You don’t need to see another social media post reminding you that it’s time to set your resolutions for 2017. At the end of every year we’re inundated with preachy articles and Instagram posts about making the upcoming year the best one yet. There’s an underlying pressure to revamp our lives on January 1st, and when that doesn’t happen (which, let’s be honest, does it ever?) we wind up feeling like failures. Now, we’re calling B.S.
It’s not that New Year’s resolutions are inherently negative; it’s just that there is an all-or-nothing attitude that has been cultivated around resolutions. Whether it’s working out, saving money, or getting organized, we start to believe that if we don’t resolve to achieve something in an extreme sense, then we’ll never really be able to achieve it.
So this year, rather than pledging our allegiance to an unrealistic goal - because, yes, going to the gym every single day in 2017 is unrealistic - and then berating ourselves when we feel we’ve fallen short of that goal, we’re going to take a softer, more mindful approach to goal-setting and see what happens. Sound good?
There are still a few things we'd like to accomplish in the coming year, we just don't want to feel down if we stray from the course or find that our goals take longer to achieve than we originally thought. So if you’re like us and sick of feeling like failures on the January 15th mark every year, then here are a few four tips for mindfully setting intentions for 2017:
- Picture it - There’s a reason why athletes practice visualization exercises before big games - because they actually work. Visualize your goals before you even start; by picturing yourself working toward something. Visualization amplifies motivation; you’ve already seen yourself attaining success and those images can feed your motivation.
- Write it Down - We know, we know - taking the time to journal everyday sounds tedious, but it’s a helpful habit to develop if you’re serious about achieving a goal. Why? Consistent journaling allows you to tangibly record your progress. So even in moments of self-doubt and deprecation, you’ll have physical evidence of your efforts and strides.
- Be Present - Sometimes we abandon our goals because they just seem too overwhelming and far-off. This year, we’re not going to get too caught up on the end result, and we’ll focus instead on the small steps we take every day to bring us closer to the finish line.
- Meditate - Yep, we’re going to ground this mindful approach to goal-setting in stillness. Meditation helps us gain clarity, focus, and separate ourselves from any negative mind chatter that might be weighing us down. Even just five minutes of daily meditation (time you definitely have) is enough to power your pursuit of your goals.
Cheers to fresh starts in 2017.