Think About New Year’s Resolutions Differently

Research shows that most new year’s resolutions fail because yearlong goals are overwhelming, difficult to track and hard to plan...unless we can change the way we think.
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Think About New Year’s Resolutions Differently

2023 has arrived, and it’s hard not to think about the past new year’s resolutions you’ve made, and whether or not they panned out. What did you promise yourself in 2022 that you were able to achieve, and how did that make you feel? What did you fail to live up to? How did that make you feel?

As it turns out, making new year’s resolutions might not be the right way to go about tearing the last sheet off your calendar. Research shows that most new year’s resolutions fail because yearlong goals are overwhelming, discouraging, difficult to track and hard to plan. 

That said, it doesn’t mean the new year is a bad time to reflect on all the ways in which you changed, and it’s also not a reason to give up on your goals. Instead, you can get a lot more out of January 2023 if you simply approach things differently. This year, instead of focusing on the “resolution” part of the new year, think about the “new”: everything new you want to experience, learn, grow from and try. 

How to think about new year’s resolutions 

1. Focus on the “new” in the past year 

This year, instead of coming up with a list of resolutions, start by writing out all the new things you experienced in the past year. Grab your journal (either paper and pencil or an online journal) and make a list of everything consequential you saw, smelled, tasted, tried, achieved or struggled against. 

Made a new friend? Write that down. Learned to knit? Write that down, too. These things aren’t new year’s resolutions, nor are they goals; instead, they’re simply new experiences that made up your year. That means anything that was “new” is worth writing down, even if it was small — maybe you went on a day trip to a town you’ve never visited before, or finally found a sleep schedule that works for you.

2. Now, turn to the “new” in this upcoming year

Once you’ve journaled about all the new things you saw and did last year, it’s time to look at the upcoming year. What’s going to be new about this year? That doesn’t mean you should make resolutions; instead, simply think about the things you’d like to experience, do, feel, think, taste… the list goes on. 

Do you want to update your wardrobe and hone your style? Are you thinking of planning a trip? Considering taking your relationship to the next level? Hankering to try some new restaurants? 

These new experiences can be as small or large as you like. Let your mind wander toward what brings you energy, excitement and joy, and see what it comes up with.

3. What does “new” look like to you?

So, what’s the point of focusing on the “new” instead of simply making new year’s resolutions? Simple: when you start to think about all the newness you want out of 2023, your mindset  begins to shift, expand, change and grow. Instead of doubling down on hard-to-attain goals that make you feel worse when you don’t reach them, you start looking at the positive aspects of what a year can bring. 

In turn, focusing on the positive — the exciting, inspiring, new opportunities that lay before you — helps you stay focused on what really matters to you without making draconian resolutions that hamper your growth. 

Want to talk more about how to embrace the newness of 2023? Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to discuss.

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