It’s easy to be a Scrooge of New Year’s resolutions. Why? Well, most people seem to give up on them after the first month or so. Or New Year’s goals are so extravagant they seem hardly possible to accomplish within a year.
However, I don’t think those are good enough reasons to write off the setting of annual goals. If anything, I think more people should set more goals, more frequently.
As Lainey Lui from the CTV talk show The Social recently put it – “If you’re in the last week of December setting your resolution for what you are going to do in January, it’s not very organized... you are already behind the eight-ball.”
Lui’s argument is that change, and big dreams require planning and dedication. I couldn’t agree more.
And while I myself don’t typically compile a specific list of things I want to accomplish in the new year, there are many plans and long-term goals I revisit regularly throughout the year or multiple years.
So, for those New Year’s Scrooges out there, I have a solution that may suit you better. Why not become a seasonal goal-setter.
Looking at Mother Nature’s own cycles, I would argue that there is a strong benefit to reorienting yourself and your dreams for the future around the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes as well as the Summer and Winter Solstices.
Throughout the year, things like mood and willpower can change significantly. Having more opportunities to reflect on and bring yourself back on track can help improve success of both short and long-term goals.
But there is more to a successful New Year’s or Solstice resolution. No matter what type of goal you challenge yourself with, whether dropping a few pounds, kicking a bad habit or going back to school, you need to have a plan of action.
Things rarely come together without at least some effort. For example, this winter I plan to purchase my first house. This wasn’t something that could have been done on a whim (at least not for the majority of the population). The last four years have been focused on money management, credit building, and lots and lots of penny pinching.
Other goals have been to improve my diet through cooking at home, sleeping more and increasing my physical activity. While I have jumped on the first goal following the end of holiday feasts, I plan to wait until at least the Spring Equinox to dive into the latter.
I feel warmer weather will make getting active a tad bit more enticing. That is not to say one goal is more important than the other but sometimes things need to be prioritized to prevent getting overwhelmed.
And don’t forget – there is a season for everything. Spring is a time to reopen our homes to the outside world and bring fresh air back in. To clean out what was accumulated over the winter months.
Summer is far too short and that is why the days are longer – allowing us to be out late and rise early.
Autumn typically gives us enough time to prepare for the dark days ahead, gather what we need, and transition to life indoors – for the most part.
And of course, there is winter with its longest nights. Hopefully it gives us a chance to slow down, to stay close to the ones we love, and to have the time to dream about the future.
Everything has its season, so why not prepare and plan our goals to match it?