Life Design,  Personal Development

Is There Any Point in Setting New Year’s Resolutions?

This isn’t really a structured ‘blog post’ as such – but a lovely reader told me I ought to write more ‘brain dump’ style articles following my ‘I quit my job’ post last year, so what can I do but oblige? 🙂


Also, I wrote a post about how to rock your new year but it was more about how to set yourself up for success by starting early… It was written in the autumn and intended to be read then, but in my excitement and exuberance, it didn’t occur to me that people would be much more likely to be looking for and reading posts like that in the run-up to the new year. *facepalm*


Understandably, although a good many people saw it, they promptly left after reading the first paragraph, as it is utterly unhelpful as a new years guide if you are y’know, reading it in the new year.


You live and learn. I hope these musings in part will help alleviate that mistake by providing a better basis for New Year exploration, resolutions, goal setting and gumption.


Pinterest graphic

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New Year’s Resolutions

It’s funny this ‘resolution’ thing, isn’t it? It’s well documented that despite our best intentions, those of us who set goals for the year will undoubtedly fail.


How many of you got to the end of last year having succeeded in all the things you said you’d achieve in January? I’m guessing not so many. So what’s the point? Why do we insist on setting ourselves up to fail?


image of the author looking out of a porthole window to sea, looking contemplative


It has to be said, there is something about New Years’. Something so deliciously fresh and inspiring, that you can’t help but get swept up in the optimism of it all. You make your plans, you set your goals, you write your resolutions on the first crisp, clean page of your new bullet journal…


You have hope.


And personally, I think that is rather beautiful.


One year ago…

I wrote to my email subscribers at about this time last year regarding the subject of New Year’s resolutions. The Life Spotters was in its infancy then and it was actually the first email I had ever sent to my little list. As such it reached a grand total of 7 people, most of whom were friends or family 🙂


In reading it over today it made me smile, so I shall include an excerpt of those thoughts here, because I still believe them to be valid.


Email Excerpt:

“I love new years! I get super excited planning and making lists of aaaaall the wonderful things I’m going to do and be… but I do need to stop and be honest with myself (and you guys) here and admit that part of the reason I love this bit is that I’m GREAT with the planning – but not so hot on the actual carrying out of said goals.


I know I am by no means alone here. Does anybody ever actually get to the end of a year having done everything they set out to at the beginning? Doubtful… and THAT IS OK!


I feel like this could be controversial, and almost like giving you the go-ahead to accept that you’ve failed before you’ve begun… but I do think that the making of goals and resolutions is a good act in and of itself, regardless of whether or not you achieve them.


Setting goals and making plans reminds us of what is important to us. When you set an intention for yourself, you are taking the time to check in with yourself and ask whether or not you are living in accordance with your ‘true’ version of self. It’s these reminders which drive us forward to achieve our dreams but not necessarily in the way we expect.


We so often put too much pressure on ourselves, seeing every challenge as an ‘all or nothing’ affair, and yes, we see not meeting our goals as failure. But I want you to do something for me this year – I want you to accept that you are human.


What is key about humanity is that we are ever-evolving. Quite simply, we change! We are changeable and variable and flawed and glorious. And we are not failures for not meeting our goals or changing our minds!


You will have good days and bad days. There will be days when you are rocking all your plans and big life goals, and others when you are absolutely, unequivocally not.


Fun fact: You may not achieve all your goals for 2019!


But set them anyway! Put them out there and remind yourself of what it is you want. You will find your right path, and all the quicker if you consistently and gently remind yourself along the way of what is important to you.


So set big, beautiful, practically-impossible-to-achieve goals for yourself this year! I sincerely hope you will be exactly where you wish to be by the end of 2019, but if not, that’s OK, and y’know what? Maybe you’ll find yourself somewhere even better!”


(Like that? Well drop your deets below friend!)


Related reading: Stop Setting Beige Goals!

One year later

What made me smile about this is that I absolutely did NOT achieve all my goals for last year… but I was so right! I did find myself somewhere even better!


In fact, that is one of the reasons I am speed writing a brain dump post, rather than painstakingly researching something meatier… Because in little over a week we are off  in our campervan to explore the south of Spain for 2 months (and I’m woefully unprepared! Pack. All. The. Things!)


If you’d told me this time last year how my life would look 1 year into the future, I wouldn’t have dared to dream it could be possible. Well, actually, I suppose that isn’t entirely true… because it was an idea we’d bounced around at the time, but in a much more “wouldn’t it be amazing if…” kind of way. It was hard to believe at that point that it could actually happen for real!


But happen it did. In the space of a year, I turned my life around; We began home educating our children, I left my job, started an online business and most importantly, I really began to grasp the possibility of it all.


I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that a new year’s resolutions are a kind of hope.



(ps. It’s JRR Tolkien day today…just sayin’)


It’s a seedling, a starting point. You may not ace it, you may not end up where you intended to be, but if you can dream, you can do.


Anything is possible.


And isn’t that a better attitude to launch into the new year with than one of doom and pessimism?


So ask yourself this: What will your life look like this time next year if you dare to dream?


street art Banksy style painting with the words' dare to dream'
Street art at Ness beach, Devon, UK


If you’ve made it this far, I thank you! You might also enjoy reading the following articles:


Building Tiny Habits

Stop Setting Beige Goals!

How to write a personal mission statement and find your inner awesome!

Change your Life Challenge!

Intentional Living – Live a Life that’s True to You!

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