Happy New Year

12/01/2023

At what point do you stop saying happy new year?  I’m never really sure…. Anyway, I digress 🙂

In this blog post, I wanted to talk about new year resolutions and the noise that is made around setting them (or not), at this time of year.

Where do you stand on this?

Some people like to set resolutions at this time of year and some people don’t, waiting until another time or not at all.

Others say that resolutions don’t work if you set them in January.  From experience, I think that’s nonsense.

Personally, I’m keen to set goals for the year ahead, rather than resolutions, and I’m going to tell you how I make them work for me… and yes, I do set them at the beginning of the new year.

Now, these goals could be something that I want to work towards straight away.

Or they could be something that I want to do in the longer term, say some time throughout the year.

The thing with resolutions, or objectives (for me), is that they have to be both smart in choice and  SMART in measurement, so that they work in the longer term.

Let me explain.

It’s bloody miserable enough in January after the pomp of Christmas, without having to give up some of the things we love.

My husband and I took part in dry January a few years ago and, frankly, it felt like the longest month on record, and that the month lasted until March.

Then we went back to our bad drinking ways again within a few months, so it was bit of a pointless exercise and made us more miserable throughout January, for no reason.

It’s a bit like going on a crash diet and eating carrots and cucumber for the first two months of the year.

Only to scoff cake / easter eggs / anything you can get your hands on, from March until June.

Unless you’re going to quit vices for good, cutting back should be gradual.

Therefore, my objectives have to be smart in that they are actually sustainable, but they also have to be SMART so that they can be achieved.

For those who aren’t aware, SMART is:

– Specific

– Measurable

– Achievable

– Realistic

– Time-bound

I think achievable and realistic stand out more for me, along with being time-bound.

Sustainable is key though so I’d like to change the traditional SMART to SMARTS 🙂

If you don’t want to hang yourself out to dry, it’s good to focus on SMART objectives to concentrate your efforts on, but also give yourself plenty of time to achieve what you’re after.

Slow and steady, small steps and sustainable is the way to go.

Objectives and goals over resolutions:

The other thing that I like to do is challenge myself or to learn something new, or make better use of my time.  Rather than just giving something up for a short period of time.

The thing about objectives, rather than setting resolutions is about enjoying life but at the same time, bettering yourself as well.

Some of the objectives that I’ve set myself over recent years, have included:

– Running once a week.

– Reading more books.

– Learning to read music and learning to play the piano.

– Learning a new language.

I’ve been running regularly for over three years now.  There were some months where I didn’t run once a week. 

Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s ok.  However, I have kept my activities going and that’s the key. 

There is a difference between life getting in the way and making excuses though.

Prior to 2020, I didn’t really read at all so that was an easy goal to achieve.  I don’t read much but still read regularly (and far more than I used to).

In 2022, my objective was to learn to speak French so Duo Lingo was installed on my phone and my French learning has endured, throughout the year, at a slow and steady pace.

If you want to make resolutions, objectives or goals for the year in January, they can be successful and long lasting.

It just pays to Get SMART, get sustainable and get trying new things, without setting yourself up to fail from the start.

And if you want to know how to stay motivated, well that’s a whole different kettle of fish and we’ll come back to that another day.

Thanks for reading.

Melissa from Bee Time Clever

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