Why do we continue to make a list of New Year’s resolutions? We even write the same ones every year! Whatever our good intentions were, by February or March, we have forgotten them for one more year. Here are some different ideas to try this year:
Quarterly or Monthly Goals
Rather than create a “year-long” to do list with goals, why not make it realistic with quarterly goals? For example, rather than “I’m going to become a chef and cook all meals at home”, develop short-term milestones; e.g. “I will complete one cooking class this month.” Focus on the areas of your life that YOU enjoy. This way it is a more reasonable list and you are checking in with yourself more often.
Rather than go “short-term” why not create a Bucket List. This list is meant to be lifelong, so there is less pressure to accomplish everything THIS year, and more focus on long-term pursuits. It is also a fun list to create as a couple or family.
Another option creates a theme for the year. For example, you may choose “health.” This means when given options of what to do, the choice will be health-related. The next year could be “friendship.” When choosing between going home after work like you want to or investing time in a new friendship, you choose the latter. This helps with daily decision making and keeps one from feeling too overwhelmed with trying self-improvement in multiple areas all at once.
Whichever approach you choose, do not set yourself up to fail. Self-improvement is meant to improve, not make you feel worse.