It’s the beginning of yet another year, a new year. The new year is celebrated by almost everyone, but the times for celebration may vary. For some, it is the period right after the 31st of December; for others, it is their birthday, and so on. Some cultures and countries also have unique days on which they celebrate the new year; an example is the Chinese New Year, which we will be celebrating this week. “What is a new year, then?” you would ask. A new year is simply the time and/or day at which a new calendar year starts.
As usual, with every new year comes New Year’s resolutions for most people, if not all. Why? Because we believe it is a fresh start to assess your life, do something new, and set new goals. A New Year’s resolution is, simply put, a promise one makes to become a better version of themselves in the coming year. Does that make you a different person? Maybe.
Then again, there are others who believe there’s no reason to make New Year’s resolutions or even celebrate the new year. Their reason? Well, we all wonder. After speaking to a few friends who think that way about New Year’s, I was able to generate a few reasons, and I’ll share them with you.
Firstly, they argued that the first day of the new year is like every other new day. If we were to treat each and every new day as we treat New Year’s Day, we would accomplish most if not all the goals we set for ourselves. Some also said, “Why wait for a new year to set new goals or turn over a new leaf?” They understand that New Year’s symbolizes a fresh start but also believe that every passing second, minute, hour, day, week, and month is a new opportunity to set new goals.
Regardless of when you set them, the question to ask when setting goals or resolutions is, “Which of these is most likely to maximize my productivity, make me happy, or draw me nearer to my future aspirations over the next couple of weeks, months or years?” The goals we set for ourselves should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). Your focus should be a single goal, and it is not enough to say “I want to buy a house this year.” There could be a number of subordinate goals that follow each other, fit together, and serve as metrics or guidelines that keep you in check and on track to achieve your main goal.
You should have smaller goals that all lead to the attainment of the major goal, a progress report for each step you take to achieve your main goal. Continuing our house example, a smaller goal could be the following: “By March, I should have saved about half of the money I need.” Or maybe you would want to secure a job by the end of summer. You know there are basic steps you need to take to get there, such as updating your resume and LinkedIn account, writing cover letters, working with your career coach, applying for jobs, and showing up for interviews. These goal-setting principles can even be applied to the business world and not just our personal lives.
To conclude, having New Year’s resolutions is a great thing to do even if we don’t always follow through with the plans we make. At the same time, remember that you don’t have to wait for an occasion like the Chinese New Year to turn over a new leaf. Every moment we spend living, be it a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, (I think you get my point) is a new opportunity to start afresh, so make the most of each moment.
As the saying by Alice Morse Earle goes, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” So make the most of the time you have now because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Some questions to ask yourself when making resolutions
- What would you most like to change about yourself?
- What is one change you could make to your lifestyle that would make you feel at peace?
- At the end of the year (you set your own time), how would you like your life to be transformed?
- What would you be most happy about finishing?
- What would you be willing to try outside of your comfort zone to improve your well-being?
- How do you plan on making your life more exciting than it is?
- What is one thing that you could do to give yourself more peace financially?
- What would you most like to be acknowledged for in your life?
- What would your ideal career be if you could do anything?
- What do you envision your religious/spiritual life to be?