Embracing Un-Resolutions: A Refreshing Approach to the New Year

Towards the end of 2023 I challenged myself to rethink my goal-setting for 2024. I’ve never been a huge fan of new year’s resolutions, I think Tim Duggan put it succinctly in his December e-newsletter:

“I normally think the idea that you’re going to wake up one random Monday morning and completely change how you think and behave is a complete load of rubbish. However, I will still gladly reach out and grab hold of any motivation when it comes along at the right time.” Particularly pertinent this year with 1 January being a Monday!

So this year is about the journey, both personal and professional, the step-by-step successes, and challenges that provide opportunities for growth more than the destination. Love to hear your thoughts on this blog.

We’re already a month and a half into 2024. How many of us started the new year reflecting on the past and contemplating resolutions for the future? How many of us have already thrown in the towel on “getting fitter” or “losing weight” or “starting studying”? Or maybe you had set some resolutions about your career but your plans and reality are not in harmony.  I want to talk to you about the concept of “un-resolutions.” Instead of sticking to the conventional approach of setting specific goals, un-resolutions encourage us to focus on self-discovery, personal growth, and the joy of the journey rather than the destination.

Concept 1 – Embracing the Journey

Traditional resolutions often centre around tangible outcomes, such as losing weight, saving money, or learning a new skill. While these goals can be motivating, they also carry the risk of becoming sources of stress and disappointment if not achieved. Un-resolutions, on the other hand, invite us to embrace the journey without fixating on specific endpoints. This approach encourages a mindset shift from accomplishment-oriented to experience-oriented, allowing for a more fluid and adaptive approach to personal development.

Concept 2 – Cultivating Self-Discovery

Un-resolutions encourage us to prioritise self-discovery and explore our passions and interests without the constraints of predefined goals. This might be trying new hobbies, taking up spontaneous challenges, or simply allowing ourselves the freedom to evolve naturally. By focusing on the process rather than the outcome, un-resolutions pave the way for a deeper understanding of our desires, values, and personal identity.

Concept 3 – Breaking Free from Perfectionism

To quote the amazing Dr Bex Bell – “This human gig can be challenging. Even more so if your Inner Critic’s pressuring you to be perfect.” And she is right!  This is where ‘traditional resolutions’ cause us problems, they, by design, create a pressure to achieve perfection. The fear of failure can be paralysing, hindering personal growth and stifling creativity. Un-resolutions liberate us from the shackles of perfectionism by emphasizing the value of progress, learning, and resilience. Instead of striving for an idealized endpoint, individuals are encouraged to embrace imperfections as part of the beautiful and unpredictable journey of self-improvement.

Concept 4 – Celebrating Small Wins

Un-resolutions celebrate the small victories along the way rather than being about the end result. Whether it’s overcoming a fear, developing a new skill, or fostering a positive habit, the emphasis is on acknowledging and appreciating the incremental progress made. This approach not only boosts motivation but also cultivates a sense of gratitude for the present moment and the ongoing journey.

As we navigate the challenges and opportunities that each new year brings, the concept of un-resolutions offers a breath of fresh air. By shifting the focus from rigid goals to flexible and experiential growth, individuals can embark on a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and celebration. In embracing un-resolutions, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities, allowing personal development to unfold organically and authentically. I’m certainly not advocating for ignoring goal-setting as a concept, in fact as many of you will know I am a fan of goal-setting, but what I am hoping to explore personally this year is this journey I am on for 2024, and each milestone of this project called my life is going to be recognised and celebrated.

So, let’s make this year a celebration of the journey, a tribute to the beauty of the present, and an exploration of the limitless potential within ourselves.

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