With so much excess pressure around the holidays, the last thing you need to stress about is how you're going to dramatically change your life simply due to the fact that a new year is starting. Look, there's nothing wrong with the concept of setting some intentions or goals, but oftentimes people look to this time of year as one when you're expected to dramatically change your habits and/or adopt new ones. Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment — with goals that may not even be possible to achieve — why not aim for some realistic New Year's resolutions that will have you heading into 2020 feeing positive and hopeful?
When it comes to resolutions, you might find yourself trying to tackle the same ones year after year, like eating better or heading to the gym more often. And while there's nothing necessarily wrong with trying to live a more healthy life, sometimes these goals can be tough to keep up with — plus all the emphasis is on your physical body. And then there are the resolutions you purposely make more attainable, like drinking more water or making your bed. Again, not a terrible idea (especially the latter, as many highly successful women claim this can be a game-changer), but what if you dug a little deeper, still focusing on something that's actually sustainable for your lifestyle?
Just in time for the new year, a few professional life coaches have weighed in on some positive and practical resolutions that you can actually keep year-long (for once) and even beyond. Looking for some advice before setting your own intentions for 2020? Read ahead and see which ones most speak to your needs and desires — no water required.
Ditch The Concept Of Perfection
"People will wait and wait until the moment is 'perfect' to finally take action, but really, there’s no such thing," explains self-proclaimed freedom coach, Tracy Treks. "If you adopt the paradigm of progress over perfection, it gives you the space to make mistakes and fail. Failure, which I rather replace with the word 'feedback,' gives you insight on what doesn’t work so you can figure out what needs to shift for you to do and be better."
Learn Something New Every Day
Author and life coach Danielle Bayard Jackson suggests setting a goal of learning something new every day, even if that's as simple as adding a new word to your vocabulary. "Downloading apps like Blinkist (which summarizes popular business and self-help books) or listening to a 20-minute podcast episode that recaps current events can keep your mind fresh," she explains. "And if you incorporate it into a long commute, it becomes a goal that's even easier to do."
Limit Your Social Media Intake
Find yourself too tied to your digital devices, poring over how many likes and responses you get for your posts and Tweets? Treks recommends scaling back on your screen time — particularly social media, and she's got some advice for doing just that. "There’s [the SelfControl app] that allows you to track and do this," she explains. "Put your phone down and stop mindlessly scrolling through social media. Stop playing that comparison game of what your life should look like. It’s not real, it’s just the highlight reel of people’s lives. That comparison game just leaves you feeling icky, sad, and not good enough. Know that the only thing that’s real is what’s in front of you so that’s where you should be spending most of your time."
And Kaitlyn Herman, life coach and co-host of Quarter Life Crisis, suggests implementing what she calls the 30-Minute-Rule. "[This rule] enforces that within the first 30 minutes you wake up, and the last 30 minutes before you fall asleep, you dedicate your time to self-reflection. Put your phone down and sit with a book, stretch, meditate, etc."
Say 'No' More Often
There are certainly plenty of times when it benefits you to saying yes to new and exciting (and even potentially scary) opportunities. But according to Treks, the same can be said for saying no, and therefore setting important boundaries. "The reason why people oftentimes break their New Year's resolution is that they say yes to things that aren’t truly aligned with what they say they want," she says. "In my opinion, saying ‘no’ to things and events that aren’t aligned with what you really want will be the determining factor whether you achieve your New Years resolutions or it just becomes another one of your Old Year’s Regrets."
Make Self-Love A Priority
Herman adds that while it can sometimes feel impossible to carve out some quality "you time," it's actually so crucial. And not only that — it doesn't have to be as complicated or time consuming as it seems. "Everyone has time for a little self-love," she argues. "Buy yourself flowers, create a DIY face mask, take a relaxing bath, or just chill out and watch a movie. Make 2020 the year for you."
Another way to do this is by practicing some positive affirmations, such as "I am worthy." "Remind yourself daily just how amazing you are," says Herman. "Even on the days you might not believe it. Creating daily affirmations will help in raising your confidence and overall mood.”