If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I didn’t set New Year’s resolutions this year. I read an article in Forbes that said only 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. Only 8%! With that number, it almost feels like making resolutions is setting yourself up for failure.
One problem I’ve had since I was a little girl has been setting unobtainable goals. In college, I decided I wanted to be an editor-in-chief of a leading magazine by the age of 30. Sure, Elaine Weltoroth was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue in 2016 at the age of 29. But the average age of Conde Nast editor is nearly 50.
I’m happy I didn’t reach my magazine goal. I love what I do… although I do want more. I always want more, which is a strength as well as a personal weakness. But perhaps I’ll address that topic at a later date. What I wanted to talk about today is New Year’s resolutions and why January 31st is my new January 1st.
I feel like it’s unreasonable to hit the ground running with resolutions on January 1. The holiday season is a whirlwind. This year especially, I feel like it came out of nowhere. I didn’t even have time to do my annual holiday cards (sorry friends and family!). After the holidays, it’s all about New Year’s. I made my plans super last minute this year and celebrated with girlfriends in Hawaii. I didn’t even come back until January 3rd. So how on earth was I supposed to set resolutions and begin them when I wasn’t even home?!
Then there is post holiday/ New Year’s recovery mode. For some, this is a massive hangover. For others, it’s feeling bloated from too many sweets. For me, it was a nasty cold. The minute I returned, I went straight to bed… and stayed there for five days. Thank goodness I didn’t set my annual resolution of working out three times a week because it would have been an instant failure.
Being stuck at home in solitude got me thinking about resolutions in general… and why January 1st is the day you’re supposed to make them. I scrolled through Instagram, seeing post after post of people talking about how 2019 is going to be major and all the goals they had for the year. I felt my self-esteem slipping away. I could barely stay awake. How was I going to start paving the framework for the best year yet?
be kind to yourself
Instead of falling into a dark hole by watching everyone else’s highlights reels, I decided to practice something I started working on in 2018: self love and being kind to myself.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
I took the time at home for self reflection. I thought about what I want for myself in the upcoming year, both professionally and personally. I thought about the person I want to be. I thought about what makes me happy. I thought, and thought and thought. And guess, what? I’m still thinking.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung
I don’t think January 1st has the be the date you decide everything you want for the year. I know I was too exhausted from the holidays and travel to be able to make a conscientious decision. Instead, I’ve been using the beginning of the year to think about what I want for rest of the year. And after careful thought, I’ll make my intentions, not my resolutions.
Trading resolutions for setting intentions
I encourage you to join me on thinking about what you want your intentions to be for 2019. It’s ok that we’re half way through January. I know I want to be in the right mindset when I put my intentions on paper. And for me, that’s not January 1st… it’s January 31st.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll sharing some of the exercises I’m doing to really nail down my intentions for the year. And I’d love to hear if you have any advice as well. We’re all in this journey together!