New Year’s Resolutions – But First, Who Am I?

At the beginning of the year, the one thing on everyone’s mind is the topic of New Year’s Resolutions. We talk about getting fitter, improving our work/life balance, learning a new skill, etc. Almost serving as a metaphor for what happens to most of our resolutions, gyms are full at the start of the year, but they are quieter by March. Somewhere along the line, something isn’t working. Could it be ‘reality setting in’, or is there something we are missing?

I think we are.

We are skipping an important step in the goal-setting process by not asking ‘Who am I?’

So many of our goals are extrinsically placed on us. You might aim to stop smoking, but, chances are, it was your doctor, or your friends and family, who pushed you to stop. You might aim to get fitter, but again, is that something you chose to do for yourself, or did you give in to peer pressure? Was this actually something you wanted to do? Because come April, the people who are still at the gym are the same people who have always been going to the gym. They don’t go to the gym because they have to, they go to the gym because it is who they are, exercise is an intrinsic part of their lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at ‘Who am I?’ before actually setting any goals.

What is my dream?
A goal without a plan is just a dream, but at the same time a goal without a dream is a goal you will never reach. When you come to a fork in the road, you take the option that will get you where you want to go – but you first need to know where that is. We set our goals and plan them out for the next year, but where do you want to be ten years down the line? Start with your dream, it is the thing that drives you. What is it that you want for yourself?

What gives meaning to my life?
Setting money aside for a moment, what would you do purely because it gives your life meaning? For myself, I love helping others on a personal level, and my work as a coach means I get to do it for a living. Therefore, helping others gives meaning to my life on both a personal and professional level; what would that be for you?

What would future-me want?
It can be difficult to understand what we will want when we are older. Take a moment to imagine what an older you can be proud of, and what kind of life they would want to have lived, because this can help identify the things that you should be prioritising now. With life being what it is, you might not make it to old age, so live your life as best as you can.

From this exercise, we can evaluate who we are and what is intrinsically motivating to us, with all this in mind, take another look at your resolutions to see if they need changing – and with that done, set your plans in motion and make it happen.