Happy New Year!
So, 2017 is behind us and we are at the start of 2018! Many people make resolutions or changes at the start of the year. I don’t think I’ve ever really properly sat there and made proper, measurable goals for a new year. Today one of my work friends was asked if they had made resolutions and they replied: “you’ll just break them.” I thought that was quite an interesting approach.
A resolution is defined as a strong decision either to do or not to do something. A goal, however, is something that a person desires and for me, I think its something that has to be worked towards. It can’t be just a decision to either do or not do something. That got me thinking, is that possibly a reason why people can’t / don’t stick to their resolutions?
At the beginning of 2016, I said to myself, this year I’d like to see more of the world. I didn’t really expect that to happen, to be honest. BUT. During the year I saw a scholarship opportunity at my university to go to Chile for a “Spanish Intensive Course.” My heart leapt, I’m always down for improving my Spanish (I have a lot of pride in it and would LOVE to be fluent one day), and, hello, CHILE! I thought, I’ve never really been anywhere but Spain or the Canary Islands, and what an awesome opportunity. I told my dad and he said, go for it. No reason why not to apply. I applied, then went for an interview, obviously, I really wanted to go (even though I am a really shy person and am not super good at making friends- didn’t think about that before applying) but I didn’t really think I’d get chosen. Low and behold, they liked me enough to give me a place to go. To this day it was one of the best experiences of my life. AND, I made friends. Didn’t know a single person but I made friends. I’ll keep the memories I have of them close to me forever. So, 2016, by July I had already visited one new continent!
My nan and grandad travel to North America every year around Thanksgiving and have done for the past few years (though they have mixed it up a bit with going to Chicago, Boston and in 2017, San Francisco). When talking about it with them, I dropped it in the conversation that I’d like to see New York, didn’t totally expect them to invite me along but they did. So I went to New York with my grandparents (Yes, it was quite expensive). It was amazing. You see the buildings from films and TV shows in real life and it was beautiful. Plus, I had the best steak and pecan pie of my life. It was crazy how different those two places and those two experiences were, but I loved them both. By December 2016, I had managed to visit two new continents!
I was already amazed by the fact that for the first time ever, I said something to myself, a goal of sorts, and achieved it. For Christmas 2016, my boyfriend took me to Brussels, in Europe for three nights. I feel like I’m using the word ‘amazing’ a lot, but that was amazing. If you’ve never been, I’d totally recommend it. My goal of 2016 was achieved. I visited 3 new countries and two new continents. I wasn’t super fussy or specific about this goal, nor did I think it would happen, but somehow, it did.
At the start of 2017, I was scrolling through Instagram, found a yogi and was inspired. I said to my little sister who was 10 at the time and said, “by the end of this year, I’m gonna do that.” Okay so, I am no way close to the kind of practice that the yogi was at, but I have fallen in love with yoga. And that has brought its own victory. I’m definitely stronger and more flexible now than I was. I’m more determined, passionate and I find I look at things with a slightly different perspective. I also learned how to ride a bike in 2017, I visited Centre Parcs for the first time (awesome), Mallorca for the first time (beautiful) and also visited an English town called Rye for the first time (lovely).
2017 lit a fire in me.
Sometimes, your goals don’t have to be super specific, especially if, like me, you wanted to travel and pretty much anywhere would be new. Other times, if they’re not specific, we forget them or don’t stick to working for them.
Do I have goals for 2018? I think I will write specific measurable goals for this year, yeah. I’m the kind of person who likes to write lists. I like the satisfaction and sense of achievement of ticking things off. I think making goals more “measurable” and attainable by breaking them down into smaller chunks makes them seem less outrageous and scary. This may depend on the person. If you’ve got a massive amount of willpower and determination to just say, “this year I WILL run for 6 miles every day” and do it, well, pat yourself on the back because that’s pretty admirable. But for the kind of person who says “I want to get fitter” or “I will run _____ miles/ kilometres a day” but say, for example, you currently don’t exercise or maybe don’t run, break up the goal. Say, I want to be able to run 1 mile without stopping by this time in 4 weeks. Write that date down on your calendar. Put it on your phone. Work towards it. Every day or every other day, go out for a walk, try running for one minute, then walk, then run for another minute. Keep increasing that number until you smash your goal. Then make another, give it a deadline, and smash that.
It might be cliche to write goals for a new year, but, so what? If you want to do it, do it. There’s no shame in wanting to better yourself or lose a bad habit or two. Just don’t be so hard on yourself, life is also for living. Make your goals attainable and build up to the ultimate goal.
This year, I’m going to write some specific goals to work towards, and if you were on the fence about whether or not to write yours, I hope this has maybe helped you get to your answer.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”
If fitness is your goal, don’t push yourself too hard, too quickly. Listen to your body, it’s okay to take it slow. Just keep it consistent.
Happy New Year, here’s to 2018!
Thanks for reading,