Every year, in America, about 40% of the population make New Year’s resolutions and out of that, only 8% achieve their goals. Here in Asia, we’re big on resolutions as well and like everyone else, most of us have a hard time achieving them. However, all is not lost tomboys! We give you ways on how you can give your New Year’s resolutions a serious makeover.
Get your party hats, streamers and confetti at the ready because we’re only a few days to a brand new year and most of the world is ready to bring the house down with a big bang!
However, we all know that just around the corner of Auld Lang Syne Street is Resolution Alley; a zipcode that many gurus, dream makers, the media and bloggers talk about whenever a new year looms ahead of us. It’s a well-trodden path that has left many of us wary.
Just last year, we reminisced about why New Year’s resolutions are hardly the drivers to instill change in us and there’s good reason for it. Taking on changes in our lifestyles can take more than the 21 days we’ve all been told it takes, while others postulate that it can take anything from 6 weeks or longer to get your whole being to align itself with a habit.
Unfortunately, these are all myths.
New year resolutions are all about riding that travelator of self-improvement that is so prevalent in our lives, thanks to the many resources out there available to us on all sort of subjects. That may have resulted in us taking it all for granted, thinking that our lives are simple, mono-layered planes of existence that can be fixed in the time it takes to devour a 300-page self-help book or 2-hour video, when in fact, it doesn’t.
Change is successful when it is done gradually and instinctively, in bits and bytes because as humans with free will and choice, we prefer to do things because we want to, not because we have to. We are only forced into things when those choices are taken away from us, in the case of a terminal illness or if we find ourselves in a potentially fatal, or dire situation.
And, it is at the end of a year when we always feel these winds of change upon us. We get ready to reset our primal, biological clocks and like children, we’re excited all over again about the coming year, casting off all our previous negative experiences whilst looking forward to our fresh new start. It is, we must assume, the Universe’s way of giving us all our second chances in life so we can become better than we were the year before.
The only glitch, however, to that idealistic picture, is that many times, we feel so hopeful about starting anew that we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We hope our extreme makeover dreams can be achieved in that short span of time, forgetting that there are a couple of factors to consider like
#1. how we’re probably not ready mentally, emotionally, physically or even spiritually to take on these challenges so suddenly
#2. or that we might not have the resources in terms of time or money to fulfill them and finally
#3. that we have to be so passionate and committed to this ideal that there can be no other result but success.
Of course, we all know that most of the time, in fact, 92% of people do not fulfill their New Year’s resolutions each year.
So what do the remaining successful 8% do? They keep it simple. They keep it realistic, tangible and stress-free most of the time.
A new kind of New Year’s Resolutions – ‘Meaningful Monthlies’
Over here at Tomboy Tarts, we took a little bit of that advise and added some of our own sauce and decided that resolutions were as passe as your mum’s 80s Datsun.
This past year, we’ve come up with ‘Meaningful Monthlies’; things we decided to do to make our lives and the lives of the people around us just that little bit more happier.
We started our test at the beginning of 2014. From Jan to March – we did meaningful monthlies towards the community i.e helping out the poor, donating money to a charity and buying groceries for low-income families. From April to June we did meaningful monthlies for ourselves by taking time out of our schedule to paint, read or switch off from social media and eating healthy. From July to September, we focused on the workplace and our business and the last quarter, we brought it all back full circle to our families by spending more time with them, going out on family outings and more.
We now call our ‘Meaningful Monthlies’ our New Year’s Resolutions 2.0 because we think everyone has 12 months in the year and every month should be dedicated to something that builds our character or gives us time to interact with ourselves, our families as well as the community.
We also came out of the year feeling like we achieved quite a lot without the psychological stress, so if you have a year to try this out, here’s more reasons why you should join the ‘Meaningful Monthly Movement’.
1. You can be creative as you build your success at your own pace
In fact, there are so many ways to get creative with your New Year’s Resolutions 2.0. You can theme your year with each month building up on the last one so you can get closer to a bigger goal. Best of all, it can be done at your own pace which won’t put undue stress on you before you’ve even begun. Ensure that it is something that you can dedicate time and energy to as well so you don’t fall off the wayside 3 months later.
2. You can keep track of your goals.
Depending on whether your goals are month-to-month (like we did it) or over a longer period of time, meaningful monthlies help you keep your goals do-able. Short-term, ad-hoc/one-off goals, once completed are really motivating and satisfying and they spur you on to your next meaningful monthly. If your goals are more ambitious and require a longer period of time to achieve, then you can consider these monthly goals, as sub-goals that help you build up to your bigger goal. Always remember though, that meaningful monthlies must be actionable in the sense that you must train yourself to look for tangible results (good or bad) so you can take notes for future reference and move on.
3. They keep your goals specific
What we also like about our meaningful monthlies is that we could always be specific. Our goals weren’t random, generic ones like ‘I’m going to lose weight.’ or ‘I’ll treat my colleagues better.’ Meaningful monthlies got us thinking about specifics because we only had that month to achieve them and because we were able to break them down into achievable tasks, we were actually able to complete them quite effortlessly.
So there you go. No need to worry about annoying New Year’s Resolutions that don’t really work. Now with bite-sized ‘Meaningful Monthlies’ you can go out and meet the new year, with renewed energy and hope for a better you; a better world.
Here’s a toast to 2015!! May it be a stellar year for you all!