I’m not such a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I tend to believe that there’s never a perfect time to get going on a new goal or project– so it’s better to just start now, where you are, rather than wait for the so-called perfect day to begin. Case in point, I’ve been lax on my blogging (!) and trust me, even though I was tempted, rather than put it off even more and tell myself “okay, when the New Year starts, I resolve to blog 3 times a week,” I’m just going to post a little something RIGHT NOW. You can only start right where you are.
That said, the New Year is a great time to review your accomplishments of the past year, regroup from disappointments, and brainstorm bigger and better dreams for the coming year. If you want to find a creative way to renew this year and ditch the typical resolution fare (in case you haven’t heard, about 97% of New Year’s resolutions fail!), here are a few ideas:
- Have a family summit. This is more of a goal setting exercise, rather than resolutions (apparently, even the Kardashians do this each year!). My husband and I started doing this several years ago. Set aside a special time to review the family accomplishments of the past year, and think positively about the new one. Pick 3-4 big categories in your lives– career, family, health, money, etc.– and come up with a handful of yearly goals in each department. Choose attainable goals/projects (paint the house, ask for a promotion)– along with a few reach goals. The idea is that you’ll check in with your goals a couple times during the next year.
- Pick a theme. Another new year’s trend is to skip the traditional restrictive resolutions (i.e., quit smoking, lose weight) and instead pick a broad theme to inspire your actions during the upcoming year. This can literally be one word– perhaps it’s “family” or “gratitude” or “relaxation”. This is a lower-stress way to encourage broader changes in your thinking and priorities throughout the year.
- Do a massive “edit”– from closets to Facebook. We hear so much about spring cleaning, but the new year is a great time to “prune” what’s weighing you down from the previous year. Go through, say, your bathroom cabinets, make up bag or closet and ruthlessly toss the items you haven’t used in months. I plan to finally purge the boxes and bags of makeup samples I’ve had for years (in fact, maybe I’ll do this today!). Also, consider pruning your Facebook friends and even your contacts in your phone. If you haven’t spoken or interacted with contacts (or, you just have people hanging in there that consistently annoy you), just press delete. You’ll instantly feel lighter.
- Think “wants” rather than “shoulds”. The top resolutions are consistently to stop smoking and lose weight–things we all should do to be healthy. Yet the #1 reason for failing to keep up the resolution is lack of motivation. Instead of saying what “should” I do or what do I need to do, ask yourself what do I really WANT to change about my life? To keep up that motivation, you really have to want to make a certain life change. This year, pick a small new year’s goal that sparks passion and fun in your life– maybe you always wanted to take a painting or photography class. Do it!