Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions, Try This…

Sun bursting through the forest trees in the Pigeon River State Forest

Since only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions keep them, it could be a better strategy to take a different approach to changes you want to make in the year ahead. Think of the life you want to lead in the year ahead and how you will design each day, week, month to be that life. Here are a few ideas of things to do to optimize your life instead of making another New Year’s resolution you are not likely to keep:

  • Choose a word for the year ahead. This could be something that represents a change you want to make or the person you want to be. This will be your theme for the year. It will guide you in every decision you make and action you take. My word for 2021 is audacious. This is fairly broad for me, but that is intentional as it will allow me to apply it to many situations, both personal and professional.
  • Try making a bucket list for the year. A list of things you want to do, make, see, experience. These are probably things that will bring you joy and allow you to enjoy all the beautiful things life has to offer. A new park you want to play at with your kids, a new hiking trail, a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try, a new restaurant, you get the idea. Explore your world! (I’ve also taken a seasonal approach to bucket lists in the past – a winter bucket list, spring, summer, etc. to really get you to focus on the seasonality of this delightful world we live in.)
  • Try making monthly “to-do lists” or bucket lists. These are more focused than the yearly or seasonal bucket list and might be slightly less fun things to accomplish throughout the year. Even if these aren’t traditionally fun experiences, finishing projects around the house or at work will bring you a great feeling of satisfaction.
  • Focus on making changes that will impact your whole life wellness. What small changes you can work on related to spending more time outside, nourishing your body and spirit with delicious healthy food, how can you move your body more and enjoy it, where can you seek more rest and relaxation, and how can you work on improving relationships that are important to you? By taking this whole-life approach you are forced to more thoughtfully examine possible small changes that will have maximum impact rather than striving to achieve seemingly impossible goals-based resolutions.

And remember – if you are going to make a New Year’s Resolution, willpower may only help you in the beginning to get started. You will need to develop habits and systems to sustain the changes you are making, but you don’t have to do it alone – a coach can help you do just that! If you must make a resolution, try to check-in on your progress quarterly or monthly and readjust your goals and strategies if necessary.

If you’re looking for more thoughts and ideas from me on New Year’s Resolutions or changes you can make to improve your health and wellness and live well in 2021 and beyond, check out these previous posts:

Small Changes Can Mean Lasting Results

Cultivating Everyday Joy

Eat Your Veggies!

Mindful Eating 101

Get Outside – For Your Health!

Keep Working on Those New Year’s Resolutions!

Want even more tips, tricks, and ideas for living well through nature, nourishment, movement and mindset? You know you do!

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