I have a theory why New Year's resolutions are so attractive at the end of the year. It has nothing to do with a new beginning in the coming year and everything to do with the side effects of overindulgence. Think about it. Basically, October is an uninterrupted holiday celebration until the end of December. Halloween candy on all desks at work. Leftover cake from the third Friendsgiving you went to. Gifts, gift wrapping, Christmas cards and receipts pile up everywhere. Add in your preparation time for the holidays, a busy schedule of visiting loved ones and some hectic travel days and you probably feel like you need a cleanse for your entire life. Spend less money, go to yoga regularly, make the junk drawer feel endless.
So it makes sense that we spend the first month of the new year finding balance with a laundry list of New Year's resolutions. Fast forward a few months and they probably aren't your highest priority. Fortunately, summer is the perfect time to review your resolutions, make important progress and set new goals for the rest of the year. Let's talk about why!
You can rate your progress
It takes at least two months to form a habit. So it would be really unfair to expect you to overcome important resolutions quickly. Practice makes perfect. But by mid-year, you've had plenty of time to either get into your new desired habits (congratulations!) To formulate, or you have enough perspective to find out why you could not reach your goals. If you have not achieved your goals, do not set yourself up! You take time to evaluate your resolutions and your progress, and it's amazing. It just means you need to find some new ways to pivot and get back on track.
You still have plenty of time
I usually just remember to review my resolutions in December, which means there really isn't enough time to accomplish the goals I forgot about, but there's enough time to feel really bad about my lack of progress until everything is up and running in January. By thinking about my progress over the summer, I have months to make sure my goals don't slip through my fingers. And this means that I still have time to finally get hold of the French grammar flashcards I actually wanted to train with.
You can pivot
When I recently reflected on my resolutions, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had already achieved some of my goals. In May, I left my job as a marketing manager to try my hand at freelance writing and marketing consulting – two things I was already doing as a side hustle – on a full-time basis. My new flexible schedule has allowed me to achieve my goals of exercising regularly, reading more, and writing more. I felt so inspired by my progress that I set harder goals for the rest of the year.
You may have made a significant increase at the end of the first quarter and be able to pay off your student loans faster. Or maybe you have finished those night hours and can apply for your dream job. There are many ways to leverage the success you've already achieved this year. On the other hand, you may find that the resolutions you set are no longer that important to you, and that's fine. Say goodbye to resolutions that don't excite you and make room for challenges that do.
Summer can be more productive
I know a lot of people feel unproductive in the summertime. And I understand there are lots of fun distractions. Add a dose of stifling heat and humidity and it's easy to feel sluggish, but I find summer invigorating. The longer daylight hours make my work hours feel so long and full of potential. And for those of you with shorter summer Fridays, additional vacation time or slow work schedules can take advantage of that excess time. Why don't you take a new skill that can increase your career? Or take an extra long lunch break. Try listening to a podcast for 15 minutes that will familiarize you with all the Spanish vocabulary you need for your upcoming trip to Madrid. Take some time to look at your schedule and figure out where you can hit the mark with goal-setting time. And don't forget. You have this.