Alternatives to Resolutions

In a previous article, I wrote about the difference between New Year’s resolutions and goals. The month of January can bring on a lot of emotions. For some people there is excitement. For others, there may be feelings of dread and overwhelm. Creating New Year’s resolutions, or goals, is a common thing to practice.

Set up to fail

80% of New Year resolutions end up failing. This is often because goals are too vague or unrealistic. Additionally, people don’t ask for help.

Are there alternatives to New Year's resolutions? Yes, there are! Deanna Ritchie, from Calendar.com, provided ten alternatives to New Year resolutions. And I am so excited to share them with you today.

Small practices that can make a difference

  • Make a list of things you are looking forward to in the new year. Imagining something exciting can help you fight against pessimism. Pessimism is the tendency to expect bad or negative things to happen to you or around you. Looking forward to exciting things can encourage you, even if you want to give up.
  • Map out monthly themes. Monthly themes are the same as framing your year. As I mentioned in the previous article, this is about creating micro habits and small goals to help you reach a large goal by a specific time.
  • Decide what to track or measure. You don’t have to decide right away but brainstorm about things you want to keep track of. For example, say you want to work on not skipping any treatments. You can track when you complete your daily treatments. It will also track when you skipped a treatment. This could help you determine when you are more likely to be compliant versus when you struggle with it.
  • Compile a SMART goals list. The main reason 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail is that “they aren’t specific enough”. When creating goals or resolutions, remember to keep them SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
  • Create a bucket list. I think of big, once-in-a-lifetime things whenever I think of bucket lists. But they can be applied to anything. For example, think of the things you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. Write them down and make them your bucket list for 2023.
  • Develop a mantra. What is a mantra? A mantra is a repeated word or phrase. For example, if you live in Texas, you are probably familiar with the mantra, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” You can develop your own mantra and apply it to your life.

This or That

Do you have CF-related goals this year?

  • Write a personal mission statement. A mission statement is something that companies often make to help ensure that everyone knows the shared goals, traits, and values of a company. Your personal mission statement should clearly state your goals and your boundaries. Once you have this, share it with friends and family. This will help communicate your goals and needs with your loved ones.
  • Reboot an area of your life. Sometimes we can feel stuck or sluggish - some people call it being stuck in a rut.  Being stuck isn’t bad, but staying stuck is bad. If you find yourself unable to gain enough momentum to move forward, it may be time to reboot an area of your life. Figure out what you want. Determine what is keeping you from your goal. And decide what steps need to be taken next.
  • Do 30-, 60-, or 90-day challenges. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. For example, on Instagram, there is a 100-day drawing challenge. Another example is the #dtiys challenge. This is when you take a piece of art and draw it in your style. What is great about fixed-time challenges is that they foster a sense of community, and they help you see results in a short amount of time.
  • Try gratitude exercises. Expressing gratitude can lessen depression and anxiety. One way to practice gratitude is to have a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to elaborate. Just have something where you can look back on the things you are grateful for.

Reflections

The New Year can bring on so many different emotions. Some people are excited, while others are grieving. While some people feel ready and equipped, others can feel overwhelmed. If setting a New Year’s resolution seems impossible, think of different ways you can set goals for yourself. Everyone has different resources and your goals should reflect what you have access to – whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually.

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