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New Year Resolutions . . . or Evolutions?

I recently saw an ad that talked about New Year’s resolutions versus evolutions. A resolution is making a decision to do or not do something. That sounds like PRESSURE! I know I always think of New Year's resolutions and then feel like I failed if I’m not able to complete it by the end of the year. For me, it adds more anxiety that it has to be completed by the end of the year. I know a year is a long time, but it still feels like it’s not enough. Of course, I still want to set goals for myself and have ideas of things I would like to accomplish. The idea of resolutions also feels like I have to just ignore all the progress I have made the year before. A New Year is a fresh start, but what if I accomplished great things last year? What if I just want to build off of the accomplishments I already had?

The ad quickly caught my attention when I heard the term evolution used instead. Evolution is a process. It’s about growing and learning from past experiences. If you’ve taken one of our Mental Health First Aid certification courses, you may have heard us mention micro-routines. Micro-routines are adopting the practice of implementing something small into our daily lives to make us feel good. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or money. For example, one of my micro-routines that I have for myself is to wake up 5 minutes earlier than I need to so I can drink my coffee without feeling rushed. I also take time at the end of my day to journal. It only takes me 5 minutes, and there’s no expectation of what I should write about or how much I do. It’s a small change, but it allows me to take some time to just reflect and pause at the beginning and end of my day.

This year, I chose to not set any resolutions. Instead, I am reflecting and learning how to evolve into a better version of myself. I took some time to reflect on things I did well last year, things that worked for me, and how to build off of them. My goal is to continue doing things that I enjoy and taking time for myself; to continue finding intentional ways to take care of myself. This way I am setting myself up with realistic goals that won’t make me feel guilty, but will instead be an opportunity for growth and celebration.

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