Move Over New Year's Resolutions: Say “Hello!” to New Week’s Resolutions, AKA, weekly goals.
We all know the drill - with the new year comes the new year’s resolutions. We all also know how that usually goes, so let’s not even take the time to recap.
I LOVE the energy of a new calendar (Passion Planner FTW), a fresh set of accounting docs, and an enthusiasm to get back to home, sports, and work routines after some time away during the holidays to rest and reset. But, the energy that comes with new year’s resolutions is not for me.
Just to be clear - this is not an anti-goal setting. I love goals, and I am, quite literally, all about finding and implementing changes in our lives that support our personal/professional development and well-being.
Why I don’t like new year’s resolutions:
- It mostly feels like a marketing holiday for my least favorite industries (can’t you just hear Diet Culture saying, “This is our moment!”??)
- There’s an expectation that you will commit to resolutions for a whole year - and that’s too long! There’s a reason people don’t stick with new year’s resolutions past January, but instead of getting curious and making tweaks, we usually just drop them all together (which reminds me of an oldie by a goody: Beware the All or Nothing Mindset) and then feel guilt or shame and a decrease in self-trust.
- They often feel forced and high pressure - like we have this ONE great moment to set a life-changing goal, and we MUST get it right!
- We often make too many at once and, with energy and attention divided, don’t actually make meaningful progress on any.
But it’s not all bad
Fresh energy to try something new or go back to something you’ve lost touch with that you really enjoyed? Good!
Feeling excited about what’s possible? Great!
Leaning into exploration and experimentation? My favorite!
So… What shall we do instead?
Enter - the New Week’s Resolution
One outcome. One behavior. One week at a time. Rinse. Repeat.
I kinda love that 2023 started on a Sunday because the new year came with a new week. And that brought the idea of setting weekly goals.
Why I love my new week’s resolution, AKA, weekly goals:
- Weekly goals are short-term and encourage weekly reflection, tweaks, or all-out changes.
- The short-term nature feels like an experiment that I get to approach with lots of flexibility and curiosity, which aligns very well with my energy.
- It feels very low-pressure, with plenty of built-in opportunities to hit “reset.”
- My goals are focused more on day-to-day behaviors than the end result, which actually allows room for discovery around other outcomes/behaviors/etc.
How I set my first weekly goal:
I identified what I was hoping to experience in the New Year - have a more rested and focused start to my day.
I thought about what interfered with that most - I often stay up too long watching TV, fall asleep on the couch, wake up and still have to walk the dog before doing my bedtime routine and going to bed, which often meant difficulty falling back to sleep and waking in the night.
I picked one change that I thought would make a big difference - not watching TV after putting Michael to bed during the work week.
I committed to that one behavior for one week.
And now, at the end of the week, I get to reflect back and see how it went, if it actually created the outcomes I was hoping for and if I want to keep any of it moving into next week.
What I noticed with my first weekly goal:
Since I wasn’t going downstairs to watch TV, I brushed my teeth and washed my face right after putting M to bed, and headed out to walk Roscoe.
Without the cat-nap on the couch, I was able to get to sleep quickly and stay asleep all night.
I did not actually go to bed earlier and I wasn’t ready to wake up when my alarm went off at 5:15 (this could be related to the fact that I’m not feeling great and maybe just needed more rest).
I missed watching TV. It’s really something I enjoy at the end of the day, and it’s a nice way for Sean and me to wind down together.
I think it’s safe to say that the biggest game-changers were doing my bedtime routine and the dog-walk right after M went to bed and not falling asleep on the couch.
But also, I want to test that theory! Fortunately, we’re coming up on a new week
My next weekly goal:
During the work week, I will do my bedtime routine and dog-walk before heading to the couch to watch TV, AND I will turn the TV off by 9:45 regardless of where I am in an episode so I don't fall asleep on the couch!
New Year’s Resolutions - not for me
What I’m trying instead - setting weekly goals
How I do it:
- Decide what I want to shift
- Pick the behavior that I think will get me there
- Do it for a week
- At the end of the week reflect: What changes did I notice? What made the difference? What do I want to keep? What do I want to change?
- Pick my next weekly goal
If you decide to give it a try - I’d love to hear all about it - Easiest way to connect is probably a DM in IG @laurabuckelycoaching
And in the spirit of New Week’s Resolutions - I plan to do this as long as it feels supportive and fun, and uplifting. If that changes, so will I.