Changing Every Moment of a New Year

With the start of a new year, people often feel pressured to go about their lives in a different way than they normally have. This is why resolutions are often made in preparation for the first day of a new year. There is a strong desire to change what hasn’t been working and improve your life in either a minimal or extensive way. This can involve the addition of a drastic new routine or even a modification of old routines. Whether these changes are big or small, there is a commonality amongst all New Year’s resolutions: everyone wants to better their lives in one way or another.

There’s a human tendency to strive towards growth. Even though we experience many fluctuating states in our lives, arguably one of the most fulfilling feelings is that of growth and development. Imagine that unstoppable feeling you had when you learned a new skill for the first time, whether it was a stepping stone for higher skills or just a interesting ability to have acquired. Feelings of stagnation can seem dull, boring and lifeless in comparison.

 

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Even though routines are useful for encouraging our commitment to completing priorities, maintaining consistent schedules and assisting the development of a sense of stability, it’s possible to modify even the strictest scheduled life. Growth generally involves some kind of consistent reflection and effective modification of actions and thought patterns that have, over time, become routine.

 

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But there can be an uncomfortable feeling accompanying actions or thoughts that typically leads to an evolution of our character. In order to grow and develop, we are typically required to become involved in ways of thinking and acting that are likely outside the normality of our lives. Growth and development can require opening the mind to undiscovered possibilities and acting in unfamiliar ways; it almost seems that this process of evolving requires us to feel uncomfortable.

It’s possible to strive for growth despite the discomfort that may arise. When we take a moment to reflect on the benefits of growth, we may see that a mild feeling of discomfort in one instance is worth enduring so that we may experience the long-term positive aspects of adaptation and change.

During transitional stages of life, such as progressing from one year to another, reflection can facilitate our growth. Having the ability to reflect allows us to look back on previous actions or thoughts, drawing meaning and conclusions from how we’ve typically acted or what we’ve previously believed. As a significant life skill, reflection can be used to reassess past situations or evaluate possible directions for making future decisions.

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Upon reflection of our past, present or future decisions, we are able to experience a sense of autonomy as we exert control over the direction our lives take from this point on. Reflection therefore significantly contributes to our sense of freedom. Reflecting encourages us to feel that we have the power to grow in other directions and change our lives if they become unsatisfactory.

Photo by Joshua Earle

 

Although we can and often do use the excuse of starting a new year to kickstart a change in our lives, it’s not the only time that we can reflect, grow and alter our ways. We are capable of changing any time we wish, and we do not need to use one specific day of the year to make resolutions.

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New Year’s resolutions aren’t required to change how we interact with our environment, but designating a time to make alterations of habitual thoughts and actions can be beneficial. This is because individuals are collectively setting goals and receiving support from their social groups throughout their own process of change. By setting goals with others, resolutions do provide opportunities for us to connect so that we may feel more comfortable through a process of change.

Photo by Sydney Rae

 

Here are some suggestions for setting resolutions at any time of the year:

 

Replacements

If you are trying to eliminate something negative from your life, it’s important to replace it with something positive.

 

Consider your values

Reflect to make sure that your actions are in alignment with your values. This will also increase personal feelings of control over life.

 

Take a moment to reflect

Reflect often! Reflection can take many forms, such as writing in a journal, talking to someone you care about or a therapist, and even vlogging.

 

Whether it is grand or minimal, change can be hard to implement into our lives. Remember, we always have the choice to make a change to our lives anytime of the year.