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Six better things to do than make New Year’s resolutions

The last time somebody checked, only 8% of people kept their New Year’s Resolutions. Here are six ideas to try instead. 

1 – Pick an intention instead of a goal.

Telling yourself you’re going to get a promotion puts all of your focus on the outcome. Rather than a win/lose goal, focus on the actions and mindset that could get you there, like not shying away from stretch assignments, or attending events where you can network. You might find at the end of the year that you’ve achieved some major goals, but there’s no downside if you don’t. When you put your energy towards positive actions, whatever happens, you’ll come out ahead.


2 – Choose something to track.

We’ve all heard the saying, “What gets measured gets done.” It may come from the business world, but it can do wonders for your own life. Whether you enlist the help of apps and devices, start up a spreadsheet, or scribble an X on a post-it note, there’s no end to the metrics and means of tracking them — without driving yourself crazy. Try tracking how you are spending your work day, or how well you are sleeping, or where your money is going to — and you’ll be sure to find ways to improve. 


3 – Make a list of things you’re excited about.

Do you have a vacation planned? A new and exciting work assignment? Can’t wait for Game of Thrones to come back? Whether it’s deeply personal or good news on a global scale, your brain can’t help but react positively to imagining all those things you’re looking forward to — because it actually has trouble distinguishing between experiencing events and just visualizing them. Write down and review whatever you see on the horizon that makes you happy, and you’ll start 2019 in a much better mood. 


4 – Start with a 30-day challenge.

Rather than a big accomplishment for the year — which, let’s be honest, can sound like a daunting task — commit yourself to a January achievement instead. (Or a February one, or a March one…). Whether that’s 30 days of morning meditation, or kicking yourself off your devices at bedtime, or something in-between, find a clear and simple challenge you can stick to. And if it goes well, there’s no reason you need to stop. 


5 – Reboot!

You don’t have to start the year by quitting your job and moving to South America to open that beach hostel you once dreamed about, but if you’re the “go big or go home” type, you might be up for a reboot in some aspect of your life. From a work wardrobe refresh that clears the clutter in your closet, to an office overhaul that gets the piles off your desk — the goal is to get a fresh start with a concentrated effort. 


6 – Just have fun.

Forget goals. Forget targets. Forget change. Go into the new year telling yourself you are spectacular the way you are. Make opening a champagne bottle the biggest challenge you give yourself on New Year’s Eve. Enter into the new year open to possibility, but don’t worry about when or how or what is coming. You likely can’t predict all the opportunities that will pop up over the year, and you don’t always have to set goals and challenges for them to materialize. Just be ready to leap.