I love a new year. It’s a fresh start, an opportunity to clean the slate, take a deep breath, and start again. Like everyone, I’ve always been one to set ambitious, all-or-nothing resolutions that then fall, one by one, by the wayside. Lose weight! Save money! Live life to the fullest!
Sadly, my fresh slate generally becomes sullied by January 4th or 5th. In fact, it’s estimated that only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. Last year, I started setting resolutions in a kinder, gentler way, inspired by a friend of mine who does the same.
Instead of unrealistic goals, I give myself a little more wiggle room and consider the new year more of a reset than a leap off the cliff.
Here are four ways to create a better you in 2018:
1. Pick a phrase or guiding word: Find a word or phrase that resonates with you and let it guide you through the year. My phrase last year was “Wake up.” As in, wake up and live your best life, notice and be open to all the blessings and opportunities around you. Every time I started to drift, I brought myself back on track with these two simple words.
My friend who does this as well chose “light” one year and “intuitive living” (i.e. follow your gut!) the next. I have another friend who chose “joy”as her guiding principle. I love this idea because it’s broad and applicable to all areas of your life. It’s like having a little friend on your shoulder to remind you where you’re headed.
How can you come up with your word or phrase? Sit quietly, and I promise it will come to you.
2. Affirmations: Set broad, overarching goals in all areas of your life and for all the peeps in your life. I was encouraged to do this by a friend who is a wellness coach, and it has been a great way to stay focused on the big picture. Get out your laptop or your old-fashioned pen and paper and create your vision for yourself and your family.
I have a two-page document that lays out goals for myself in parenting, marriage, friendships, physical/mental health, and my job. I have separate categories for my husband and each of my children. I make edits as the year progresses and as we accomplish goals as a family or set new ones.
What positive changes and growth do you want for yourself and your family in the new year?
3. Monthly goals: This one has the potential to be a complete game-changer. Make five small, specific goals each month. You are much more likely to find success with small, incremental changes than attempting a massive overhaul of your entire existence. For instance, you can commit to meditating three times a week, not drinking wine during the week, going to church twice a month, or not eating your entire pantry from the hours of 3pm to 5pm.
You can suss out what works for you and what really doesn’t have much of an impact in your daily life. These goals can build upon one another to create real, lasting change in your life.
Want to increase your success with this technique? Find an accountability partner, share your goals, and keep each other on track on a monthly basis.
4. Pinterest Vision Board: This one is purely for fun and is similar to setting affirmations, but with images instead of words. You can create a vision board on Pinterest and set the privacy feature so that only you can see it. Fill that page with the dreamiest images you can find: places you want to travel, images and quotes that inspire you, your dream home, and images that personify your deepest dreams and goals for yourself and your family.
You might be amazed to see what images come to fruition in your own life.
If you’re still having trouble coming up with some kinder, gentler resolutions, here are some ideas for some healthy new year’s resolutions. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/healthy-new-years-resolutions_us_583da7c7e4b0860d61167b8e. The point is to invest in your precious, amazing self and your well-being. There is so much power in articulating what you want and putting it out there.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year full of guiding words, affirmations, monthly goals and dreamy visions!