How to Make Better New Year’s Resolutions
A new year brings the hope of a fresh start, and many people make goals they hope to achieve. How can you make better New Year’s resolutions?
Benefits of Resolutions
The coming of a new year allows you to change your direction, priorities, attitudes, behaviors, and more. You can live with purpose and describe the life you would like to have. A resolution declares something that you have decided to do.
Start with a Review
Take time to evaluate your current situation. Have you performed an end-of-year review? Considering your past will help you determine what to improve in the coming year. Clarify the areas of your life that do not satisfy you so you can change them for the better.
Avoid ambiguity and be specific about what you are after. Based on your year-end review, focus your New Year’s resolutions on the areas of your life that least satisfy you.
- What would you like to happen in the new year? Why?
- What would you do if time and money were not factors?
- What are the most significant opportunities open to you?
- What will you start, stop, increase, or decrease?
Your mind will concentrate on your goal, so make it something to achieve rather than something to avoid.
It is usually best to focus on something you want to gain rather than something you do not want. Your mind will concentrate on your goal, so make it something to achieve rather than something to avoid. For example, instead of watching less TV, commit to walking around the block each evening or reading.
Perhaps you want to overcome an addiction or a bad habit in the new year. For example, you could resolve to install Accountable2You on your devices to report your activity and help you make wise choices. You could also restrict your use of social media to a specific time of day and a single device. Emphasize positive action steps to help get you where you want to be.
If you already have an accountability partner, you’ll likely want to share your resolutions with them so you can benefit from their input and support!
Consider These Key Areas
Just as in your year-end review, it helps to look closely at different areas of your life, as well as considering the big picture. Take a few minutes to think through the following questions as you decide what your New Year’s resolutions should be. Writing down your answers will help you get even better clarity on what you would like to change.
- What will you do to increase your happiness?
- What will you do to better respond to negative situations?
- How will you become more aware of your emotions?
- How will you improve your facial expression?
- How will you increase your self-control?
- What will you do to be more flexible?
- How will you promote gratitude?
- How will your behavior better reflect your guiding principles and values?
- How will you promote meditation and reflection?
- When and how will you pray?
- What will you do to serve others and meet their needs?
- How will you share your faith with others?
- How will you increase your sense of purpose?
Live with purpose and describe the life you would like to have.
- What will you do for recreation?
- What adventures will you experience?
- What will you do in arts, music, and sports?
- What material will you read for fun?
- Where will you travel?
- What hobbies will you start or maintain?
- What distractions will you remove or restrict?
- How will you enhance your memory?
- What stressors will you remove?
- How will you rest and relax?
- What clutter will you remove?
- How will you promote your peace of mind?
- What will you do to settle your anxiety?
- How will you respond when you are sad?
- What will your annual income be?
- What assets will you have?
- What liabilities will you pay off?
- What will your net worth be?
- How will you strategically spend, save, and give?
- How will you increase your emergency fund? Retirement fund?
Any resolution you make should reflect something you want in your life.
- What will you do to expand your knowledge?
- How will you share your skills and passions with others?
- What risks will you take?
- What classes and conferences will you attend?
- What books will you read?
- What concerts will you attend?
- What new things will you learn?
- What skills and competencies will you learn or improve?
- What problems will you solve?
- What habits will you start? Stop?
- What will you do to maintain and improve your fitness?
- How will you improve your sleep?
- What will you do to reach and maintain your target weight?
- How will you manage your intake of alcohol and tobacco? Other substances?
- What will you eat? How will you have a balanced diet at regular meals?
- When will you treat any recurring pain or frequent illnesses?
- What will you do cherish your spouse?
- What special events will you schedule?
- What unresolved conflicts will you handle?
- How will you meet new people?
- What will you do to encourage your coworkers?
- How will you spend time with your children?
- How will you donate to others?
- What relationships will you diminish or eliminate?
- What necessary conversations will you have?
- What will you do to listen to others more?
Do yourself a favor and live deliberately in the new year.
- What will you do to grow in your position?
- How will you improve and better use your skills?
- What will you do to align your work with your values?
- What training will you pursue?
- How will you adjust your work-life balance?
- What tasks will you accomplish this year?
- What new opportunities will you seek?
- What side job will you develop?
Clarify Your Why
Any resolution you make should reflect something you want in your life. Take time to clarify your goal until you identify the root of what you desire. Make sure the goal matters to you and compels you to action. What do you risk if you take this action? What do you risk if you do not?
The new year can provide a clean slate for you to decide and act in ways that will advance your life. By challenging yourself, you can build hope and increase your confidence. Do yourself a favor and live deliberately in the new year. Keep moving forward!