply an arbitrary date where they can finally take action and start reaching their goals.
Miloff said she helps people improve their quality of life by making goals and addressing obstacles that hold people back. She said a New Year’s resolution can be an effective method for people who need to kick start a certain change, but the key to following through with one’s goals lies in the process of recommitting to them every day.
There are a few things a person needs to do when goal-setting and Miloff suggests thinking about your values. “Values drive action. For every priority you have, ask yourself: ‘What can I do today to support that priority?’” Miloff said goal-setting won’t always be easy the first time around because “people set up challenging goals and then they have a difficult time because they don’t have a strategy on how to do them. You need to remember what it is that you want to do better today.”
One of the reasons people give up on their New Year’s resolution is because their goal is too big and isn’t specific, measurable, timely or attainable, according to Miloff. Giving up on something can make a person lose faith and confidence because they won’t get results overnight. Miloff suggests then to “start with smaller hopes and aspirations and then build on your successes. Starting off slow builds success, success builds confidence and confidence will drive you to set more goals.”
Anyone who sets any kind of goal is bound to risk falling off the wagon. Miloff stresses that people are going to have setbacks in anything they do in life.
“We all have bad days or weeks, unforeseen situations arise and good routines fall apart. You lose steam, you get discouraged and you just get back up the next day,” Miloff said. It’s important to remember why you are setting goals in the first place and to remember to recommit to those goals every day, she said.
Keep thinking about what it is you’re doing each day that’s bringing you closer to your end goal. “Keep trying,” said Miloff. “If things don’t work out as well as you’d hoped, you just need to keep trying.”