Closing Out 2018

fireworksThere’s still a good amount of time for self-reflection and resolution-setting as the last few hours of 2018 wind down. In between stores and work closing early and sequins and glitter beginning to come out in full force, you can still look back on what’s happened and look ahead on what’s to come.

Resolutions in particular tend to receive a lot of debate – there’s always countless opinions and articles this time of year about why they’re useless, how to create “realistic” resolutions that you can maintain, and why they are so easily broken. This isn’t to say that resolutions are pointless, however. We make New Year’s resolutions because a new year is a fresh start. Even though nothing is really changing besides the last digit of the year (that may take a while to get used to though), the new year almost feels like a reset button, giving us an opportunity to make an active change and try to stick to it.

arrowThere’s been a bit of a makeover when it comes to making resolutions. They feel less intensive and strict and have become a little more abstract and flexible. Instead of recommending hard-set goals such as “work out more” and “save money,” people suggest to “maximize happiness” or to “become healthier.” Making resolutions a little vaguer make them feel less like resolutions and more like positive changes. Instead of being pressured to stick to a resolution that’ll end up breaking within a month, the want for change will always be there and can begin at anytime.

If you want to be more mindful about how to spend money throughout the year for example, you don’t have to find the right app to strictly monitor your progress, but you can buy one fewer coffee during the week and increase that throughout the year. Things like this help to build habits and can feel more productive than following hard rules you have set for yourself.

New Year’s Eve isn’t all about looking ahead, either. Looking back on the year can be just as an important activity as planning for the upcoming year, especially because we learn best from our mistakes and past experiences. This can be difficult for some: 2018 could have been a hard year, but some could use that as a chance to become more motivated to make 2019 significantly better. Even if 2018 was a good year, you can use what went well for you and try to keep that up in 2019 too.

Regardless, the new year can be a great time for change. You don’t have to begin your new goals and change your entire lifestyle the instant the ball drops, because there are still 365 full days to begin the first step.

How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions? What kind of changes would you want to make in 2019?

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