We’re less than a month into 2024. How are your New Year’s Resolutions doing?
Don’t blame your character if your resolutions have already gone by the wayside. Chances are, it’s not your “willpower” but your resolutions themselves that are to blame.
Frustration and failure aren’t because we’re “weak” or “bad people.” It’s because we’re focusing on trying to change the wrong things.
Forget working for your resolutions. It’s not too late to make resolutions that work for you.
Why Our Resolutions Don’t Work
There are three primary reasons our resolutions don’t work for us:
- We focus on a lofty endpoint instead of acknowledging—and valuing—the process and the work.
- We’re too vague and have no way to recognize our progress.
- We’re too specific and our achievements don’t change anything meaningful.
The key to meaningful New Year’s resolutions is to choose focal points that ultimately change our lifestyle and result in a healthier, more positive mindset.
In other words, in 2024 we establishing New Year’s resolutions that make us better people right here in Bradenton. Sound too ambitious? It’s really doable.
Here are three ways to shift your mindset and change your lifestyle this year.
1.) Be honest about your starting point.
Left to your own devices, what does a normal, resolution-free day look like to you? Try not to bring judgment to it; just picture how you behave within your life as it is at this moment, in the year 2024—complete with the way career aspirations affect your day, as well as family obligations, financial priorities, and even your current emotional state and energy levels.
So many of our resolutions fail because we don’t start by looking at the complete big picture; we imagine ourselves as being closer to our fantasy goals than we really are, while totally ignoring other important (and frankly valuable) priorities.
2.) Focus on positive behavior (rather than overall goals or avoidance).
Another reason our resolutions fail is by focusing on the goal without celebrating the process—or by establishing a process that’s about not doing something, rather than thinking in terms of positive actions we can actually perform.
For one thing, focusing on not doing something is just an unproductive mindset. It puts a behavior (probably something we enjoy) at the forefront our brains, and then tells us to think about it while not doing it. Torture!
Or we set a long-term goal and then spend our days thinking about how we haven’t gotten there yet.
Instead, consider positive behaviors you can make every day or every week that will be little achievements—and, equally important, that you will enjoy! Instead of a punishment, make your resolution something you can celebrate and even look forward to.
And along those lines…
3.) Keep your personal inspiration at the heart of your resolutions.
Who inspires you? Who amazes you as a “good person”? What do they do that exemplifies their quality? Resolve to emulate the behavior you see in other that makes your heart joyful.
Though you’re probably picturing big acts of volunteering or philanthropy (especially here in big-hearted Bradenton), you might find that what you appreciate in-person are smaller acts like smiling at strangers, picking up a piece of trash, or simply bringing a positive attitude or an unprompted compliment to otherwise banal situations. Emulating “good” behavior—even without fundamentally changing your schedule—generates self-improvement momentum like little else.
This is the sort of mindset change that leads to a lifestyle evolution. That’s because these small but ubiquitous possibilities touch every bit of your life—from how you feel and the energy you have to how you treat others and the energy you exude. It’s a positive energy perpetual-motion machine.
Plus, unless you’ve misjudged your own ethics (we doubt it), your appreciation for these kinds of acts won’t change as time goes by. Therefore, you can’t “fail” at your resolution because you’ve chosen to acknowledge a mindset that’s already a part of you.
You’re just bringing the best parts of you to the forefront of your everyday life.