Knowing Yourself in the New Year

I know it feels like everyone is talking about New Years Resolutions this month so you’re probably wondering what I have to offer that hasn’t already been offered up on other corners of the internet. You might even be wondering what I have to say that I haven’t said in the past and that’s a fair question. I’d argue that a constant reframing of setting goals that makes us more successful every year. It’s this learning process that brings me back, year after year, to talk about setting successful goals.

The “fresh-start effect” is something that is talked about all over the place and while the more jaded amongst us may roll our eyes at the term, there is some very real science behind it that makes the start of the year an ideal time to set goals that help us be successful over the long term. What I believe is the most important for long-term sustainability is to stop trying to “keep up with the Jones’”.

Using myself as an example, mental health has been something I’ve struggled with a pretty significant amount over the last couple of years. Pregnancy-induced insomnia, followed by the birth of my son, and then continuing on to what is now stretching into 16 months without a full night of sleep is certainly taking its’ toll. With the support of my spouse, working to set up a solid sleep routine for me and my children is one of my top goals for the year. I have some big plans, but none of them are going to happen if the sleep status-quo continues. Depending on where you’re at, setting a goal of getting decent sleep might seem like a small thing (if it does, I am envious!) or a complete impossibility (if that’s where you are, I understand).

As always, a healthy level of introspection is what you need to set goals. What you need may not be what someone else needs, and that’s okay. As you set your goals for this year, think about what you need. Is it just a decent night of sleep? Maybe you’re dissatisfied with work and you need to make a pivot. Do you want to improve communication in your relationships? Whatever it is, taking a little time to self-evaluate is critical.

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