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What to do Instead of Making Resolutions?

Make a list of everything you’d want to do more of, less of, and/or stop doing as a whole in the new year. Make a list of them and note down the steps you’ll need to follow in order to achieve those goals.

Perhaps you’d like to spend less time on Facebook and more time volunteering. Or in considering the business side, you decide to go to fewer golf outings and spend more on direct marketing or Google ads.

Here are a couple of lists for both personal and small businesses to get you started:

Small Business

  1. Create realistic organizational processes
  2. Learn to be okay with outsourcing/hiring subcontractors
  3. Update your business plan
  4. Refresh your marketing plan
  5. Expand your network via industry-related events or learn how to better utilize Linked In
  6. Identify customer service missteps
  7. Prioritize company culture
  8. Update, freshen up your website

Personal Alternatives to Resolutions

  1. Make a bucket list for the next twelve months
  2. Create a monthly challenge
  3. Try gratitude exercises
  4. Put goals in a jar
  5. Practice mindfulness
  6. Make realistic lists
  7. Use a vision board
  8. Have a word or mantra of the week/month/year

And yes, we’ve all been there. Every year, as the new year approaches, we make well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions, and we’re so pumped to get things moving forward with our goals finally. But alas! New Year has come and gone, and we’ve barely made a dent in our New Year plans.

“It’s Not You, It’s Your New Year’s Resolutions”

Is it bad to say your New Year’s resolution?

New Year resolutions don’t work. They don’t. One study reported that only 19 percent of people keep their resolutions, and another found that 80% of resolutions are unsuccessful by mid-February.

Resolutions often have you picking an intimidating or big goal, and usually, these goals are habits or lifestyle changes. These goals take a lot of energy and motivation, but both typically wane after the New Year as schedules become busier and life gets in the way.

But the key to improvement and progress is to keep on taking one small step at a time. Unfortunately, these big goals set us up for failure without small, attainable milestones.

Although resolutions result in the good intention of wanting to improve ourselves, it just doesn’t get traction—as you already probably know. How many times have you set New Year’s resolutions, get all fired up around New Year’s time, and then wallow in the ashes of failure, disappointment, and embarrassment a month or so into the year? Perhaps too many times.

New Year’s Resolution Alternatives

What can you do instead of making New Year’s resolutions—that you promptly forget anyway? Well, let me count all the other ways you can set and achieve your goals for the coming year.

Let’s go a little deeper than our list mentioned earlier…

  • Confidence-Building Exercise

Here’s something you can try. Instead of listing what you’d like to become or accomplish in the coming year, start by jotting down positive characteristics you displayed this year as well as your small and more extensive accomplishments—no need to overthink it. The goal of the exercise is not to have an exhaustive list but to get you a confidence boost and momentum, both of which you’ll need to make more positive changes in your life this year.

  • Follow a Mantra

A mantra is a statement or a slogan that you repeat over and over again. It’s a positive message that, with repetition, will become a way of life and ultimately change your behavior over time. And, since it’s not a “fail or succeed” situation as resolutions are, mantras are more empowering. You can always get back to living it if you tune out of it.

  • Create a Vision Board

A vision board, aka dream board or goal board, is a collage of your aspirations in life. Using a corkboard or canvas, put together words and images to help you visualize what you’d like to become and achieve and where you want to go in life. It’s important to get creative in making your vision board so that it’s visually appealing and motivating to you.

  • Bucket Lists

A bucket list is simply a list of things you’d like to do, see, or experience. This year, why not try making a bucket list instead of resolutions? For example, you could pick 52 items you can check off each week or 12 things you can focus on every month.

  • Monthly Theme

This works for those who are afraid of or can’t see themselves committing to a goal or goals for a whole year – that’s 365 days, gasp! What you can do instead is to think of a theme for each month and do as many things as you can based on that theme you’ve chosen. So, say for January, your theme is health; you could exercise more, eat more healthy meals, or go out for a hike. You get the idea. You only need to commit to this theme for a month before moving on to a different theme the next month and so on. This constant change in themes to focus on will keep you excited and motivated than a year-long commitment can.

  • Monthly Goals

Setting goals for one whole year can be intimidating and overwhelming, and they’re harder to commit to. On the other hand, setting goals for just one month is more manageable, and the shorter time makes it easier to stick to them. Remember to make your goals SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

  • Habit Tracking

Sometimes goals aren’t a one-time thing. For instance, your goal could be to live a healthier life, which entails incorporating healthier habits into your life. Keeping a habit tracker can help you see your progress. A habit tracker can be as simple as a notebook or a calendar, or a jar of marbles. You can make it as straightforward or as fun as you’d like.

  • Experiments and Challenges

Weekly experiments are a great way to test out different habits that you’ve been meaning to try, or if you’re not clear on your goals yet and want to soak your feet in the water first before fully committing to anything. Pick a habit or goal, stick to it for a week, and then review the results. What did you learn, and how did you feel? Then, take your weekly experiments further with 30-, 60- or 90-day challenges to see results in a short period.

  • Personal Mission Statement

A personal mission statement helps keep you focused, set clear boundaries and aid in making tough decisions. It can be whatever you like but it must be meaningful. Start by asking what’s important to you, where do you want to go, how do you want to act, what does “the best” look like, and what legacy do you want to leave behind?

What do you say in new year’s resolutions?

Say Goodbye to New Year’s Resolutions!

New Year’s resolutions simply don’t work. Period.

So, instead of continuing to use a tool that doesn’t work, get rid of it and use one that does.

In this article, we’ve offered you various alternatives you can try instead of making New Year’s resolutions for the nth time and not seeing results.

Pick one to try or combine them to find what works for you, so you can finally stop feeling disappointed or embarrassed, and bid adieu to New Year’s resolutions forever.

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