January can be a tricky month to navigate. We’ve just come out of Christmas with all the glitz it has to offer … indulgent food and drink, parties, seeing loved ones, long overdue catchups with friends and then, suddenly, it’s over. January hits and we’re very much plunged back into reality. Back to work, back to school … the decorations are down and there’s a distinct sense that all the fun is over and there’s not much to look forward to.
Who could blame us for feeling a little gloomy? And yet, for some reason, traditional tells us that this is the perfect time of year to set goals! January 1st is the one day of the year the whole world literally decides to overhaul their lives and do something new. I mean, really?
January can be tough
For many of us (and hands up if this is you), January is probably our least favourite month of the year. It’s dark, it’s dismal and it’s generally the month we hit the gym, start a diet and decide to give up alcohol. You might have already embarked upon ‘Dry January’ and ‘Blue Monday’ (allegedly the most depressing day of the year) hits on the third Monday in January (this year it was the 16th). I think we’d all agree that January is challenging. With that in mind, it’s probably the worst month of the year to try and set goals and it’s no wonder that before the month is out, many of us have already given up on those New Year’s resolutions.
Let’s look at the stats
Statistically speaking, only 28% of Britons kept all the resolutions they made for 2022, according to YouGov, and ‘Quitter’s Day’ (the day by which most of us have already given up on our resolutions) happened on Friday 13thJanuary. According to YouGov, more than half of people (53%) who make New Year’s resolutions aim to improve their fitness or do more exercise (sound familiar?).
One in five people in Great Britain said they are making resolutions for 2023 according to YouGov research, which is up from one in seven last year, so it’s pretty clear that the tradition is going nowhere. If anything, it’s gaining in popularity. But if you’re reading this having already ditched your resolutions for 2023, you won’t be the only one and I’m here to tell you how you can reframe your thinking and still do amazing things this year!
Why New Year’s resolutions don’t work
Setting goals in January comes with a huge amount of pressure. There’s lots of conversation around the goals you’re setting and people asking what your resolutions are. Often our resolutions are things we think we ‘should’ do, rather than things we ‘want’ to do. And that can make a huge difference to how motivated we are to achieve those goals. Do you find that you end up setting the same resolutions every year? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us go for the same popular choices … dieting, getting fitter, giving something up (cigarettes, alcohol, sugar … you name it). The goals are often vague and non-specific. Lose weight. How much? By when? You get my point.
Setting goals in this way can mean we’re setting ourselves up to fail. And then, when we inevitably do, we feel bad about ourselves and this leads to negative self-talk, ‘It’s only mid-January and I’m already failing, I’m already behind.’ What impact does that have on us for the rest of the year? You might feel like you shouldn’t bother goal setting for the 11 months ahead, which just isn’t true at all. That really isn’t the mindset we want to be taking into 2023.
Reframe your thinking
But what if you thought about things differently? Focused on the whole year, not just the month? If you took some time to think about what you really want this year for your life and your business? Wouldn’t that help take the pressure off? Reframe, take a breath, give yourself some space to think of sustainable, long-term goals that you really want to achieve. Wouldn’t that be better?
If you’ve already ditched your resolutions for 2023, I’m here to tell you that you haven’t failed, you haven’t messed up and you most definitely are not alone. Give yourself some breathing space to refocus, regroup and think about what it is you actually want to achieve in 2023. Contemplate but don’t procrastinate. Ignore the hype on socials from posts like, ‘new year, new me’ or ‘2023 is going to be my best year ever.’ Truth bomb alert … 2023 might not be your best year ever and that’s okay.
What’s great about January?
While we’re on the topic of reframing, why not flip your thinking and look at things in a different way? Christmas can be a crazy time of year with lots of pressure and stressors and you’ve got through it and come out the other side! We’ve passed the shortest day of the year and the evenings are getting gradually lighter. We’re on the road to spring … it’s only six weeks until March!!!
What are you looking forward to this year? Perhaps you could start making holiday plans or thinking about what you’re going to plant in the garden ready for spring. Are there any day trips or special events you’ve got coming up? Focus on all the good things you have to look forward to now it’s 2023.
Tip: Write a letter to yourself
One activity I always love doing at this time of year is to write a letter to myself as if it’s the end of the year. What am I excited about? What am I hoping I’ll have achieved this year? Seal it and save it to read on December 31st. I bet you’ll be amazed at what you do tick off your goals list and I’m sure there will be some things that you never even imagined achieving too! If things don’t quite work out as you’ve predicted (we all know that life loves to throw us curve balls) that’s fine too. Your priorities may have totally shifted, you might be aiming for a new goal or want to roll some of your plans over to the following year. Give it a try and let me know how you get on!
If you’d like some help goal setting for 2023, I’d love to hear from you!
Grab yourself a free, no-obligation discovery call by jumping over to book in my diary here. I’d love to hear from you and help support you on your journey this year