By Naomi Atwater
We love fresh. Fresh food, fresh air, fresh starts. The new year feels fresh, when we pull out our crisp white planners, find new routines, and build new habits. We are obsessed with things being new.
Maybe you are even someone who lives to do new things. You dabble in pretty much every hobby and skill from rock climbing to knitting to candle making just for the thrill of doing something new. Because of this, you have a little bit of experience in almost everything. You want to start it all.
But sometimes that also means you have a lot of half-read books, unused craft supplies, a plethora of ingredients in your fridge from recipes you meant to try, and a slew of half-painted crafts you have been meaning to take care of for a while now.
If that sounds like you, we have your New Year’s resolution for you. (And no, it’s not too late to make an additional resolution.)
Instead of starting something new, restart something.
According to a study included here, finishing a project is the hardest, most draining work. But making it through that point means it’s something important to us, and that the end result will be worth it.
What are the things that mattered to you in previous years you were excited to begin but have not looked at again? 2023 is the year to pick up that book, finish that workout goal, complete the refurbish, and master that skill.
That might sound good, but how do we pick back up the old goal if we could not finish it in the first place?
- Make a list of what is truly important, interesting, or fun to you.
What skills to master, projects to finish, and routines to implement are still on your priority list? Be careful to be picky and not to keep too many. If you hesitate whether or not to add it because you think it might be interesting to your future self, it is likely time to go.
- Get rid of the old that you will not finish.
If it did not make it to your list, it is all time to go. Donate, give away, or throw away those craft supplies you are not using. Cancel your pool membership. Having fewer distractions will help you focus on the projects that you know you care about without feeling overwhelmed by having so many!
- Remember why these things are important to you.
You start your goal, and you are about at the same point you were last time, and it is starting to feel easy to peter out. That’s when you go back and evaluate, what the intrigue was in the beginning. If you cannot remember, ask people you talked to about it before you started. What stood out to them?
- Set small actionable steps to your bigger goals.
According to Indeed, you should divide your goal into realistic steps and give yourself a timeframe, such as, “Strip and sand the desk by MLK Day.” If you do not have a concrete item to work on or a deadline for yourself to get it done, then the chances of it being done plummet.
- Tell other people about your goals.
The value of accountability in anything gives us the motivation to complete what we said we would get done. Who can you tell that you know will hold you to it? Who can you keep updated on your progress, and who will hold you to your goals when you do not hold yourself to them?
- Stick to not starting something new before finishing something old.
If you love starting new things so much, then give yourself the motivation of having to finish at least one project before starting another. Or say you will finish two projects before starting one more. You can do it!
Sometimes we focus so much on what is new this year – we forget all the old new things from our past that still have the potential to be great.
So for you, what old habits are sticking around this New Year?