When was the last time you heard someone say, “Man, I totally checked off all of my resolutions! They were perfect, and I nailed this year.”
I’m guessing… never.
Often when December rolls around, we don’t even remember our resolutions, let alone review them and do an annual life assessment.
Unless your resolutions are the same every year—weigh less, save more, try something adventurous—in which case they can reveal to you something else.
Even though the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions go awry, they’re still helpful. Here’s why:
1. They make you contemplate.
When was the last time you sat down and really examined your life? This is why life coaching is such a high growth industry—we’re realizing the value of doing this more and more. When you sit with pen to paper for just 10 minutes and think about what you’d like to be, do, and have over the next 12 months, you’re essentially acting as your own life coach.
And a thoughtful, intentional life is much more likely to be a badass, fulfilled life.
2. They make you think about the future the right way.
Waaaaay too often when we think about the future, we’re worrying. We’re thinking, Where is my next S.O. coming from? When am I going to get out of debt? When is this side hustle going to really take off so I can quit my cubicle?
Future tripping is not the same as future planning. Resolutions open you up to possibility thinking. This means that not only do you use your creative mind, you also use the power of visualization.
Ask yourself this question, then close your eyes for just 30 seconds: “It's December 31, 2018. I’ve had a beautiful, satisfying year that I’m proud of. What have I done?” See what comes up for you! And don’t put any limits on it! There you go—you have your resolutions in a nutshell.
4. They highlight what needs to change.
When we consider how often we repeat ourselves year after year: “I want to start a business/lose my baby weight/get out of this soul-sucking industry…” we begin to consider what really needs to change. If something has been on your to-do list for years (literal years, my friend), you think it could be time get on it? There’s nothing worse than living a broken resolution record on repeat.
5. They remind you of how much you can control.
The mind is an incredible thing: Once we start focusing on what we want, it immediately starts firing ways to achieve it. A brilliant work idea will come to you while you’re in the shower. The way to raise $5K for that important cause comes to you on your run. One day you notice a Pilates studio in your neighborhood just when you wanted to strengthen and shape up. Your resolution connects you with your deepest intentions for your life and then the magical how-to-get-it-done begins to appear, and fast. Try it and see.
All you have to do is get started with the resolution and the resolve! Plus, even if you "fail," fall short, or simply choose an easy resolution, that can be enough. Little and often fill the purse, pal. And there’s never anything bad about a small goal or setting an intention that’s achieved in a short amount of time. It will lead you to the next thing. And the best thing about all of this? You don’t have to wait until the first week of January. But why not? It's already here. It's a gorgeous day to begin!
Susie Moore is Greatist's life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!