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Rules for New Year's Resolutions

issue #1

By Victoria BrownPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Rules for New Year's Resolutions
Photo by Martin Schalter on Unsplash

New Year's resolutions. You either love them or hate them. One of mine is to write more, hence this new series – maybe? – I’m starting. “Rules for…” It’ll be interesting to see how far along I get. Maybe one a month? Two? Who knows.

I’ve never been a big New Year’s resolution person. I would always write lengthy lists with lofty goals and forget about half of them before the day would even be over. The only one I remember setting for 2022 was writing an essay or something about every book I read. That, I can proudly say, I accomplished. (If you’re interested, you can read my 2022 reading round-up here) It might be the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever kept.

Anyway, moving forward, I’ve decided to reframe my thought process about New Year’s resolutions.

1. Goals, not resolutions

Phrasing is everything, and not just with New Year’s. Some people hate the connotation behind New Year’s resolutions. Dieting, excessive work out plans, lofty plans that sometimes just cannot be kept. It’s the same thing every year regardless if you kept it the year prior.

Give yourself goals instead.

Make it a goal not to spend as much, make it a goal to be more mindful of your physical health. Calling them goals sounds kinder and more attainable. For goals, you make a plan. Resolutions sound stiff. Make it a goal not to spend as much and make a simple, easy to adjust budget to ease yourself into the change.

Words and intention are everything. Be mindful of the goals you choose and how you think of them.

2. Be realistic

You know yourself better than anyone else, so make goals to reflect that. If you know you don’t like working out, then don’t make it a resolution to start going to the gym five days a week right off the bat. Ease into it. Start with maybe one or two days a week. Maybe work your way up to five before the year is over.

None of this is in writing, so you can alter your goals as time progresses. And if you did happen to write it down, it can be changed.

Goals are constantly shifting, and that’s okay.

Maybe you wanted to write a novel in 2023. Maybe it’s halfway through the year and life changed in ways you didn’t expect and you only have it plotted and a chapter written here or there. That’s okay. Shift your goal to just writing as often as you can.

Being realistic and giving yourself grace is the key to staying motivated and keeping yourself going.

3. Be kind to yourself

No one knows what the future is going to be like. Some things we simply can’t help. And sometimes those things interfere with our goals and daily life.

Don’t fret, and don’t give up completely. Missing one day or one step isn’t the end of the world. You have 365 days to achieve your goals; don’t let one bad day change that. Life happens and the only thing we can do is keep going.

Being kind to yourself ties both of the previous points together – being realistic with your goals.

If you overthink things – missing a day from not having time or from being in a funk or just from whatever – it’ll make things worse. Reframe your thought process to be full of grace and kindness all around, but especially with yourself.

Okay, I’ll admit, it kind of sounds like a lot of fluff. And who knows, maybe it is. But again, maybe it’ll be beneficial, looking back at the end of 2023 and onward.


About the Creator

Victoria Brown

twenty-three & longing.

lover of words, tea, & antiques.

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