Unfabled's top tips for tackling New Year's resolutions
When it comes to the start of a new year, there can be so much pressure to be productive, achieve lifelong goals and completely transform nearly everything about yourself. While we see the value in focusing on ways you can improve your life as you step into a new year, we also don’t buy into the whole change-everything-about-yourself ‘New Year, New Me’ narrative at all.
So, what’s the best approach?
Everyone has different needs and goals when January rolls around, so we’ve compiled a bit of a catch-all list to help you navigate this intense start to the year.
1. Take it slow.
Whether you’ve got a twelve page list of New Years resolutions you want to work on or just have one small change you’d like to make, our advice is this: don’t rush, and don’t feel like you’re falling behind. There’s no need to leap into the first of January and finish the week with one of your goals achieved.
The intense pressure at the start of a New Year can leave you feeling like you need to get going to those gym classes, learn how to make pasta from scratch and have read 5 books on your TBR before the sun sets on the fourth day of that first week of January. Slow it down.
The reason New Year's resolutions are New Year’s resolutions is because they’re often the kind of goals that take a whole year to complete. Just go at a pace that is reasonable, something that you can keep up with, and don’t shy away from taking January as a time for complete pause, too. Rest is restorative and sometimes choosing to do less at the start of the year can put you in a better position to move forward with new energy as the months roll on.
2. Put you first.
Let’s face it, a lot of New Year’s resolutions are born out of societal expectations. When you’re focusing on your resolutions or goals for 2023, try put your own wellbeing front and centre.
A lot of New Year conversations tend to revolve around executing a complete transformation of yourself. New Year, New You. This year, try focus on how you can outline goals that actually serve yourself, and help you treat yourself with kindness.
When you’ve outlined what your goals for 2023 are, try map out who exactly each goal is serving. If the answer is someone other than yourself, try to reflect on why you’re putting energy into that task, and if it’s the right goal for you.
3. Have a buddy.
Whether you’re focusing on great big climbing Everest goals, or simply hoping to make some more time for mindfulness in the New Year, we’d suggest getting yourself a buddy to help you along the way, and to share your achievements with.
Having a partner in crime can not only motivate you, it also gives you someone to share your highs and lows with. January can be a really isolating time for some after the togetherness of Christmas - agreeing to work on something with someone can make the new year a much warmer, enjoyable time.
4. Celebrate doing less.
Resolutions or New Year’s goals can come with a lot of pressure to do more. Why not think about setting goals for yourself that are focused on cutting back. Do less of what doesn’t bring you joy, rather than focusing on adding more to your plate.
It can be incredibly empowering to simply take a step back and say no, actually, that isn’t something I want to do anymore. Embrace that feeling of agency over your life, and say no - maybe even to the entire concept of resolutions at the start of a year, ironically.
You are your own agent and you’re steering the ship of your life. Don’t let the weight of New Year guilt stop you from leaving the harbour.