I’m a firm believer of trying to make big changes in my life every time a new year comes. In recent times, I’d begin January with the intention to commit to a huge, year-long resolution—which I get pressured to give up eventually or lose motivation to actually follow.
Fortunately, New Year’s resolutions aren’t the only ways to try and bring changes into your life. Instead of feeling pressured to make a big resolution as most people do, I’d like to offer some alternatives:
Set monthly goals
To help you stay motivated, establish small, doable goals each month instead of a massive resolution for the year. It’s a lot easier to put your energy towards one goal at a time. Over the long haul, you’re bound to find that you’ve achieved multiple goals after all. Just make sure to be specific about the goals you set.
Create a bucket list
Another alternative to consider is making a bucket list for the year ahead. Reflect on what you want to accomplish for the year and write down achievements and good experiences that come to mind. The best part about this approach is that it doesn’t create a sense of pressure—your list can contain serious and lighthearted things!
Pick a word or a theme for the year
If you don’t want to feel limited by specific goals, pick a word or a theme that summarizes everything you want to work on or how you want to feel during the year. You can use this theme to dictate the goals you want to accomplish or use it as inspiration when you start feeling overwhelmed during the year.
Start tracking your habits
Want to work on a specific part of your life? Make a personal tracker—whether it’s your spending habits, your progress in a passion project, or even the eating choices you make each day. Once you see how patterns start to emerge, you can start being more mindful of your habits and make the gradual adjustments you need to do.
Maybe you’re not ready to make plans or set goals for this year. If that’s the case, take some time to reflect on your experiences and accomplishments from the past year. Aside from processing the year that was, it helps you recognize how you succeeded in some areas—something you can take into account when you’re ready to set your goals.