Embracing the New Year: Reflections, Resolutions, and Gentle Growth

New Year’s Resolutions – they’ve got a bit of a mixed reputation, haven’t they?

You’ve probably heard people dismiss them, claiming they never work. The other day I asked my 12-year-old daughter what New Year’s resolutions she has and she told me none because they don’t work! So not sure where this belief comes from at such a young age. And my response was simple, “Well, it’s up to you, really!” I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions as such (and that’s probably why I indirectly passed this message to my daughter) but I’ll explain more about what I believe in.

So, let’s break free from that narrative because, truthfully, you’re not everyone else and your journey is unique. What works for others may not be your path. Sometimes, letting go of a resolution isn’t a failure—it’s a conscious choice to align your goals with your heart. And that’s a win!

flat lay image of a blank notebook to write 2024 goals

Why do New Year’s Resolutions “fail”?

We all have different definitions of happiness and success. Therefore, we all have different goals and resolutions.

The first thing is to choose a resolution that aligns with your values and beliefs. If your resolution doesn’t resonate with you and you choose it because someone else is doing it, you set yourself up for failure right from the start. So, reset your goals so they can actually be achieved.

Secondly, be kind to yourself and start small. What’s the point of a big resolution if you can’t finish it? A new year is a blank canvas to start fresh, new, but this doesn’t mean big! Start with something small, or if you really want to go big, break it down into smaller steps and tackle one at a time. Completing smaller things will give you the motivation to keep going.

Thirdly, let’s redefine resolutions. They don’t always have to be quantifiable. Consider resolutions that nurture your well-being:

  1. Make More Time for Self-Care
  2. Be More Compassionate with Yourself
  3. Make Space for Fun and Play
  4. Spend More Time with Loved Ones

As you step into the new year, no grand proclamations are needed. Simply stating your intention to prioritize self-care or engage in creative activities can be powerful enough.

Sound simple, right?

Here are some reflection questions that I found useful to reflect on my introspective journey.

  • What were my most memorable moments and unique experiences in the past year?
  • How did challenges, both personal and professional, shape my growth?
  • What have I learned about myself, my work, and my needs for peak performance?
  • What accomplishments make me proudest?
  • What new skills did I hone?

Reflect on the past year and set intentions for the one ahead. Remember, resolutions can evolve—what matters is that they feel true to you.

My New Year’s “Resolution”

So taking into consideration all the above, I don’t set silly resolutions. I just stay simple and make sure I can keep up with what I set.

Drink more water: I think that’s quite easy but it will definitely impact my general health. Water increases energy and relieves fatigue, promotes weight loss, flushes out toxins, and maintains regularity. To do that and stay on track, I simply set hourly alarms on my phone.

Be more active: this is probably on the list of many people, right? I used to exercise every day and it became a habit. Unfortunately, I had issues with my back, and I was stuck in any kind of movement, so I slowly lost that habit. Doing exercises is very important, especially for my back, so I have to go back to a routine. I purchased Joe Wicks’ app a few days ago and together with my standard physio exercises I’m slowly doing 10 minutes a day. So again not overwhelming myself.

Read more. This is also on the list of many people I think. It’s all about finding the time. So again reading 10 minutes a day I think it’s a good start to creating a good habit. Also because with good books it’s always more than 10 minutes, right?

Spend more family time: there are no real expectations on this one really because there are so many factors I won’t be able to “control” being other people involved in it. But my daughter is 12 and I even though she’s independent and wants to be more and more independent, I need to be there for her. It’s such a tricky age and I get more rejections than acceptance but will try. We found common ground in learning together Spanish so looking forward to that.

Teach more to other photographers: Something work-related I definitely want to teach more to other photographers. So I’m planning to do some little videos and blog pieces this year to be a little bit more visible in a different market than I was targeting so far. I like the idea of helping others, and I know how hard it is to start a new business. It took me years to learn things mainly through mistakes, and nowadays, it’s easier to start ahead with all the knowledge available on the internet. However, it can also be overwhelming, so having someone like me teach the basics of newborn photography is surely a big help I wish I had when I started.

Keep working on personal projects. Last year I focused on breastfeeding, and it has been such great work for my soul and others as well. So I’m looking forward to starting something new.

So here are my resolutions. Some for my well-being, some for the family, and others related to work. None of them are difficult, and they all align with my values, so I’m looking forward to stepping into this 2024! Plus, as a Capricorn, I understand it’s my year! So I’m embracing it all.

What are you excited about this year? Tell me in the comments.

New Year’s Resolutions: goal setting
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  • Emma T4 January 2024 - 19:56

    I don’t really have any resolutions, but I do want to get back to eating keto again, and getting more active with stepping/walking again so I can lose the weight I need to. Working on my 2 smaller blogs as well, although now I have the target to get to Mediavine on my main blog which I just missed out on this month by 300 sessions, so I need to sort out my SEO. And stopping nagging my son about his homework and projects because he gets really annoyed with me doing it, but I think he needs the kick otherwise he just won’t get the grades he is capable of.ReplyCancel

    • Valentina8 January 2024 - 10:07

      I like to think more about goals than resolutions really, and it looks like you have so many! I believe if we take daily small steps towards something we can achieve it. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Fransic verso4 January 2024 - 20:54

    I wasn’t paying attention more for the self-care but I regretted it because now is all I needed. Working on making it a habit to give myself time for self care.ReplyCancel

    • Valentina8 January 2024 - 09:58

      So important indeed as it helps us to function better and therefore to be there and more helpful to others.ReplyCancel

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