5 Alternatives to New Year's Resolutions

  • Time to read 2 minutes

You’ve probably set a New Year’s resolution at least once in your life -- to lose weight, read more, be more intentional with your family this year, etc. Have you noticed that come spring, you’ve probably already forgotten all about them?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, up to 80% of Americans get off track of their New Year’s resolution by mid-February. That’s a lot of people. This year, try something different. Instead of a year-long resolution, check out these alternatives:

#1 Make a “Highlights and Anticipations” List

Reflect on the good things you experienced from the past year. Include anything from a job promotion to a birthday party or making a new friend. Then, for the new year, make a list of things you are looking forward to. Maybe you’re planning a vacation with family or getting a puppy. Maybe it’s looking for a new job or moving to a new place. Whatever it is, having a list of things to look forward to will get you excited for the new year!

#2 Choose a Word for the Year

Choose a word that you want to guide you for the year. You could start by writing down a list of things you want to accomplish and see if there is a common theme. Or, reflect on something you want to do better at this year than last. Maybe someone you really look up to practices a certain trait. However you decide, here are some examples of words you could use: flourish, discipline, or joy. Once you decide on a word, define what it means to you and what you hope to accomplish with it. Write it on pieces of paper around your house so you won’t forget it.

#3 Develop Monthly Goals

Instead of having a goal to stick to for the whole year, try having different goals for each month of the year. Maybe in January, you have a goal of working out before work three times a week. In February, it could be to have lunch with a friend once a week. In March, it could be to say 5 things you’re thankful for each day. You get the idea. By practicing these monthly goals, you can decide which goals you want to keep and make into a habit.

#4 Create a Bucket List for the New Year

Make a list of things you want to do this year. Sometimes it can be easier to have a list of concrete things you want to do rather than a concept of something you want to accomplish. For instance, your bucket list could be to go to a play at the local theater, try out a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, or train for and run in a marathon. Having a list of things you want to do can help you feel accomplished by the end of the year.

#5 Commit to Keeping Track of Your Healthy Habits

Instead of making a huge goal of something like going to the gym five days a week, commit to tracking when you do. You can track your healthy habits by writing down 3 healthy things you do each day. Maybe at lunch you got salad instead of a burger or you decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator. By tracking these small habits, you will be encouraged to make bigger steps towards health.

We hope you find these alternatives to a New Year’s resolution helpful to get you off on the right foot this year! You never know, you might surprise yourself this year with the changes you make!

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