New year, new resolutions, new goals, new chances to be a better person… all of the inspiration is lighting up social media at the minute. And why shouldn’t it? It’s good to see people making extra efforts to achieve the things they want to. There’s something about a new year that starts the hope in people again – even though really, January 1st is just another day, it can be a chance to remember that a better version of you has the potential to exist.
Maybe it’s more of a mental thing than anything else. Some people don’t buy into resolutions. There are a lot of good people out there, and if you’ve spent the whole of 2015 – or even your whole lifetime – chasing your dreams or living your values, a new year might not seem like a big deal. Trying to be the best person you can be doesn’t require January 1st for everyone. But that doesn’t make the “new year, new me” promises invalid. It may well be irritating, but anyone who recognises and is willing to address the changes needed in their life should be commended.
But it isn’t about how you feel at the start of the year.
That inspiration doesn’t come on tap… trust me. There will be times when the light isn’t there. There will be times when distractions intervene and there will be times when you wonder whether you’ve been going backwards instead of forwards the whole time. Times when you’re stuck in a routine that is showing you no sign of progress and the people who supported you through the good are nowhere to be found. (Side note, that’s exactly when you’ll figure out who the genuine ones are). But when the version of you who made those promises at the start of the year gets slapped in the face, or stabbed in the back, by something that you think is reality… it’s about how you feel then. Whether you’re willing to keep those January 1st promises then.
The motivation and inspiration will not always be there. Your trust in yourself will not always be there. Life can get in the way of the promises you make quicker than you have time to realize. But the whole point is that it isn’t supposed to be easy; it isn’t supposed to be comfortable. Comfortable is going to the gym because you have new nike trainers and nothing better to do. Comfortable is going to the range because the weather is good and you know you’re hitting it well. Comfortable is complimenting a stranger because you’re having a good day. But comfortable isn’t always there, and it’s about the things you’re willing to do when uncomfortable hits. Will you still remember your promises to yourself then?
So whatever it was that made you dream those dreams, whatever it was that made you believe you were capable of becoming what you were meant to become, don’t forget it. Bottle it. Screenshot it. Write it down and figure out a way to make it happen. Do whatever you have to do to make sure you can find those feelings again, because there will be times when the only one who can bring them back is you.
Having a goal is the first step. But it’s not the only step.