Purpose Wellbeing

New Year, Same [Fabulous] You!

New Year’s resolutions are on our mind every January, but why do you have to change anything? Instead of focusing on all the things you want to change about yourself, concentrate on embracing who you are and what you already have. You’ll soon realize you don’t need to change as much as you thought you did.

The Challenge

Read through the challenge below for tips on how to embrace who you are in 2024.

Every new year brings with it a blank slate, a chance to start fresh. We set resolutions, which are usually lists of things we want to accomplish in the coming year. Bold statements like, “This year I’m going to run 365 miles!” or “This year I’m going to pay off my credit cards!” get us excited to make sweeping changes, but typically by February we’re off the wagon, just in time for the winter doldrums to set in. Broken resolutions can leave us feeling defeated, like we’ve failed. Again.

The problem with making new year's resolutions is the underlying implication that who we are on December 31st is not enough, that we somehow need to change for the better. But that simply isn’t true! What if, this year, instead of resolving to change, you resolve to stay the same? Rather than making resolutions to only change things about yourself, resolve to reflect inwards and fully accept yourself as you are. What would that look like? To inspire you, read through the ideas below.

Take an inventory. 
Many businesses conduct an inventory of their products at the beginning of the year so they know what they have on-hand and what they need to replenish. Do the same, but with yourself! Some prompts to get you thinking about what your self-inventory could look like are:

  • What skills have you learned this past year? Throughout your career? How do each of these skills get you closer to your dream job?
  • What things are you most proud of in your day-to-day life? What do you want to do more of?
  • What were your favorite activities with family and friends over the past year? What activities would you enjoy doing with them that you haven’t done?
  • What made you happy over the last year?
  • What were the most meaningful moments of the last year?  

The key thing to note as you look over the items in the “on-hand” side of your list is how many items you wrote down. Look how fabulous you are! You’ve accomplished all those things and spent all that time with loved ones. You’ve had all those special moments. You have a lot to be grateful for! Which leads to our second tip…

Start a gratitude practice.
Spend five minutes a day thinking about one thing you’re grateful for (bonus points if you write it down in a journal!). It doesn’t always have to be profound; if you’re feeling stuck, start small, with things like, “I’m grateful for my morning coffee.” or, “I’m grateful for how tasty this chocolate chip cookie is.” You’ll be surprised by how easy it will become to find things to be grateful for as you practice (it’s called “gratitude PRACTICE” for a reason!). If you’re still feeling stumped, try turning negatives into positives: “Without having gained a little weight, I wouldn’t be strong enough to hold my child.” or, “If I hadn’t gotten laid off, I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time with my aging mother.” And, try being grateful for challenges, too: “Sarah is really difficult to manage, but this experience is making me a stronger manager and challenging me to learn new conflict resolution skills.” Engaging in a daily gratitude practice can quickly change your mindset.

Don’t set resolutions, set a theme.
If after reading through this challenge, you still feel the urge to set a new year’s resolution or two, try this instead. Setting a theme allows you to focus on the process, as opposed to only focusing on the results. It gives you a purpose and direction to guide you through the year. This will help take off the pressure of feeling like you have to do certain things or you’ll fail at achieving your goals. For example, saying “2024 will be the year of change!” gives you space to do anything you want within that theme – like changing your living room furniture, changing your wardrobe, changing your eating habits, or even just changing the batteries in your smoke detector – while still helping you feel like you’re sticking to your resolution. Other theme-based ideas we like are: the year of trying new things, the year of saying yes more often, or the year of focusing on loved ones.

Tools Needed:

A journal or notebook for making lists and/or taking notes.

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