3 Alternatives for Those Who Don’t Set (or Keep) New Year’s Resolutions

By January 5, 2017Inspiration

new year's resolutionsIs setting New Year’s Resolutions still on your to-do list? You’re not alone. Even though we’re five days into 2017, millions of people across the country are already behind on their goals for the new year.

If you’re beating yourself up about not setting any resolutions yet, here’s some more good news, no one really fulfills the resolutions they make on new years anyways. In fact, only 8% of people who make resolutions for the new year actually achieve them.

So how do you ensure 2017 is a better year than 2016? How can you be more intentional about becoming the person you were created to be so that you end the year better than you entered it?

Be More Intentional in 2017 without New Year’s Resolutions

Over the past few years, I’ve tried a variety of different approaches to being more intentional in the new year that didn’t require setting lofty goals to achieve (but ultimately forget) by the end of the year. Here are a few of my favorite:

1. Focus on one word for 2017.

OneWord365 is an idea my friend Alece Ronzino introduced a few years ago. Rather than focusing on things you want to do or achieve this year, OneWord encourages us to consider who you want to become.

In 2016, my word was “self-discovery.” I wanted to truly take an inventory of how I’m wired and what natural strengths and skills I possess that will bring the most value to the world. I spent time reading books, taking assessments, and talking with friends who knew me best.

Maybe you want to be more intentional in 2017, making sure you’re spending your time and energy with more purpose. Maybe you want to be more generous towards others. Whatever your word might be, the idea of focusing on one word for 2017 brings a level of simplicity and focus towards becoming better this year.

2. Identify 2-3 daily habits you want to add, eliminate, or change.

One of the reasons people fail to achieve their resolutions is because they don’t develop the systems or processes that will help them be successful. If you want to improve something about your life in 2017, it’s going to require adjusting your daily routine. You can’t repeat the same way of living and expect different results.

One way I’ve put this truth into practice is to identify 2-3 daily habits I’d like to apply in the new year. Rather than setting a long-term resolution, I’ll think about the activities required on a daily basis to achieve those goals and focus on being disciplined about incorporating them into my daily routine.

For example, rather than setting a goal to lose more weight 2017, consider developing a daily discipline to work out for 30 minutes or to eat breakfast every morning. If you want to read more books, make a commitment to read at least one chapter a day.

3. Adopt the 52 & 7 approach to goal setting.

If you’re still one of those people who loves setting goals, but never can seem to follow through, the 52 & 7 approach might be the most helpful new year’s resolution idea. Author Jon Acuff introduced this approach a few years ago after consistently forgetting and failing to keep the resolutions he set each year.

Rather than focusing on a lofty goal to achieve by the end of the year, the 52 & 7 approach breaks it down into shorter sprints that help you measure progress on a more consistent basis. Essentially, you set a goal to achieve 52 days and repeat the process six more times throughout the year.

If you’re like me and tend to focus more on the immediate future, setting short-term goals provides more focus and accountability to achieving the goals I set.

Whatever method you choose to set resolutions in the new year, I hope you are successful. Reward yourself when you accomplish a goal. Find others who can encourage you throughout the journey. And don’t forget to give yourself a little grace along the way.

What are some of your favorite alternative methods to setting new years resolutions?

Jeremy Chandler

Jeremy Chandler

Jeremy Chandler is a 20-something who loves coming alongside other Millennials to navigate through the topics of leadership, career development, and personal growth. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and jumps at any opportunity to connect over coffee.
Jeremy Chandler
Jeremy Chandler

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Hi Jeremy-

    Great post. Thanks so much for using my photo in the header for this blog post. I’m so glad that you put it to good use.

    If your readers are interested in finding more of my works that I share for free they can be found here…

    https://unsplash.com/@jerryinocmd

    All the best,

    Jerry Kiesewetter

  • Jon Mertz says:

    Jeremy,

    Great ideas on how to shift our approach and make change work. I have tried the My 3 Words approach, and I like the theme approach for a year. I remember the words, especially when I write them down at the beginning of the year, and they guide my actions and thoughts.

    Thank you for giving all of us added ways to become better citizens, leaders, and family members!

    Jon

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