New Year New…

…Me? You? Us?

It’s a cliché phrase you hear thrown around from person to person. We’re celebrating the start of a New Year, a new calendar, so why not take the time to be a new you as well?

I don’t know if it’s just my Facebook, my social network, but I’ve seen the phrase dashed into the ground this year. I’ve seen posts about how resolutions don’t work; how nothing changes between the end of one year and the start of another. I’ve seen posts about how calendars don’t truly mean anything, they’re a man-made form of time-tracking, and thus neither does “New Year; New Me”. I didn’t realise just how cynical people were on this subject. The thing is, these are exactly the kind of people who are quick enough to say “well, if you wanted to change, why not just do it?”… but on any day apart from New Year’s day, apparently.

The start of a new year, the start of a new month, hell the start of a new week, are all just arbitrary man-made time-frames, that much is true, but they’re great for keeping track, they’re great for staying motivated and determined. As human beings we love statistics, categories, organisation. I love being able to round off 2016 with a list of achievements and go into 2017 with goals.

That said, the cynics are right. Between December 31st and January 1st, nothing really does happen; there’s no real change, you aren’t really a ‘new you’. All that means, though, is that you have to put your back into it; you have to be determined and disciplined. There’s absolutely no shame in making a New Year’s Resolution, and there’s no shame in setting goals for the months or years ahead, but you do have to try and you do have to push yourself to keep going.

I’d recommend making goals that are achievable, resolutions you can and will stick too. Better yet, make resolutions you want to see through. It sounds like such an obvious thing, but I am certain many people make resolutions based on the things they just don’t want to do in the first place: go to the gym, be nice to the annoying people, give more money to charity. Valuable and worthwhile goals, but probably based more on peer pressure than real, self-sourced desire.

My goal is nice and general; it can be summarised as follows:  Improve Myself.

It’s broad, it’s vague, it has many other, more specific, little factors contained within. This also means it’s more achievable. I could say I want to go to the gym more, and I do, but right now I’d just settle for being a little healthier; no matter how I get there. I could say I want to write more, and I do, but I’d also be happy if my creativity took me down different avenues as the year goes on. My seemingly vague goal of Improving Myself is everything I want to do, both now and in the future, boiled down into something manageable. I have a baseline – who I was yesterday – and I know all the different aspects of me I could improve on by tomorrow – eat a bit healthier, write a bit more, contact an old friend, etc. Some days will be better than others, some months will be better than others, but I know that I can always just keep improving.

Do you believe in resolutions? What are yours going forward? Are yours as vague as mine or do you strive for something a bit more specific?

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26 thoughts on “New Year New…

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  3. Hmmm. I did something this year.. rather than the normal resolutions i decided to work on two success keys and that is discipline and diligence. I believe if these two are in place I will set goals any time of the year and still achieve it.

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  5. Happy New Year Shaun and a good thought provoking post to get 2017 underway. I think New Year and calendars provide staging posts for planning but sometimes we can get too focused on the goal and plan and miss opportunities that pop up along the journey. Experience has taught me to have a focus and embrace each step. Every day is a new start 🙂

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    1. That’s a great perspective, Davy! I certainly don’t want to get entangled in too much structure and planning, hence the vagueness of my goals! On the other hand, if I don’t set myself targets I sink into a sad little pile of procrastination… For me it’s finding a balance!

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  6. I’m with you. Life is about seeing clear, measurable, achievable goals. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember, and being in the Navy has only made me more dedicated to that principle. I wrote a whole blog about my goals (in terms of writing). Outside of that, I’m old enough where I just recommit to those ideas I hadn’t found a way to merge into my routine yet.

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  7. Mine are specific, but I’m usually a non-believer! Just posted monthly goals, so still a take that suits me! I decided to stick with things I can do/have done before but don’t take care of when I’m feel low, so it does make me feel positive. Good luck with yours! ☺

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    1. I think it depends on the person, specific or non-specific. I think it’s easy to prove achievement with specific goals, but easier to avoid failure with non-specific haha. Two sides of the same coin! I’ll take a look at your resolutions 🙂 and of course wish you all the luck with them!

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  8. I don’t make resolutions for the new year, but I do make plans. They are a running list of plans though… changing or growing as time marches on. Nevertheless, having a set of tasks to complete within a time frame helps me to keep working, whether it be for a year, a month or some date I set for myself. Best of luck with your goals, Shaun!

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    1. Thanks, Meg! Hopefully that’s what I was getting at here; I’m in the party that finds plans (especially deadlines) to be very helpful in my productivity! I hope yours come to fruition this year 🙂

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