The beginning of a new year is always a time of reflection, re-evaluation, and retrospection for many. It’s a time people use as a fresh start and a fresh opportunity to rid themselves of an undesired trait or behavior. As much as there’s a wave of motivation over new year’s resolutions, people argue that most of them fail by mid-March. In order to create successful resolutions, you need to set goals that are specific and attainable.
There are several kinds of resolutions, and they can be centered around personal growth, social circles, health, or career. If you haven’t had any ideas yet, here are 5 ways to cultivate personal growth in 2023:
1- Develop self-awareness
Get to know yourself by taking yourself out, figuring out what you like/dislike, and giving yourself time to process emotions. Our phones have become pacifiers that make it difficult for us to sit with our emotions. Scrolling mindlessly for hours serves as distraction rather than entertainment, and this prevents us from processing emotions and thoughts. Make sure to take ten minutes to reflect or write in a journal using journal prompts online or the reflection questions posted at the end of every article. Journaling helps you identify your feelings and track your progress.
2- Aim for progress not perfection
People give up on their resolutions when they fail once. Your goals need to be shaped by a desire for progress rather than perfection, simply because perfection is unattainable. Focusing on your progress motivates you to keep going, while focusing on perfection discourages you. To grow, you need to realize that you are perfectly in process and that you deserve to be proud of yourself now rather than when you reach an end goal. This mindset makes you more likely to be consistent rather than give up.
3- Get out of the comparison trap
Easiest way to escape the trap of comparison is to celebrate your own wins and reflect on all the good things that you have going on. Walking into 2023 with a thankful heart is a way to become a healthier individual. Research shows that being thankful can positively impact your mental and physical health. Rather than looking to others, water your own grass by using your past-self as a benchmark. Make it a habit to thank others regularly and write three blessings everyday, and watch how your attitude shifts throughout the day.
4-Talk less, listen more
Most people don’t practice active listening because they’re too busy thinking of how they’ll respond to the person speaking to them while they’re still talking. As a new year resolution, don’t just choose your words wisely but also listen to what other people have to say. Not only will it increase your knowledge, but it will also prevent you from oversharing or saying something you might regret. It will also enhance your relationships with others because they will feel seen and cared for by you.
5- Volunteer somewhere
They say that the most precious thing you can offer to someone is your time. Giving your time to a charity or an organization where you can volunteer to help is not only a way to help others but it also stretches you as a person. Volunteering to organizations in need will help you develop empathy and expand your worldview. It will also expose you to people that might not necessarily share your background or values, which will build your character.
Remember that life is not black or white, and if you fail at any of those things, you can always restart again. Starting on the 8th of May is just as good as starting on the 1st of January. All you have to do is just start.
- How often do I spend time on my own? Do I use this time to reflect, or do I tend to be distracted?
- What goals do I want to achieve in 2023?
- How have I changed since this time around last year?
- Am I a perfectionist? If yes, how is it showing up in my life? How is it impacting my goals and my relationships?