Starting Something New in the New Year
As each New Year begins, many people choose to make a resolution in which they seek to change something about their lives or accomplish a personal goal. However, 9 out of 10 Americans who make New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful in keeping them, citing unrealistic goals, failure to track progress, and too many resolutions as reasons for their failure. Rather than trying to inspire and motivate you to be the 1 out of 10 that does keep and achieve their resolution, I have a different challenge: Start Something New this New Year.
Change is often difficult for people who are so driven by their daily routines, which makes us feel comfortable and in control. However, trying just one new thing can give your brain a rush of dopamine, the hormone that is responsible for feeling pleasure and satisfaction. When deciding what your “something new” this year, think about your “why?”. Your why could be that you are looking for more joy, more community, or more tranquility in your life. This reason is what will drive your actions in accomplishing this “something new”.
Maybe the biggest difference between setting a New Year’s resolution and trying something new is that you do not have to be worried about failure. It’s helpful to adopt a growth mindset – think, “I will get better!” as opposed to a fixed mindset – “I am not cut out for this”. This is the beauty of simply trying something new; nobody cares if you mess up. It also can be helpful to have a mentor or a community that is working with you. Not only does having support help to keep you accountable, you’ll also learn from others who are doing the same thing as you.
Maybe your “why” is health-related; some ideas include trying one new at-home meal each week or joining a group fitness class. If your “why” is to feel more rested or relaxed, some ideas include meditation, yoga or finding a new book. Maybe you seek to find community; if you’re an avid reader, join a book club, if you love to play soccer, find a recreational league, if you want to feel connected to your neighborhood, volunteer with a local charity.
So instead of making a New Year’s Resolution this year, ask yourself “what is my why?” and pick your “something new” that challenges you to grow in 2023.