Hands up who hates the phrase ‘New Year’s Resolutions’? These goals often feel unobtainable and cover too long a time period, so much so that we forget about them. Because of that, we end up starting the year trying to meet unrealistic expectations.
That doesn’t mean the New Year isn’t a good time to reflect and plan ahead though. In the depths of winter, the simplicity of a stripped back routine, and time spent indoors and with loved ones is a brilliant period to reflect and goal-set.
Taking good care of yourself isn’t just about giving yourself an indulgent bath from time to time, and while we definitely want to help you indulge, helping our community focus on achieving long term goals and happiness is a priority for us. Reframing the traditional narrative about both products and attitudes is a great place to start, and helps spread an atmosphere of care and clam all around us.
So this New Year, instead of giving setting unrealistic targets, make sure you’re making caring choices and setting kind goals. Here are four easy ways to use the New Year as a time to reset for your ambitions, rather than making unrealistic resolutions.
Word of the year
Pick a one-word theme for the year, like Gretchen Rubin does. It might be an evocative word like ‘build’ that reminds you to put up that flat pack furniture and build your community. Or it might be something simple like ‘pray’ to keep you on track with a routine you want to keep up with.
A one-word theme keeps you focused. Even if it’s a word with multiple meanings, or just something you want a reminder of every day, it’s a lovely way to actually stay focused on one thing for a whole year.
Month by month theme
On a similar note to the word of the year, picking a one-word theme for each month means you can adapt to the seasonality of the year.
For instance, at the start of January you might not want to commit to a new sea swimming practise, but maybe that will be your focus in June. The novelty of a new theme each month also means you’re more likely to stick to your plans.
Create a roadmap for your life
Writing a larger life plan can sound daunting, but it’s a brilliant way to focus back to the here and now. The designer Debbie Millman has a ‘remarkable life’ exercise where you picture your ideal life, and slowly translate it back into goals that you can start today. Get ready for long-term fulfilment!
SMART goal setting
If you’re really set on those resolutions, at least make sure they’re SMART. Not just sensible, but using the productivity acronym specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and time bound so that you actually have a chance of getting these things done.
If you’re looking for more inspiration then check out our books range at take good care. Books like Kind Words of Unkind Days by Jayne Hardy and Mindfulness by Christopher Titmus will help you be in a good, self-caring space, and you can also take inspiration from figures like Michelle Obama and Claire Chamberlain.