Here we are, 2020 in the rear-view mirror, three weeks into the brand, new year and I bet you can’t remember your resolutions?
Oh, don’t feel bad if you forgot your resolutions. You’re not alone. Only 25% of people who make resolutions stick with them past 30 days. Even better? Only 8% of those people will actually achieve them.
Research says that most people forget their resolutions by the third Monday in January—they call it Blue Monday because folks can get depressed from already falling off the wagon.
If almost no one sticks to resolutions, why make them? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about personal development and self-improvement. I’m not a fan of resolutions because they are like trying to carry water with a fishing net.
Setting them is easy. Keeping them is hard.
It’s easy to set resolutions in the excitement of starting a new year. It’s also easy to forget them or we wake up and realize that what we promised in the heat of the moment is harder to do than we thought.
Why? Resolutions are usually general statements that sound and feel good in the moment. You throw out a casual thing “I’ll lose weight…save money…get organized” (all of which are always in the top 5 resolutions each year). The problem is that there is no substance to sink your goal getting teeth into. I’ve seen so many people get bummed when they break their resolutions less than one week in.
That’s why I say resolutions suck. You get let down so quickly that it discourages you.
The good news is that you can turn that frown upside down. Any day is a great day to set goals that move you. If you’re not quite ready to jump into the goal setting end of the pool, there are other ways to start on the path to self-improvement
Here are a few resolution alternatives:
- Set intentions: Your intentions can serve as your purpose and plan. They are your objectives that you can work towards. I find that clients who have fallen of the resolution wagon time and time again often feel so much guilt that goals seem like too steep a mountain to climb. Setting intentions is an easier path to self-improvement as it feels less intense, but can still be inspirational. If your resolutions are behind you but you’re not ready for setting goals, give intentions a try. For example, instead of a general “I’ll lose weight” you could set an intention to take at least one healthy action a day. That could include anything from getting enough sleep, drinking more water or getting in your fruits and veggies. Intentions give you more flexibility to ease into better habits.
- Try a theme word: For my creatives and non-committal clients, a theme word works best to ease them into goal setting. Pick a theme word that motivates and inspires you, especially when you’re feeling down. Words like victorious, intentional, action-taker, or visionary can inspire you to take action; value words like honesty, authenticity, courage, respect or, learning. I like to take it beyond a single word and come up with a tagline or phrase that will inspire you through the year. One of my favorites is “progress over perfection” or “done is better than none. ”Your theme word or phrase can serve as affirmations as you start your day to keep you focused on the right things at the right time.
- Create a vision board: If you’ve never created a vision board, I’m sure you’ve heard of one by now. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, a vision board is basically a collage of images that you choose to represent your goals. Whether you do a physical board by clipping images and pasting them, or you do a digital board using software, the key is to choose visuals that represent your goals. These pictures serve as graphic reminders of the goals you want to achieve. Keeping them up and around you will inspire you each day to keep pressing forward.
- Set real goals: Are you ready to jump in the deep goal setting end of the pool? My favorite alternative to resolutions is to take the time to set well-crafted goals that support your long-term vision. Start by brainstorming a list of all the things you’ve ever wanted to do in the different areas of your life. Try to find one thing in each area that you could possibly start soon. Narrow that list down to the three things that would get you the most mileage if you focused on it for the next 3-6 months. Write it up as a goal saying exactly what you want to do, how you’ll know when you’ll reach the goal and what resources you’re willing to commit to the goal.
Want to kick your resolution rebellion up a notch? Do all of the above. Set your intentions, choose your theme for the year, create a vision board and write out some blood pumping goals.
What are you focusing on for the next month?
I always love hearing about what others are working on. Let me know what you’re planning for the next month or so.
I’m cooking up some new things for you so stay tuned.