Why NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions and What to do Instead

Why NOT to make New Years Resolutions and What to do Instead - Lauren Parsons

Typically New Year’s Resolutions are vague goals along the lines of “I’m going to eat better, exercise more, be more patient, get better at xyz, do more of this, less of that…”

The challenge with these types of resolutions is that they’re non-specific, not necessarily linked to a bigger reason and they lack any sort of plan of action.

Here are some ideas below on how to combat those three challenges, but even before that, if you just want a simple way to frame your year, why not come up with a ‘word for the year’.

Pick your word for the year

This is something I’ve done since 2016 and it’s a really powerful way to have one word to give you focus and clarity. One word to come back to that will influence the things you do and say, the things you put time and energy and attention into.

For example I’ve had words like focus, family, joy, connection, and relaxed. I’ve had clients and friends who’ve chosen words such as strong, fearless, success, courage, authentic, harmony, reconciliation, and even the word ice cream!

It doesn’t matter what your word is – as long as it speaks to you and really resonates with you.

So go for a walk and ponder – what might your word be? 

See what comes to mind.

You might like to grab a pen and paper and brainstorm a list of possible words and then narrow it down to just one. There is huge power in having a single word. Remember that there are no right or wrong words, so just go with your gut.

Once you have your word for the year you can keep coming back to it throughout the year. It will help by serving as a filter to the decisions you make day to day and after all, that is how your year will unfold…day by day.

If you’re also thinking of setting some goals for the year (which is a great idea by the way) let’s look at a better way of doing it.

1. Be specific

If you have a goal in mind rather than a vague intention to ‘get fitter’, decide what you really want and find a way to express it in a concrete way. I am going to get fit enough to run for 30 minutes without stopping, or I’m going to be fit enough to do xyz event on a certain date.

The more specific you can be in setting the goal, the more it will drive your motivation to take action.

2. Know your WHY

rather than aiming to do something because you see other people doing it or feel like people might expect it of you, the only goals that you’ll truly be motivated to achieve are the ones that YOU are passionate about.

If you understand that you want to be fitter and stronger so you can keep up with the kids and have energy and strength to rough and tumble with them after work each night, you’ll be able to picture what that will mean day to day in your life.

If you know that learning a new skill will mean you can help more people, or advance more quickly with your career aspirations, you can picture what that will mean.

The best way to switch on your internal motivation to get started is to know your compelling why and to pursue it.

3. Start small and take regular action

No idea, however brilliant, will work on it’s own. To create change you need to take action. The biggest reason people fail and give up on their goals is trying to do too much, too quickly.

So you want to drink more water – great! Rather than aiming for 3 litres a day, start with an extra glass of water by morning tea time, then add half a glass at afternoon tea, then a full glass, and continue extending this until it becomes your new norm.

The key to achieving any goals that you set is to maintain momentum (no matter how slow.)

Wishing you every success with achieving your goals and much learning from the spaces in between when things don’t quite work out as planned.

To hear more about having a word for the year and to hear what my word was this particular year – check out this facebook live video

For more inspiration and free resources to boost your personal health and happiness click here.


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