New Year’s resolutions: the 2 pressures we feel most when planning the year ahead

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Hollie Richardson
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New Year's resolutions

Thinking about personal goals you want to set yourself in 2020? Stylist asks a life coach about what we can do to make sure we decide on the right resolutions – and how we can keep to them.

In case you haven’t already been told by various colleagues over the water cooler: we’re about to step into a new decade. It’s a time to reflect on what’s been, and focus on everything that’s ahead over the next 10 years. And that’s all very exciting, right? Except, for many people, it could very well provoke feelings of fear and confusion. We all know how hard it is to decide on the goals we want to achieve and keep to the resolutions we make.

When thinking about what goals to set ourselves, life coach Fiona Harold says there are two major pressures that women tend to focus on. 

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“Finding clarity”, she tells Stylist. “Because the fact is, there’s so much that we could do. People get confused and overwhelmed and say ‘Oh god, I’m tired even thinking about it, I need to lie down’. So clarity is number one.

“And the second thing is finding confidence. They get clarity and the next thing they say is ‘Oh, shit. Really? You think so? Honestly I don’t know.’ The thing is, if you’re going to create something different, something bigger, it’s going to be outside of your comfort zone because it’s beyond what you’ve done before. It’s beyond what you’re already comfortable with.

“There has to be a growth in confidence in order to let you grow bigger. Otherwise, you’re probably not going to achieve it. You’ll trip yourself up, you’ll slip back.”

Harold continues to explain the reasons people don’t stick to resolutions past 21 days.

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“I think that resolutions are often unrealistic. It was Bill Gates who said that most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years,” she says. “People set themselves unrealistic expectations, which can feel really punishing. They wear you down and after a couple of weeks, it’s like you lose the will to live. You lose the will to do them.”

Harold also champions the need for support from friends, family and peers, because aiming for something in isolation means you don’t get the results you want.

“Don’t ask me why, but very often people think they have to do things on their own,” she adds. “The number one reason why people do succeed with goals, is if they make themselves accountable, which means that you get support from other people. Not that you get beaten up by other people, but you get support to succeed. It’s the number one reason recovery groups across the world of any sort work, because they keep you accountable in a warm supportive environment.”

New Year's resolutions:
New Year's resolutions: clarity and confidence will help you achieve any goals.

This is why we should always seek support from people and speak to them about any resolutions.

“Find someone who gets you and who can pull you forward, and who’s your cheerleader, and who’s got your back. It’s just the biggest difference you can have in your life. But it doesn’t have to be a life coach if you can’t afford that or it’s not the right time.

“Buddy up with someone, buddy up with the most positive pal that you have and just say ‘let’s get shit done. I think you’re the greatest; you think I’m the greatest. Let’s put our heads together. You can build me up, I will build you up. I believe in you, I know you believe in me. Let’s do this.’”

Of course, there’s absolutely no pressure to set any goals at all. But if there are any goals you want to hit in 2020, clarity, confidence and a bit of support from pals might just take you a long way.

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Images: Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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