New Year, Same You – Because You’re Already Fabulous

New Year's resolutions often come bundled with a heavy dose of self-criticism, focusing on perceived flaws and things we want to change about ourselves. The typical approach tends to center on outcomes rather than the joy of the process.

If you're yearning for a refreshing perspective during this season of hope and new beginnings, consider this: Lean into your passions as the root of your resolution. Instead of dwelling on self-criticism and negativity, explore the realms of what you love and turn up the volume on your strengths. In this blog post, we'll delve into the transformative power of reframing resolutions and embracing a positive shift that fosters hope and optimism. You'll also find helpful resources to learn the difference between resolutions, and goals, and how they can actually work best together. 

You might be wondering what "leaning into your passions" means, or what a resolution entails if it's not fixated on a flaw. To guide you in understanding this distinction and reshaping your approach, the following examples will illustrate the art of transforming resolutions grounded in automatic negative thoughts to resolutions built upon your inherent strengths. 

  1. The Subtraction Resolution: "I MUST to cut out sugar completely for 2024!"                   
    • The Reframe: Love eating healthy? Shift the focus from self-shaming resolutions to exploring healthy recipes you know you’ll love. You can replace the thought, "I need to eat healthier," with "I want to ADD more vegetables into my meal-planning" or, "I'm a health-conscious person, so I want explore new nutritious options this year." Consider browsing your favorite cooking magazines on MPL's Press Reader, to make the journey enjoyable and educational.                   
  2. The "Fill a Hole" Resolution: "I NEED to make more friends this year."                   
    • The Reframe: If staying socially active aligns with your well-being goals, skip the  resolution focused on what you "should" be doing. It might just lead to a cascade of negative self-talk (e.g., I have no friends, people don't like me, I have difficulty meeting people, everyone already has their set friend group). Instead, you could focus on finding and joining in on activities in the community that YOU enjoy. This will set you up to meet new people with the same interests in those settings, and affirm what you already have going for you rather than what you feel you're lacking in life. No matter your interest, you can always check out MPL’s events calendar for tons of free community programs that bring likeminded people together every day.                   
  3. The "No Wiggle-Room" Resolution: "I'm going to run every day and run a marathon!"                   
    • The Reframe: Love running? We all love a good accomplishment, but a statement asking for strict adherence to a new habit such as this, puts a lot of pressure on ourselves to reach a perceived “perfection” which contributes to all-or-nothing thinking patterns. Someone with this resolution may be thinking, “If I miss a day of running, I’m a failure” or, “If I’m not running every day, I’m totally out of shape and not good enough.” What if you could pause and replace this thinking trap with, “I prioritize my health and moving my body through running, so I’m going to fall in love with running in new ways.”           

Tips for a Positive Shift: Unlearning old habits of setting self-critical resolutions takes practice, but pausing to take a quick analysis of the reasoning around your resolution can help you identify whether adjustments would be helpful.

Once you have thought of your resolutions, you can also create SMART goals to help you stick to them. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. To learn more about SMART goals, check out a worksheet such as this to guide you: Smart Goals Worksheet

Your first step could even be to create a list of everything you love to do, what makes you happy, and what you want to add to your life, and then think of corresponding actions to take:

  • If you love getting out in nature, try exploring new hiking trails in Markham using the MPL Trail Project as your guide.
  • For the love of reading: Join an MPL book club or simply browse the shelves at your local branch and discover new topics of interest.
  • For fitness gurus: What's an area of exercise you're enthusiastic about? What can enhance your training even further this year? For example if yoga is your thing, you could do a deep dive into the benefits or history of yoga

Remember, life is about the journey, so no matter how small the shifts or nudges you make along the way, if they’re rooted in positive thinking and helping you live out your values and passions, you’re always making progress.

No matter what your resolutions, goals, or intentions are this year, they don't have to change anything about YOU, because you're already fabulous.

To Learn More:

Is your resolution to read more in 2024? Wanting to catch up on popular books from the past year? If the answer is yes, check out our list below. Enjoy!

Best Fiction E-books : Goodreads Choice Awards Best of 2023

List created by racing14

It's down to the top 10. Every year readers vote for the best books of the year. This year marks the 15th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards. This is the only major book awards decided by readers.

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