A New Year Resolution or a Past Year Review

Thinking a little differently about 2020 and creating a platform for 2021.

The idea of coming up with a New Years resolution for me has never been that appealing. We see and hear it a lot in the health and fitness industry, too. People make their resolutions to; get fitter, lose weight, eat better, run a marathon, quit smoking, it's a pretty endless list.

I've seen in some studies that up to 50% of adults will make a New Years resolution but only around 10% of people are still committed after 2 months/ the end of February in the new year. Another article cites that 80% of resolutions made will fail.

So what am I going to do to combined 2020 and 2021?

I pretty much made an account for every day of 2020 in my diary in just 3 bullet points, noting; something that I did well that day, something that I would want to improve from that day and something that was a stand out moment that day. In 3 other bullet points I've also written down things I am grateful for; in total 6 bullet points per day. Taking literally no more than 5 minutes.

There are also times when throughout 2020 I've made some fairly significant entries into my journal to help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, other traumatic events that have occurred in my life from the year and to generally just get into a little flow and write down my thoughts, with no holds barred.

I'm taking my time at the start of 2021 to pull together a "Past Year Review", looking at the reoccurring themes that appeared in my journal from 2020. It is this "Past Year Review" that I am going to use to help shape my 2021, not a New Year resolution. My challenge to myself is identifying the commonly occurring "something I want to improve" entries and sourcing a way to work on these themes so that they can become my "something I did well that day" instead. I also want to turn last years "something I did well" each day into a more regular feature in my life and my more long form writing bouts. From a gratitude perspective I'm flipping the format a little and only noting down the people for whom I am grateful on a daily basis. The local barista, kind bus driver - I'm not going to be too specific but just recognise things done by others a little more.

A resolution is likely to fail, the numbers above certainly suggest that, and with failure there sometimes comes regret or shame, but learning from the past will never be something to regret, so that is why I am using last year as a stepping stone to a good year in 2021.

Don't commit too much of your energy coming up with a resolution or two, commit your energy to find out more of the things you enjoyed last year and do more of them and learn ways in which the negatives you may have experience last year can become a learning platform for the new year.

Until next time.


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