Another year, another new start. There’s something inviting about the turnover of the year- we are invited to introspect and assess both the highs and lows of the previous 365 days. Often, we begin the year with New Year’s Resolutions- pledges on what to “do better” this time. Here at SwimTopia we certainly don’t dissuade you from peeking inside, from evaluating strengths and weaknesses of the previous year. However, we do propose a few slightly different approaches:
1). Follow the lead of Director of Customer Happiness, Tracy Nelson!
In Tracy’s family, New Year’s resolutions are done little differently. This year, try this suggestion on for size! Rather than creating resolutions right off the bat, Tracy’s family creates a list of their favorite memories from the past year. Any and all happy memories are welcomed! Then, they whittle this list to just a top 10 favorites.
From the top 10, Tracy’s family investigates to see whether there are patterns and parallels between the faves: do most have to do with family? With outdoor activities? With personal achievements? From these parallels and patterns, Tracy’s family concocts their New Year’s goals.
For example, if someone’s top 10 featured personal achievements, perhaps in the new year they resolve to challenge themselves more often or target milestones. If the pattern was outdoor activities, perhaps in the new year they resolve to spend more time communing with nature and de-stressing.
Rather than focusing on negatives or what you “failed” to do in the previous year, your resolutions center on what brings you joy and fills your cup!
2). Set measurable (and realistic!) goals
Sure, we’d all like to successfully start a business/finish a marathon/save thousands of dollars for retirement. However, the key to setting measurable and realistic goals is taking a look at your track record with this subject.
For example, if your goal is to finish a marathon but you don’t currently run at all, think about breaking the goal down into achievable parts. First, try implementing a 3 runs/week goal. With this goal, you don’t need to dictate the length of time for these runs (i.e. some days, or weeks, we really just might not have the time or the desire).
As the year progresses, you can better envision whether a marathon is reasonable or whether you’d like to try a smaller but no less impressive racing step, like finishing your first 10k or half marathon! This will still leave you closer to eventually finishing the marathon, perhaps the following year!
3). Determine who the resolution is “for”
Are your New Year’s goals internally or externally motivated? Who is the benefactor of your completion of said goal? Is the goal even something you care about?
These are all very valid questions to ask yourself. 365 days is a long time to commit to something you’re not intrinsically motivated to do.
Pick goals that are meaningful to you, that cater to your interests and life stages, and that you are excited about!
4). Give yourself credit where credit is due
This is along the same lines as Tracy’s family tradition. Make a list of your strengths! What are the goals that you absolutely crushed in the previous year? Where did you show particular resilience? What hardships did you either overcome or show strength in the face of? From this list, you can identify strengths that might help you tackle this year’s resolutions.
Are you particularly skilled at creating schedules but find yourself often late for events/appointments/get-togethers? Use your love for organization to build time into your schedule. If you have an appointment at 10:00 AM, block out at least 3 to 4 hours to ensure time to get from the appointment to anything else planned for the day.
Have a goal to be more fit this year but also an extremely chaotic day-to-day schedule? If that busy schedule also religiously includes 2 walks with your canine friend, buy ankle weights to wear during the walks. This doesn’t require you to jet to a fitness class midday. In fact, it doesn’t require you to change anything at all about your current schedule!
These are only a few of our top suggestions to reframe the ritual of New Year’s resolutions. We know there is inherent excitement but also anxiety in determining resolutions. Mitigate stress by focusing on happy memories, measurability, who the goal is for, and your own strengths/successes.
From all of us at SwimTopia, we wish you the best of luck and happy 2024!