It’s December, my friends. You know what that means, right?
No, I’m not just talking about Christmas (although it certainly can mean that).
What I mean is, Christmas is almost upon us and once that day passes, the next thing that almost inevitably grabs our attention is the coming year – specifically, what we’re going to do about it.
Cue people wondering where the time has gone and what’s going to happen now that a new year has come.
This is the time that we start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and start asking questions on how to make the best New Year’s resolutions list: What should my New Year’s resolution be? How do you set realistic New Year’s resolutions?
Does it make you shiver with excitement or with dread?
Ever since I discovered Jim Rohn, December always makes me think of him. In fact, I always end up watching (and re-watching) his seminar, How To Have The Best Year Ever, at about this time.
I’m including the YouTube video here (although I actually have The Ultimate Jim Rohn’s Library, available for free on Audible):
At around 2 hours and 39 minutes, he encourages the audience to develop their ability to reflect and gives specific times when it’s best to do so (more on his thoughts on reflection later).
According to Jim Rohn, one of the best times to reflect is at the end of the year.
Because I believe that this period is incredibly important (remember the importance of timing?), this post will be really long (just like our Ultimate Guide To Self Love) and jam-packed with all the information you’ll ever need to craft effective New Year’s resolutions that you can use as a springboard to greater and better things…to the blissful life you’ve always deserved.
You’ll need time and focus to not only finish this post but to get the most out of it.
So, bookmark this page and come back to it once you’ve managed to set aside some time. Take your journal with you, your favourite pen and hunker down.
You’re creating your best year ever, to borrow Jim Rohn’s phrase and this is going to be so freakin’ exciting! 🙂
Alright! Let’s get to it.
What are New Year’s resolutions?
Obviously, no proper guide on the best New Year’s resolutions list will be complete without even a background on the all-time favourite question: What are New Year’s resolutions?
Simply put, New Year’s resolutions are decisions you make at the start of a new year to start or stop doing something that has an impact on your life.
In other words, it could be positive or negative.
You can either change an undesired trait or behavior (for example, overindulging in sweets) to a far more desirable one (eating an apple a day) or you can set a specific goal that you wish to accomplish that you think might improve your life (focusing on self-love).
A list of New Year’s resolutions is wholly subjective as different people obviously have different goals.
You can choose whatever you think will make the most impact in your life.
No right or wrong answers here, friends.
Just a strong commitment to making the change. 🙂
Where did New Year’s resolutions come from?
Believe it or not, New Year’s resolutions are rooted in history.
They’re not just a recent phenomenon. They’ve been around for years and by years, I mean thousands of years.
4,000 years to be precise.
The earliest record we have currently have of the emergence of the tradition comes from the Babylonians, who recorded the practice of making oaths to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These oaths were made in the Babylonian New Year, which was held in March during the start of the planting season.
Like the Babylonians before them, the Romans too began each year (also initially in March in honour of the god of war but which slowly transitioned to January in honour of the god Janus) by making new promises and affirming old ones.
As Christianity spread and gained strength, New Year’s resolutions took on a decidedly religious flavour and also sometimes changed dates.
For example, history suggests that Christian knights took the peacock vow at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. I can’t find any definite record about this so this seems more myth than history but who knows, really?
I like to keep an open mind about these things.
The concept of New Year’s resolutions isn’t reserved for Christians, though.
For instance, the period encompassing Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays that culminate in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is traditionally a period of reflection.
This is when people reflect upon their wrongdoings over the year.
This is when they seek as well as offer forgiveness.
In other words, New Year’s resolutions were an annual way to check up on one’s progress.
How to use New Year’s resolutions
I personally go with New Year’s resolutions goal setting rather than distinguishing between resolutions and goal settings.
I believe the tradition is fluid enough to embrace the nuances of both.
So, what exactly is the best way to employ the powers of New Year’s resolutions to make the maximum positive impact in your life?
This entire post is a sort of tribute to Jim Rohn, whose video appeared above and whose work I’ve referenced many times over in this blog.
For older posts where he makes an appearance, see the following list:
✦ The 4 Areas of Blissful Living: What Is A Blissful Life?
✦ The K&J Financial Plan: How To Stop Living From Paycheck to Paycheck
✦ How To Get Rich: A Summary of The Richest Man In Babylon
✦ How To Declutter Life 101 (A Cheatsheet)
✦ The Best Motivational Quotes Of All Time
✦ 15 Inspirational Memes About Change That Will Get You Excited About Your Life
✦ How To Make A House Feel Like Home: Do You Want A Blissful Home?
✦ 20 Things You Need To Give Up Now: Unlock Your Future & Fly High
✦ How To Be A Journalist And Work From Home: Connor Gotto
✦ Books That Will Help You Love Yourself: The Top Self Love Resources Everyone Needs To Read
Personally, I use New Year’s resolutions to reflect on everything that went right (and wrong) in the previous year and to then make a plan for the following year based on the information I gathered from the past.
This year, for example, I will be focusing on loving myself more and moving beyond my tendency to neglect myself in the pursuit of all the other drama (ahem, I mean dreams) that flavours my life.
If you want to know how to use New Year’s resolutions to love yourself and to make them so effective that you are finally able to design your best year ever (one more nod to the inimitable Mr Rohn), then join my process here and let’s get going together. 🙂
I believe in the power of the Law of Attraction and am, therefore, a proponent of visualisation.
So, when you want to make a change, when you want your life to be better than it is now, when you want to be the best version of yourself and you’re thinking of using New Year’s resolutions to achieve these, then I recommend creating an image of your best-case scenario in your mind.
Experience the outcome before you even begin writing things down.
Be specific. What exactly do you see happening?
Be thorough. Use all your senses to imagine this future you’re designing just now. What does it look, feel and smell like? Do you hear any particular sounds when you’re thinking of this scenario? Is there a taste that reminds you of what you’ve set out to do?
I also envision how gentle the whole process is.
After all, we know that even when change is good, it can be horrifically traumatising.
So, I think it’s important to visualise how your life is like, how you are like when you’re going through this process of change.
I’m going to be doing some heavy quoting from Jim Rohn’s seminar in this section on reflection (see above video) because he’s got a way with words that’s simply unsurpassed.
Starting from 2:39:35, he explains the importance of reflection. You can play the video along to really cement the points he made.
Side Note: Everything that Jim Rohn said, I’ll italicise. Some of these quotes are self-explanatory, so I’ll leave those alone.
Others are also easy to understand but for which I have some additional points to make, so I’ll write them down in normal text. If you haven’t watched the video, I encourage you to do so (link above) and enjoy the thought process of one of the greatest thinkers of our times.
One of the five abilities of personal development that Jim Rohn talks about in his seminar is the ability to reflect.
Reflect means go back over.
Study it again.
Go back over these notes that you’re taking today. Go back through the cassettes one more time. Read the text one more time.
But more than reviewing the information you’ve collected – consciously or inadvertently, he also tells us to go back over our day.
Run the tapes again, he said, so you can fully capture the essence of your day. So you can really get from the day rather than just get through it.
Good times to reflect
Whilst you can certainly reflect any time you wish to do so, there are some periods of your life that are more conducive to reflection and introspection.
I gotta say, as a work at home mother to a high-needs and highly energetic toddler in this day and age of competing responsibilities, my time for reflection and introspection is hard-won.
It’s not an easy task to embark on reflection when you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions so I do my best to follow Jim Rohn’s recommendation on the best times to reflect. See if you can use them too.
At the end of the day
Take a few minutes at the end of the day.
Go back over the day.
Who’d you see and what’d they say? And what happened?
How’d you feel?
What went on?
So that you capture that day.
A day is a piece of the mosaic of your life.
He emphasises the importance of capturing what happens to your life – the scents, the sights, the taste, the feeling and the sounds.
Of being fully present instead of just trying to get through it.
And this is what reflection at the end of each day does.
Go back over the day so that it locks in that experience, the knowledge, the sights, the sounds, the panorama, the colour motion picture of the day. Just lock it in.
So that it will serve you for the future – having that day, not missing it.
At the end of the week
Take a few hours at the end of the week, called time to reflect.
Go back over your day time or go back over your calendar. Go back over your appointment book.
Where did you go? And who did you see? And how did it feel? And what went on?
Capture that week.
A week is a pretty good chunk of time.
At the end of the month
Take half a day at the end of the month, called time to reflect and do the same thing again.
Go back over what you read. Go back over what you heard. Go back over what you saw. Go back over the feelings to capture it so that it serves you.
At the end of the year
Take a weekend at the end of the year to establish this year now firmly in your consciousness, firmly in your experience bank so that you’ve got it, so that it never disappears.
Why is reflection important?
Good ability to acquire, the ability to reflect.
Go back over.
It’s so valuable to be able to remember the thought, the idea, the experience, the occasion, the day, the weather, the emotion, the complexity, the highs, the lows.
So valuable at the end of the day.
Lock that day in.
Lock the month in.
Lock the week in.
Lock the year in.
I have to admit that I have an on-again off-again relationship with the process of reflection, mostly because I struggle with a bit of OCD (understatement of the year) and whenever I make a mistake whilst writing on my paper journal, it’s like my brain freezes.
It can’t get over the fact that I have to use a white out.
That doesn’t actually even work because my journal is cream rather than white so a white out just makes the area stand out more.
Often, I tear off the page and start again or I just give up mid-way instead of finishing my thought.
It’s only this year that I’m starting to get past this.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t managed to let myself read my entries too many times because I always have mistakes there – which obviously gets in the way of reflecting.
My memory currently isn’t as good as it used to be so I do have to rely on the things I wrote in order to properly capture the past.
Eventually, I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to engage in this process with the least amount of fuss.
Might start an online journal at some point (hello, another blog???).
If I do, I’ll let you know. 🙂
Anyway, here’s another reason why developing the ability to reflect is so important: To make the past more valuable to serve you for the future.
Here’s what’s really powerful: learning to gather up the past and invest it in the future.
Gather up today and invest it in tomorrow.
Gather up this week and invest it in the next week.
Gather up this year and invest it in the next year.
See, that’s so powerful rather than just hanging on one more year, hanging in there, seeing what’s going to happen.
Learn. Study. This is part of the personal development quest.
Becoming better than you are, more valuable.
Work on yourself, then you bring more value.
How to reflect on your life
So, what is the master business philosopher saying about actually reflecting on your life?
According to Jim Rohn, there are times when you can engage in reflection with another person. As you do with a partner, a work colleague, a peer or with your children, for example.
You can all look at what’s happened in the past (you can use the same questions he recommended in the previous sections) and lock all that experience in.
Then, together you can dream. You can visualise what you want to see show up in your future. And you can make plans together to help you all make that vision reality.
It makes for a more cooperative, cohesive and invested unit.
That said, there is something special about doing the process on your own.
Here’s the most important: You’ve got to learn how to reflect with yourself.
There’s something to be said for solitude.
There’s something to be said for taking those occasions to shut out the world and shut out everything else for a while.
Solitude, according to Jim Rohn, is the “chance to reflect, to go back over my life, go back over my skills, go back over my experiences.”
There’s some things you need to do alone.
See if you can’t become better this year than you were last year. Better the next nine than you were the first nine.
Make a plan.
Once you know where you currently are and what you have to work with (AKA your baseline), it’s time to make a plan for the future.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be too difficult.
It can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Jim Rohn says that the formula for success is simple: A few simple disciplines practiced every day.
Once you know what you need to be doing to achieve your goal (of better health, financial freedom etc), then all you have to do is decide what you need to do to achieve it.
You want better health?
✦ Break it down into small chunks that you can do every day:
✦ Sleep before midnight.
✦ Eat an apple a day.
✦ Walk around the block every single day to get your heart rate up.
✦ Meditate for at least 10 minutes.
Then do it.
One chunk at a time.
Every. Single. Day.
If you have to, use your phone’s alarm to remind you of any new tasks or habits that you have to form and which won’t come naturally yet.
I use The Fabulous app.
Otherwise, I’ll never remember.
Keep doing this until the change becomes a habit you now cannot live without.
It can take between 2 to 8 months for the habit to stick so keep going.
If you really want to achieve your goal, don’t quit.
This whole process of using New Year’s resolutions effectively and judiciously comes full circle with step 4’s another reflection.
Check if you’re sail is set to the direction you wish to go.
Do this often.
Follow Jim Rohn’s advice.
Check at the end of every day, the end of every week, the end of every month and the end of every year.
Gather every information up and use them, invest them in the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year.
Make sure that the numbers match, that you’re getting the results you want, that the seeds you’ve planted are growing.
If yes, keep doing what you’ve been doing.
If not, then there are a few things you need to remember.
Remember to be gentle with yourself.
Of course, in the end, you need to remember to be gentle with yourself.
Perfection isn’t the aim here. Striving for perfection is.
You don’t get bonus points for beating yourself up because you didn’t get to make the change you wanted immediately.
Remember that setbacks are inevitable.
You’ll need to learn to accept that setbacks will happen, even though that’s so hard, I know.
I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Heck, you’re talking to the person who can’t finish a journal because she made a mistake and had to use a whiteout.
So, realise that setbacks are normal and they happen to the best of people, even with the best of intentions.
What can you do if you experience a setback?
Feel your feelings.
Let’s face it. There are experiences in this life that suck big time. Failing is one of them. Rejection is another. You’re lucky if all you feel is a bit of a sting.
If this setback is about something you really want, then not getting it is going to do more than sting.
It’s gonna feel incredibly discouraging and if you experience it too often, it can cause you to lose hope.
So, it’s vital that when you exprience setbacks, you take the time to process it (hello, journal time!)
And to pretend that it’s okay when it really isn’t will just make things worse.
Evaluate what happened.
Engage both sides of your brain.
What went wrong?
How can you mitigate this setback?
What can you do better, moving forward?
Make another plan, a better plan.
And then re-commit to doing it.
Once you have that in place, try again.
Don’t give up.
Celebrate your successes.
On your way to your ultimate goal, you’ll encounter setbacks, yes, but also, smaller wins.
How often do you actually pause to savour the moment?
Do you pat yourself on the back for a job well done, tell yourself how proud you are of this achievement?
If you’re like me, you just cross that small win off your to-do list and then keep going – not even bothering to stop awhile and really enjoy your success.
Based on personal experience, I can guarantee that that’s a recipe for overwhelm and burnout.
Move away from that.
You know what you can do?
Do as Jack Canfield advises and try this exercise:
Step One: Every night, look at yourself in the mirror.
Step Two: Smile. Really feel the pleasure.
Step Three: Start giving yourself compliments.
Step Four: Do this every night until praising yourself becomes second nature.
You might say, “Oh, but I don’t want to become arrogant or narcisstic.”
Whilst I agree that there are some who might be in danger of crossing over and start lording their successes over other people, for many, that’s not the case.
Too often, we don’t acknowledge how well we’re doing.
We’re too busy criticising ourselves that we don’t really notice when we actually experience a win.
Trust me, this alone will fuel your motivation like no other and push you towards bigger and better goals.
How do you make a good New Year’s resolution?
When you’ve gone through the process I outlined in the previous section, it’s a lot easier to get the answer to this section’s question.
So, how do you make a good New Year’s resolution?
First, follow the process outlined above.
Second, be honest with yourself. What is it exactly that you want to change, to improve?
By it’s very nature, a New Year’s resolution is going to be highly subjective.
After all, what’s important to me may mean nothing to you.
That’s completely fine.
In fact, it’s to be expected.
So, to be honest, you’re asking the wrong question if you’re on this post looking for answers to the following questions: “what should my New Year’s resolution be?” or “What are good New Year resolutions?”.
Because then, you’re actually looking for what other people want to do with your life.
Instead of you deciding what to do with yours.
Visualise the future you wish. And visualise the process that will allow you to bring it to life.
Again (and I’ll keep writing this until my fingers cramp up), follow the process in the previous section.
It won’t steer you wrong.
How to write effective New Year’s resolutions
Just like in affiliate marketing, blogging, network marketing or any other type of business, the success rate of New Year’s resolutions is abysmal.
Only 2% succeed.
In fact, about 80% give up on their resolutions by 12 January! That’s not even a month!
Which means that even with the best of intentions, chances are high that any change you wish to make will not happen by the time next December comes calling.
That’s quite sad and highly discouraging, isn’t it?
So, what are your options?
How do you set realistic New Year’s resolutions that you won’t fail at? What can you do to make sure you’re part of the 2% rather than the 98% (because that’s where all the good things are, right?)?
Set SMART goals.
When you’re thinking about what you want to see happening in your life, you need to make sure that you’re not sabotaging yourself by settling for second best simply because you think that what you want is unattainable.
Figure out what you want, then write it down. And give yourself a time frame as to when you want to achieve what you want.
Make goals of your resolutions.
According to Jim Rohn, “Goals are your vision of the future.“
We’re going back to the visualisation part of this process: Get clear on what you want and why you want it.
So, how do you set effective goals (AKA, for the purposes of this post, New Year’s Resolutions)?
Set SMART Goals.
SMART, in case you weren’t already aware, is an acronym and it stands for:
✦ Specific – Clearly define your goals. Want to lose weight? How many kilos exactly?
✦ Measurable – You need to be able to check if you’re meeting your goals so these need to be measurable. How do you know you’re actually losing or have lost weight? Go on a weighing scale. Get a measuring tape and start checking. Then, keep doing it until you hit your goal or your timeframe, whichever is sooner.
✦ Achievable – Write realistic goals instead of a pie in the sky promise. If you’ve never gone on a weight loss programme before, setting a goal of losting 5 stones in 5 months might be a bit much and might see you giving up the dream because it seems impossible.
✦ Relevant – Make sure that the resolutions you choose are relevant to you. It’s all well and good to want to lose weight – stat! – but if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it might not be in your best interest to start an intense workout complete with intermittent fasting.
- ✦ Time-Bound – Set yourself a deadline. You want to lose weight? Perfect. By when? According to Real Men Real Style, “A deadline creates a sense of urgency that inspires action. Set dates on your goals. A year is too long for a resolution. Break into smaller goals lasting 5 weeks or 100 days.“
What kind of goals do you need to be thinking about making?
Jim Rohn, of course, has got a few suggestions:
Where do you want to go and what do you want to do?
What do you want to see and what do you want to be?
That’s it – the promise of the future.
Write it down.
According to a Stanford University study, people are far more likely to achieve their goals when they write them down. In fact, doing so increases the probability of them achieving it by over 70%.
That’s a massive improvement.
Again, going back to the visualisation process, use your imagination.
Be as creative as you possibly can.
Engage all your senses. And don’t hold back.
You want to lose weight?
Put it down in writing and for maximum effect, make sure that it’s written as if it’s already in progress or has already been accomplished.
In other words, don’t just write that you want to lose weight.
You want to be clear, right?
So, a better and more effective New Year’s Resolution would be: I have lost 2 stones by this same time next year and I enjoyed the whole process.
See what I mean?
Get clear on your why.
Jim Rohn said, “The price is easy if the promise is clear.“
In other words, when you know why you want to change what you want to change, to improve what you want to improve, you’re far more likely to overcome any setbacks or obstacles that come your way.
If you know that sleeping early every night means you can wake up before anyone in the household and this means that you can work your side hustle until it gives you the freedom to resign from your 9-5 job, wouldn’t you be far more willing to do it?
Wouldn’t you make sure that you’re tucked in bed early in the evening and awake and ready to go by 5 or even 4 in the morning?
Surely, the knowledge that such a reward (that you chose for yourself, which means it’s intrinsic rather than imposed upon you externally), wouldn’t you ensure that you have a prioritised schedule to hand by the time morning comes so you don’t then waste time trying to decide what to do first?
For a resolution to stick, it must resonate with a higher purpose than just because it seems the fashionable thing to do.
People want to lose weight all the time and it’s quite possibly one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions out there. It’s also one that most people fail at – sometimes even before January ends.
Because people aren’t clear as to why they want it.
If you just want to lose weight because you’ve gained a lot of it over the holidays and you just want to shift it, then you might as well throw in the towel now.
“I want to lose weight because I want to lose weight” doesn’t really connect you to that well of determination that springs from passion. Whilst it may well be true, it doesn’t really do anything to improve your desire to actually do it.
I mean, does that reason – that why – excite you?
Does it make you want to wake up extra early and brave the gym?
Or, instead, does it make you want to groan in dread at this silly goal you’ve set for yourself?
A good why is clear.
It’s enticing and makes you think, “God, I can’t wait to do it!”
Maybe you want to lose weight so you look like your exceptionally fit self prior to kids (ahem, that’s me right there).
Or so that you start feeling young again?
Maybe you crave the energy that losing weight – and the accompanying activity: consistent exercise – brings you?
Or maybe, you’re planning that trip to Fiji that’s been sitting at the top of your bucket list since you were 20 and you obviously want to look good in a bikini for the millions of pictures you’ll be taking there.
Whatever your reason, make it clear. Make it exciting. And then don’t take your eyes off it.
Make your purpose strong enough to withstand a wobble here and there, to withstand external ridicule and pressure, to withstand your own resistance to change.
“Eyes on the prize” isn’t just a trite saying. It’s a great advice to help you succeed at whatever task you set out to do.
Margie Warrell wrote, “Connect your resolutions to those things that give you a deeper sense of purpose and align with your core values. When your resolutions connect to a deeper sense of purpose, it compels you not to think small or play safe, but to dig deep and stay the course when the going gets tough – no matter how many hurdles.“
Set yourself up for success.
Sometimes it seems like we’re doomed to fail and honestly, if you’re environment is full of naysayers or you’re wanting to lose weight but you have nothing but junk food in your house, then no amount of willpower in the world can help you.
You’ll end up sabotaging yourself and failing the goal – sometimes, even before you start.
Never underestimate the importance of a strong support network to your success.
This could take the form of the people around you or it could be the routines and habits you’ve set up for yourself.
Do what you can to ensure that it’s all but impossible for you to fail.
Create a colour-coded progress chart on Excel.
Get an accountability partner, a trainer or a coach.
Join a group.
If your goal is to lose weight, then make sure you get rid of all temptations in your house and fill it with healthy yet delicious alternatives.
And what about those toxic naysayers who do nothing but try to tear you down?
Set your boundaries. Ensure they’re firm.
And then minimise contact. Or avoid them altogether.
You do you boo.
I don’t know about you but when I set a goal, I tend to keep it secret for fear that telling someone else would jinx it.
Most of the time, I don’t tell people what I’m doing until it’s already been accomplished.
Many of the people I know are exactly the same.
Why is that?
Doesn’t that show just how little we think of ourselves and of others?
Most people want to help so shouldn’t we all be very open about our dreams and ambitions? Allow other people the opportunity to be of service?
But no, unfortunately, that’s not the case.
I suppose, it’s got something to do with fear.
Failing is bad enough when you’re the only one to know that it’s happened.
But fail when the whole world is watching?
Of course, you don’t actually have to announce to the whole world what you’re doing. But you do need to tell somebody who will hold you accountable, who will check your progress and who will not be judgemental or mocking when you make mistakes (trust us, you don’t need that when you’re going after your dreams).
You need support and encouraging words so your accountability partner should act accordingly.
The last thing you need is someone who says, “I knew you couldn’t do it. I told you so,” when you encounter a setback.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Ever heard of the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.“?
That’s also true when you’re trying to write down effective New Year’s resolutions.
Don’t try to change your whole life or just the thought of what you have to do will defeat you.
Because changing your life is daunting, that’s why. It immediately makes you think of ceaseless and backbreaking effort.
Who wants to spend the rest of their life toiling with no rest?
Besides, you only have 24 hours in a day.
You need to focus on the things that matter most to make sure they get done. Trust me on this one, I’m practically an expert on failing to tick off boxes because everything is equally important.
Go back to Jim Rohn’s advice on transforming your life, “A few simple disciplines practiced every day.“
So, what do you do?
Set yourself up for success and start by choosing one super important New Year’s Resolution to focus on by the time 1 January comes barrelling through.
Don’t cheat! Just choose one.
Make it big and maybe even all-encompassing but don’t choose multiples.
Let’s go back to our example: “I have lost 2 stones by this same time next year and I enjoyed the whole process.”
This is your overarching New Year’s Resolution so don’t add another completely different one like “I am repaying £25,000 in debt all in one year!”
Imagine the many changes, the many daily disciplines, you need to get both going.
Again, choose one and stick with it.
Then, break it down.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite a time, remember?
So, what discipline can you commit to each day that will result in you shifting that weight?
Will you eat an apple a day, every day?
Walk around the block for at least an hour every day – rain or shine?
This is your call.
Be simple and straightforward.
Simple means you’re more likely to do it.
If you overcomplicate it, chances are you’ll probably give up before you really get started.
And then, pull a Nike and just do it.
New Year’s resolutions ideas for self love
As I mentioned a few times in previous sections, New Year’s resolutions will naturally be subjective as it will depend on where you are on your journey.
That said, there is one thing that I think will do everyone a world of good if we all decide to choose this as this year’s New Year’s Resolutions: turn your mind to the development of self love.
In How Do You Love Yourself, Let Me Count The Ways: The Ultimate Guide to Self-Love, I defined self love as a deep sense of appreciation for yourself that both nurture and is nurtured by your actions.
I won’t go into too much detail about that here since that post is already jam-packed full of all the information on self love that you’ll need (it’s over 7,000 words!).
So, if you’re new to self love, then head on over to that post and come back here. 🙂
I also gave a few more ideas on how to ensure that you start developing self-love:
✦ a comprehensive list of self-love affirmations you can use to counter negative self-talk
✦ the best meditation to listen to
✦ the top books you can read to help you educate yourself on the topic
✦ activities you can engage in solo
✦ why mothers in particular and caregivers, in general, are especially susceptible to compassion fatigue, how to take advantage of what little time you have available in order to focus on yourself as well as quick and easy self care strategies for busy parents
✦ the supplies you need if you decide to engage in a luxurious spa day at home designed to pamper your tired and overworked self
✦ self care gifts you can give to people you care about
Now armed with this information, you can craft a New Year’s resolution that is designed specifically for you and you can also set up yourself to succeed by following the process I’ve outlined in this post.
So, how to make self love a part of your New Year’s resolution?
If you’ve never focused on yourself or even loving yourself before, then I recommend making this your overarching New Year’s resolutions.
It’s a broad topic and, believe it or not, very easy to create the daily disciplines you need to get from point A to point B.
Want to know what I’ll be doing for next year?
I’ll write it down here and you can use it as inspiration for your own resolutions this coming year. 🙂
Overarching Goal: I give myself the attention, the care and the love I require and deserve.
✦ Drink 2 glasses of water upon waking up and 1 glass right before going to bed.
✦ Meditate for at least 5 minutes every morning.
✦ Exercise every day (use the exercise recommended in the Fabulous app – less than 10 minutes, as I don’t have much time) – except when I have to take my son to nursery as I’ll already be power walking over and down a steep hill for a minimum of 30 minutes that day.
✦ Start journaling before going to bed. Write short observations or thoughts.
✦ Set my to-do list for the next day before going to sleep.
✦ Listen to Jim Rohn’s One Year Success Plan.
✦ Have a few hours to myself, just reflecting on the week past.
✦ Read a difficult book – not the usual novels I read but ones that are meaty and hard to get through. Bonus points for finishing a book that makes me cry.
✦ Spend a half-day with myself just reflecting on the month past.
✦ Indulge in a spa day.
✦ Read a difficult book – not the usual novels I read but ones that are meaty and hard to get through. Bonus points for finishing a book that makes me cry.
As you can see, these are all simple things do.
Some of them will be easy for me as they’re already a part of my routine anyway (like drinking water before going to bed and after waking up).
But some of them will be quite difficult and I’ll have to really push myself to do it. A prime example is reading difficult books that make me cry. I hate doing it because it forces me to feel deep feelings. This will be a challenge I both anticipate and dread.
Roll on 2020!
To recap, New Year’s resolutions – a tradition practised by many other societies before ours – are decisions you make at the start of a new year to start or stop doing something that has an impact on your life.
Usually regarded as whistling in the wind, it’s gotten a bad rap through the years because most people fail to achieve what they set out to do.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way so long as you follow the process below:
✦ Make a plan.
✦ Reflect again.
✦ Celebrate your successes.
And then remember the tips below when you actually start crafting your New Year’s resolutions for maximum effectiveness:
✦ Set SMART goals.
✦ Write it down.
✦ Get clear on your why.
✦ Set yourself up for success.
✦ Go public.
Finally, whilst you are obviously in full control of what you want to do next in your life, I strongly recommend that you make the space to focus on cultivating self love. It doesn’t have to be your overarching resolution.
It doesn’t even have to be part of your New Year’s resolution this coming year but, at some point in the future, I firmly believe everyone should do it.
It’s an essential part of life.
What about you? Have you chosen your New Year’s resolutions yet? Do share in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you. 🙂