Ditch the New Year’s resolutions – Try these 10 things instead

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Today is January 1, 2019. Time for the dreaded New Year’s resolutions.

Last year, 53% of Americans resolved to save money and 45% resolved to get in shape or lose weight.  What were your resolutions? Were you among the 92% that didn’t keep their resolutions, or the 8% that did?

Let me ask a different question.  Do you look back on 2018 with a sense of accomplishment? 

Now, be honest, did your New Year’s resolutions have anything to do with your success and happiness in 2018? If they don’t really work and you don’t use them to measure your accomplishments, success and happiness, maybe it is time to re-think even having New Year’s resolutions.

Here are some alternatives to worn out New Year’s Resolutions

1.    Name your year. “2019 is my year of _____.”  Fill in the blank with a word, theme, or mantra for yourself for 2019.  Post it prominently and practice saying it out loud.  How does your word, theme or mantra show up for you? How will you demonstrate to others?

2.    Try New Year’s affirmations.  What are you doing well that you want to keep doing or even enhance?  What isn’t serving you that you want to stop doing? And, what do you want to start doing? 

3.    Measure something. Start tracking something meaningful to you.  This could be hours of sleep, steps each day, expressions of gratitude. You are not setting a goal to reach, you are simply starting the habit of observing and noticing.   

4.    Start new streaks. Start cultivating new habits that are meaningful to you. Pick your schedule (weekly, monthly, or every 66 days – the average time to establish a new habit). If you want an easy jump start, try the free week long guided experience on Tiny Habits.  

5.    Schedule time for deep work. Put a placeholder on your calendar and commit to a regular schedule for 2019. Don’t worry about what will fill your deep work time, just honor your commitment to practicing.  

6.    Conduct experiments. Pick something new to try out each week during 2019.  Push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Taking these little risks is easier when you know you don’t have to continue what you don’t like.

7.    Start a highlights reel. Start by writing down the highlights from 2018. As the year progresses, add things to your live highlight reel, and celebrate real-time joy instead of in the rear-view mirror. 

8.    Imagine the future. Try writing a year-end reflection before the year starts. Write a few lines, a few paragraphs, or a few pages as if 2019 has already happened. Can you predict the joys and successes that are yet to come?   

9.    Create space. Give away, throw away or repurpose the tangible and intangible stuff in your life that is not serving you. Set an intention to unburden some baggage, once a day, once a week, once a month. 

10. Make 2019 all about you (but not the way it sounds). Instead of having a goal to become a different person, aspire to become the best possible you. Write or revise your personal core values, or your personal mission statement. Carefully consider your personal brand.  Optimize the use of your best strengths.     

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