Three Better Alternatives To New Year's Resolutions

As we begin a new year, many of us are tempted to create resolutions that push us towards ambitious personal goals.

However, according to researchers at Scranton University these resolution often fail by mid-February only 8 percent of people have been able achieve their objective and most abandon them even sooner.

So why not try something different this time around?

Instead of attempting potentially unachievable New Year's resolutions like “exercise more," "lose weight" or "get organized” consider using these achievable alternatives as your guide for the coming months.

#1. Make a list of things that will bring you joy and happiness in the New Year

Do you find yourself feeling happier when you have something exciting to look forward to, like a holiday? 

According to experts, this is because we tend to have stronger emotions about future events than past ones. 

Thinking about something new and exciting can also help us stay motivated. 

And, the anticipation of a reward can actually help us be more disciplined and practice delayed gratification. 

“Anticipation implies a future reward, and rewards are powerful motivators,” says therapist LeNaya Smith Crawford said. This is because when you know you will be rewarded, you’re motivated to accomplish those tasks you may not want to complete.

“Anticipation also creates discipline,” Smith Crawford adds. “It helps with delayed gratification. This teaches us that if we can be patient, a greater experience — or reward — is upon us.”

So next time you're feeling down, try to think about something fun and exciting coming up in the future.

It could be just the boost you need to stay on track and reach your goals.

#2. Create a theme for each month to focus on.

Have you ever tried "framing your year" by setting themes for each month? 

This approach can help you focus on specific goals and make progress in a shorter time frame. 

You can write the chosen theme on the first day of each month in your planner and then log your progress throughout the month. 

This can help you see everything you did to improve yourself and set new goals for the following month. 

Plus, it's a great way to switch things up and stay motivated.

Here are some themes you can try:

  1. "Move More" - focus on increasing physical activity and finding ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine
  2. "Eat Clean" - focus on incorporating more whole, unprocessed foods into your diet and cutting back on unhealthy foods
  3. "Mindful Eating" - focus on being more aware of your food choices and practicing mindful eating habits, such as slowing down and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues
  4. "Self-Care" - focus on taking care of yourself through activities such as stress management, sleep improvement, and self-care practices
  5. "Community Support" - focus on seeking support and accountability from friends, family, or a support group to help you reach your health goals
  6. "Positive Thinking" - focus on building a positive mindset and finding ways to reframe negative thoughts and self-talk
  7. "Goal Setting" - focus on setting and working towards specific health-related goals, such as improving your diet or increasing your exercise routine
  8. "Consistency" - focus on building consistent habits and routines to help you maintain progress towards your health goals
  9. "Gratitude" - focus on cultivating a sense of gratitude and finding daily opportunities to appreciate the things in your life
  10. "Balance" - focus on finding balance in all areas of your life, including work, relationships, and self-care.

Switch your theme up every month and experience progress in 12 different areas of your life by the end of the year.

3. Create a personal mission statement to help you stay focused and motivated.

A personal mission statement is a powerful tool that can help you stay focused and motivated on your health journey. 

Whether you're trying to lose weight, eat healthier, or improve your overall wellness, a mission statement can help you clarify your values and goals, and make decisions that align with them. 

By declaring your mission and living it every day, you can stay on track and avoid distractions that might derail your progress. 

But creating a meaningful mission statement takes some thought and reflection. 

To get started, try answering these questions: what is important to you when it comes to your health, where do you want to go in terms of your fitness and well-being, what does "the best" look like for you in terms of your body and health, how do you want to act and make choices that support your health, and what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind in terms of your health and wellness?

Once you have your personal mission statement, you can start living it and focusing on the things that matter most to you.

Make this year your best year

While New Year's resolutions are a time-honored tradition, they may not be the most effective way to set and achieve personal goals. 

If you're looking for alternatives that will help you stay motivated and on track, consider making a list of things that will bring joy and happiness in the new year, creating a theme for each month to focus on, and developing a personal mission statement. 

These approaches can help you clarify your values and goals, build discipline and delayed gratification, and stay motivated on your journey towards a healthy and fulfilling life.

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