“New Year Resolutions” by Ryan

What is it about a new year that motivates people to reassess their lives and goals? Taking time to engage with these thoughts is incredibly valuable, so don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it. What interests me is when people wait until the new year to take time to do this. Research seems pretty clear: taking time to create specific, measurable goals and writing them down is a huge indication of whether you are going to accomplish those goals. So why wait to set new goals only once a year?

One reason to do so is that a goal may be a year long goal. For example, almost every year I recommit myself to the goal of writing every single day for a year. While this is a year long goal it is also something I have to recommit to every single day, making it a daily goal. It forces me to reflect each day on what I am trying to accomplish in my writing and to focus energy in that direction. Even if you have a year long goal it is likely that in order to accomplish that goal that you must break it down into smaller, likely daily goals.

If that is the case then we have an opportunity to not just look to January 1st to hang our hopes, dreams and aspirations on, instead we have that chance with every single day. All of the time and energy that goes into a day can be directed by resolutions and goals that you make for yourself. This habit of taking each day and making it a canvas upon which to realize your dreams is not so simple as it sounds. It requires diligence, mindfulness, and passion to carry you through. The return is that you are able to master your own path instead of following others.

New Year’s resolutions are curious to me not because research suggests that only 8% of those resolutions are kept (because any time someone reaches their goals is a time to celebrate no matter how small the percentage), but rather are curious because each day is an opportunity to make resolutions not just the first of the year.
We make such a big deal about New Year’s resolutions. I think it is about time we focus some of that hype to New Day’s Resolutions.

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