It’s the time of year again when at last we kick back and close the door on one year and open a new one on a fresh new year. It’s also the time of year when we make a resolution for ourselves and over ⅓ of us will end 2022 failing them. It was the Ancient Romans who began the tradition by making promises to the god Janus, from whom we get the month of January, with the trend here in America taking root during the Great Depression when most everyone needed faith and hope that things would change. We also find ourselves closing out 2021 with most of us wishing for that very same thing…the same wish we made in 2020.
COVID-19 and how it has shaped our personal lives, routines, politics, and business has remained to be a stubborn problem, but in times of crisis, it also has made all of us take stock of our personal lives. We remember to care for family, connect with friends, improve ourselves and our situation, and even just take great pleasure in hobbies or the outdoors when those things were taken for granted.
Almost 200 million of us are closing this year out wanting a change in our lives is it a lifestyle one or a personal goal. When polled, people responded (in order) their resolutions were related to health/weight, self-improvement, money, family, or love.
I think we’ve all been beaten up emotionally these past few years to the point that it makes it hard to be optimistic about a new year, but I have one simple word I’ve clung to year after year that I always build my own business and personal goals around: happiness. I have a few rules I’ve always gone by when I put goals to paper each year and I wanted to share them with you.
Rule #1: It’s ALWAYS about happiness.
Whatever your promise is, you need to be honest with yourself on what will make you happy… I mean really happy. If you find yourself unhappy with your job, you’re not alone as the Great Resignation trend that happened this year had more than a fair share of people question if they are feeling challenged, paid enough, or enriched enough in their careers.
Rule #2: Take care of your mind and body.
Your body is a temple and needs to be treated as such. Keeping active mentally and physically will breed the foundation for a healthy life. If I don't exercise for 2 or 3 days in a row, I can start to feel it. It drags me down, my mind will start to get mucky and I'll become lethargic. At this stage in my life, I have to find salvation with outdoor activities, and Peloton of course! I've come to learn that just "maintaining" is not enough. I need to go above and beyond... I need to constantly challenge myself to do more and be better, mentally and physically. I feel this slight adjustment, can take a person from just happy, to really happy!
Rule #3: Make your goal ACTUALLY attainable.
Some of us want to be models, or live in a huge house or maybe just live the Hallmark channel fantasy of meeting a Prince, but setting unrealistic goals and expectations only leads to frustration and failure when we can’t make those things happen. So, you start small. When it comes to fitness, don’t just look in the mirror and say, “I want to have the body I had in college”, or even, “I want to look like INSERT CELEBRITY NAME HERE”. You have to also say to yourself, “Honestly, do you have the time in your day to go to the gym every day? Can you afford to change your entire diet or hire a personal trainer?” Make your goals manageable and start slow so you don’t burn out quickly. Gyms depend on you to buy a year’s membership and not show up, so plan a day of the week to start…then maybe more, maybe shift your morning routine around to hit the gym a few days of the week in the morning. When it comes to food, don’t just cut out everything cold turkey, cut it in half to start be it sugar or portions.
Rule #4: Partners in your success can help you get there.
Everyone needs a cheerleader as much as they do a coach. If you want to make a change career-wise or even just improve job skills or acquire new ones, seek out and find a mentor. They could be as simple as a coworker or a friend, someone who knows the kind of skills in business or craft that you can learn from. When it comes to personal goals, you can and will have moments of self-doubt or feel inclined to give up or go back to bad habits. Having friends, a husband, wife, or family member cheering you on or doing it with you increases your chance for success. It’s always more fun when you go for a jog together, or even more, simply learn to eat better by making dinner about cooking together with a loved one in the kitchen. Furry friends can make all the difference too! Marvel and Bruno have added so much joy to our family!
Things always get better, but often more slowly than we would like. This year is, in many ways, better than the last. Close your eyes…make a promise and keep it.
I believe in you.
Happy New Year,