Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions


It’s the time of year that we begin thinking of our New Year’s resolution.

I always love New Year’s Eve because I feel that nervous excitement knowing that the next day lends itself to starting off on the right foot towards whatever goal I have my eye on.  Lately, as I listen to podcasts, speakers, or read what others are doing I’ve come across ideas that I think are great alternatives if you need a fresh idea to kick off 2018.


Here are a few ideas to set yourself up for success in 2018:

10 things to leave behind & 10 things to bring with you:  Make a list of 10 things you want to leave in 2017.  Were you always running late everywhere?  Did you pick up a bad habit of skipping breakfast?  Did you start hanging out with someone that is draining you more than giving you life?  Did you start overspending on certain things?  Write down those 10 things, leave them behind and never look back.  Are there things that you did in 2017 that for sure should be a regular part of your life in 2018?  Did you start drinking more water?  Did you start going to bed earlier?  Did you show up to meetings more prepared?  Did you make friends with someone who energizes you?  Write down those 10 things and make them a part of your every day in 2018.

Pick a word of the year:  Rather than say “I’m going to eat vegetables with every meal” or “I’m going to save a lot of money” or “I’m going to get fit,” simply set a word for the year that will be your theme and let that guide everything you do that year.  Want to get back to your creative roots?  Pick the word “create.”  Want to get back to your workout routine?  Pick the word “discipline.”  Want to learn to enjoy the smaller moments in life?  Pick the word “relax.”  A fun bonus with this one so you don’t forget your word — you can order a Giving Key with your word on it (click that link to read more about The Giving Key company, they’re pretty cool).  Make sure the word is visible so that it becomes a part of your regular thoughts and behaviors.

Pick one goal per month:  The first year I did Gals with Goals with my friend Angela was one of my favorite years.  We sat down the last week of December and listed out all the things we’ve always wanted to do and narrowed them down to 12 (one per month).  Everything from taking singing lessons to writing a book to trying a recipe a day to writing letters to people.  We committed to each thing for 30 days.  I love this idea because you can do anything for 30 days, and it makes your year so full and adventurous to try things you’ve been putting on the back burner.  These also don’t all have to be things you add to your plate, they can be things you take off your plate too — for example, I spent one month trying to not complain about anything (this one kind of changed my life).  You never know where those things could lead you!

Do a retrospective on your 2017 calendar:  Rachel Hollis from The Chic Site did an Instastory this week where she shared what she did to prepare for 2018.  She went through every single meeting, appointment, event, etc. that she did in 2017 by going day-by-day through her calendar.  She made a list of what was awesome, what was not so awesome (e.g. things that she didn’t get as much out as she put in, things that wasted her time, etc), and a list of projects (any size project she started throughout the year).  This helped her determine where it would be best to spend her time in 2018.  I think you could do a similar review with different list titles: things that helped you move your goals forward, things you did out of obligation, things that gave you life, things that you should’ve said no to, etc.  You can tailor the list to the categories that make sense for you and let that be your guide when making decisions of how to spend your time in 2018.

Create a daily ritual:  Don’t have one big goal you’re shooting for in 2018?  No worries.  Come up with one daily ritual you’re going to start doing in 2018 and see where it takes you.  This could be something like journaling for 15 minutes every morning, praying outloud in your car, sitting in silence every evening for 10 minutes before you go to bed, writing what you’re thankful for on a daily basis, writing a list similar to what I shared on The List I Write Every Morning.  Sometimes these smaller practices help us slow down and see the bigger picture in order to come up a new creative idea.

Here’s to your best year yet!  <<champagne toast>>