Every January, most of us ask ourselves and those around us, “What is your new year’s resolution?” But why is this a thing? Is this simply a tradition, or is January truly the ideal time to establish goals for the rest of the year?
New Year’s Day serves as a clean slate. It is such a popular time of year to evaluate our goals because it represents a reset button, a fresh start that has the potential for greatness. My personal new year’s anthem is the song Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Regardless of the intended meaning of this song, the lyrics speak to me around this time of year.
“It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life, for me
And I’m feeling good”
January is such a significant time because we perceive it as an opportunity for a second chance. By making a resolution, we focus our attention on personal growth and the improvement of our lives. Whether we meet the goal or not, resolutions can help identify those areas in our lives that we would like to improve. The goal, ultimately, is to acknowledge those aspects of our lives we are not fully content with and shift our focus to self-improvement.
Making goals that are attainable can help prevent feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of it all. I use the S.M.A.R.T. goal method to focus on my intentions and stay on track. The S.M.A.R.T. goal method is tried and true. It can help focus your intentions on realistic goals and track your progress. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
- Specific: Having a clear idea of what the goal is.
- Measurable: Having a way to measure progress and the completion of the goal.
- Achievable: Having a goal that is achievable based on your personal abilities.
- Realistic: Having a goal that is practical and easily implemented in real life.
- Time-bound: Having a timeframe for meeting the goal and documenting the progress.
Whether you make a new year’s resolution, establish a goal, or just skip the tradition this year, enjoy the fresh start the new year offers. Be flexible with yourself and know that something simple like reflecting on your aspirations can be greatly beneficial. Considering your priorities is a great start.