The festive season is finally nearing and a crisp winter promises to be around the corner.  With the New Year fast approaching, many of us will be thinking back on 2022 and having New Year’s resolutions in mind. Revisiting the year can feel cleansing, and planning ahead for the next one can be motivating. However, too often looking back comes with regrets, while looking towards new goals can be daunting and potentially disappointing if we feel like we’re failing these goals. So let’s remember:

Start with a small and specific goal

A habit change is easier if it doesn’t break your routine or involve a lot of effort. Be realistic rather than aiming too high and then be disheartened because you couldn’t commit to that weekly yoga class (ours 😊). It also helps to redefine how you phrase things: rather than “I want to…”, phrase your goal as if you had already achieved it (“I am a meditator… I exercise regularly… I am content.” etc.) and feel the sense of achievement and happiness that comes with it. Neuroscience backs up the power of such visualisations, so give it a try.

The path is the destination

Rather than doing a concerted 30 minutes of mindfulness per day to tick it off the dreaded to do list, why not practice mindfulness throughout the day? Observe what you do with interest and kindness rather than seeing your own life as a chore. Your new habit is something you do for none other than yourself. Again, rephrase things: why say “I have to exercise now” when you could say “I want to take 10 minutes of my time to exercise for myself”?

You’re not alone

Find a friend, family member or colleague who shares a similar goal to yours and embark on your quest together. Community helps raise your endorphin and serotonin levels and having someone else means more accountability. It’s infinitely harder to cancel that morning jog when someone expects you to be there. When we were in our late teens and started going to nightclubs, we had a rule: we’d arrive together and leave together the moment one of us said they wanted to leave. We mostly stayed till the lights went on, because no one wanted to be a spoilsport. And we always had a fantastic time!

Do we need resolutions?

Mira and I firmly believe that there is no specific time to implement change – if change is what you need. In today’s fast-paced world, it seems that we all want to become better versions of ourselves. But what does that actually mean? Do we need to earn more money to be happy, shed a few pounds to feel fitter, get that job promotion to know we’re valued? Goals might get us further, but do they make us more content?
Let’s keep our appointment with life and if we do need change in it, embrace it like you would a friend, rather than seeing a new habit as a chore. And never forget to be happy with all you have already achieved, with who you are and with the people you have in your life. Sometimes just being is enough, and you are already valued by the people who matter.