It’s the second week of January, and already, some of us have been struggling with our New Year resolutions.
The start of a new year is a perfect time to set new goals for yourself, to work on growth and self-improvement, and to push yourself a little. And even though the 1st has already passed, it’s not too late to create some additional aspirations.
So, today, I’m sharing some of the best alternative New Year resolutions to try out.
Why Most New Year Resolutions Fail
There are plenty of theories out there to suggest why so many New Year resolutions fail, but here are a few of the most commonly cited reasons.
1. Not Specific Enough
If you don’t define your resolution, it’s going to be a whole lot harder to actually keep it. It’s not enough to say you want to “be healthier,” you need to be specific. How are you going to be healthier? Further, how will you actually measure your success?
2. Poor Planning
Most New Year’s resolutions fail because there’s a lack of accountability.
So, once you have a well-defined resolution in place, it’s time to start making an actual plan. How will you push yourself to succeed?
If you want to eat healthier, for example, you can go through your pantry and actively eliminate all the junk food. Now you’ve got some extra motivation!
3. Too Goal-Oriented
Having a specific goal in mind is a great start, but honestly, sometimes resolutions fail because they’re too goal-oriented.
It’s great to be optimistic, but if you have an incredibly lofty goal, you could easily become overwhelmed. And as soon as you feel like you’re “failing,” you’re bound to give up entirely.
Instead, try to break your goal down into specific steps that focus more on your overall habits than on attaining one big prize.
New Year Resolutions To Try
There’s nothing wrong with having a typical resolution, but if you’ve tried (and failed) in the past, here are some alternative goals you can try.
Focus on New Habits
Instead of coming up with one big New Year resolution, think of how you can focus on your everyday habits. Taking baby steps is a good way to ensure that you not only meet your goal, but improve your overall well-being.
For instance, let’s say your resolution is to lose 15 pounds. That’s a good, specific goal! But, it’s also big. And while that’s not a bad thing, it can make it harder to work towards.
So, keep your 15-pound weight-loss goal, but add something extra. Like, “take a 15-minute walk every day,” or, “go to the gym 3x per week.”
Now you’ve still got your eye on the big goal, but you’re also focusing on bettering your lifestyle.
Related Read: 5 Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself
Create A Vision Board
OK, I know I told you to set specific goals, but I’m about to share a totally alternative resolution idea for you. Create a vision board!
No, it’s not specific per-say, but it is fun! And you can absolutely include specific, goal-oriented goals. In fact, you can do whatever you want because a vision board is a personal tool just for you.
To create a vision board, all you have to do is put together a collage of pictures, words, or quotes that sum of what you want your year to look like. Here’s mine if you want a visual example.
Choose A Guiding Word
Instead of a traditional resolution, use the New Year to come up with your own guiding word. The idea, here, is that you choose one specific word to focus on for the year (or, words, if you want more than one.)
Whereas a typical resolution usually consists of eliminating something (like smoking, bad eating habits, extra weight etc.), a guiding word is focused on adding something positive.
Some good examples of a guiding word include:
Write A Bucket List
Who said New Year resolutions had to be boring? This is another fun, creative way to push yourself. Like a vision board, a bucket list is about adding to your life, not taking away.
Think about what you want to do this year, what you want to learn, or where you want to go. Aim to create a list of 5-10 items. Here are a few things to help you get started:
- What activities do you want to do this year? Hiking, reading, dancing etc.
- Are there any specific events you want to go to? Concerts, festivals, art fairs etc.
- Do you have any new places you want to visit? New York is on my list for sure!
- Is there anything you want to learn this year? How to do my makeup.
- Finally, is there anything you want to accomplish this year? Start freelancing.
My New Year Resolution is cliche as a new gum just opened and I have not been since before Covid. I like your note on accountability. Good ideas.
That’s a great resolution – even if it’s cliche!
I don’t personally set resolutions or even yearly goals anymore because it always just made me feel shite about myself when I didn’t hit them. I set monthly goals, which are much better for me. However, this is the first year I’ve done a word of the year, which has been really good so far!
I think that’s fair – it can feel really disappointing to set a goal for yourself and not meet it.
For me i write my bucket list as i go along and discover new places I want to go, I write down new things on my list daily that I need to do and do my best at completing even 3 or 4 tasks daily and if i don’t I try not to be too hard on myself
That’s a great idea! I love that
These are all great ideas for setting 2023 resolutions. Our guiding word is fun and we’re trying to prioritize travel and adventure this year.
Oh I love that!
I agree, some of them poor and not specific. And people don’t know what to do but to leave them unfinished.
And it just creates a cycle of feeling like a failure!