Happy New Year! Let’s Forget About Resolutions
Wow, it’s 2019.
How did it sneak up on us so quickly?!
When the new year rolls around, we can all feel pressured to set a bunch of resolutions and beat ourselves up for the things we didn’t get done the year before. And often, we set these resolutions because we feel it’s what we’re supposed to do … it’s what everyone does.
But what if there’s a better way?
What if there was a way to set yourself up in a direction you want to go for the new year, without all of the guilt, without all of the impossible/unreachable resolutions that have you throwing in the towel by mid-January?
If you want to have a clear direction for the year, but aren’t a fan of resolutions, the tips I’m about to share may be just what you need.
These tips will set you up to experience growth and be more intentional in 2019 … without the impossible-to-reach resolutions or guilt that follows.
Here are my tips to help you be intentional in 2019:
1. Choose a word for the year.
I’ve found this practice to be super helpful for me. When I get unfocused or feel like I’m not being intentional in my day-to-day life, I think back on my word.
Choose a word that reminds you of how you want to feel, who you want to be, and what you want to accomplish this year.
My word for 2018 was “Courage.” In 2018, I became more visible online, published my first book, kept pushing past fear, and grew bolder in following the calling on my life. Whenever I got scared, or felt stuck, I’d think about “courage” and this reminded me of who I wanted to be and reminded me to make choices that stretched me.
My word for 2019 is “Free.” I chose this word because it will remind me throughout the year to be free from fear, free to live out who God is calling me to be, and free from the feelings of “not enough” that often creep in.
What word will be impactful for you in 2019?
2. Set simple goals for each month.
In his book Mini Habits, Stephen Guise discusses the importance of setting habit goals so easy it would be almost impossible not to reach them. And these easy goals have a way of snowballing into bigger accomplishments. For example, he set a goal of doing one push-up each day. And once he started that one push-up, he usually did more than one push-up.
Setting and reaching simple goals motivates us to keep going. If we set unrealistic or overly challenging goals that we aren’t likely to reach (or we set too many new goals), we either have trouble starting or give up on them early in the game.
What are 2-3 simple goals you can set for this next month? Revisit these goals each month to see if you want to continue them or revise them.
3. Clear the clutter.
It’s difficult to start new behaviors in the same, old environment. If you want to be more productive but you’re sitting at the same messy desk or if you want to eat healthier but you your pantry is disorganized and full of unhealthy foods, it’s going to be much harder to make new and better choices.
Pick an area in your home that could use some de-cluttering in order to make your new goals/habits more successful. Set a timer for 25 minutes and spend that time clearing the clutter. A fresh, new space will be more motivating. Plus, when we change our environment, our brain is forced to come up with a new way of responding to it.
4. Make plans, but hold them loosely.
It is important to be intentional about how you are living your life. If you don’t set goals or make plans, life just happens to you. We aren’t called to lives of chance. We are called to make a difference in this world. We are called to be productive and purposeful.
It’s also important, however, to hold onto our plans loosely enough to leave room for God to speak to us and direct our steps.
Do you have regular quiet time built into your schedule so you can listen for direction? And are you willing to follow?
5. Picture it.
It can be really motivating to have something visual to remind you of where you want to go and who you want to be in the new year. You can choose one picture to represent this or you can put together a collage or vision board that contains several pictures to capture your aspirations.
The picture at the top of this blog post is from my property. We call it the “old road.” It’s a road we take our ATV on and walk between our fields. And often when I see it, I stop and ask myself, “Am I on the path I want to be on?” It’s a good reminder to help me stop and evaluate.
Is there a picture (or pictures) you can put up as reminders to you in the new year to live out your goals and calling?
6. Plan for fun.
It’s important to make sure you set times for fun and refreshment into your calendar. When your tasks only revolve around to-do’s, should’s, and must’s, you can burn out and be more likely to throw in the towel completely.
How can you schedule in dates with your spouse, kids, and friends this year? How can you schedule self-care as a part of your routine this year? Write them down to make them happen!
I hope these tips will be helpful in putting together your plans for the new year. You were created for a special purpose. You were made to do important things on this earth. So, let’s be intentional and purposeful in the way we live.
To Your TRUE Health,