5 Tips for Making Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions

It’s official: 2017 is upon us. πŸŽ‡

2016 was full of some major ups (I got married to the love of my life! Woo! and we both got horses!), and major downs (home remodeling, the stresses of trying to run your own businesses).Β It’s tempting to say “This year will be the best one yet!” but I’m hesitant to say that. I want to start off slowly. Kind of dip my toes into this year before I leap into it, so-to-speak.

Normally I’ve had time to sit down and write up my yearly goals by now. But instead, I’ve been thinking on them for days. I haven’t written down anything. My goals are spinning around inside my head.

I do want this year to be the best one yet. As such, I want to deeply consider my goals. Perhaps you want to seriously consider how you want your year to be, too.

I’ve been researching the best ways to write resolutions, and here they are to share.

1. Don’t rush into your resolutions.

As I said, it’s been days (a week now) since January 1. Holiday time has passed and the year is upon us. It’s tempting to quickly jot down a list and go about your business.

But this year, take some time to consider your resolutions. Set aside time specifically for this task. Remove distractions. Make this a purposeful time, and write your resolutions with determination. Grab a mug of coffee and really ponder what you want to accomplish this year; take it seriously!

2. Think about the year as a marathon, not a race.

I’m a strong believer in goal setting. My husband and I have met goals this year we set out 5-6 years ago, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

When you think about a full year, it seems daunting to have that many days to try and meet your goals. Try sectioning out the year into easy-to-chew chunks. Quarters. Weeks. Months.

And then make a point, at the end of each section, to review your goals and see where you’re at. You’ll need to periodically gauge your progress to make sure you’re not going off track.

3. Write them down.

Don’t keep your resolutions in your head. You’ll forget them, and you won’t see them. The act of writing helps you remember, and then you’ll have a physical copy of your goals. Put it by your bedside and see it every morning. Keep yourself accountable.

4. Stumped? Consider the these old standbys.

Lose weight. Exercise more. Drink more water. Catch up with old friends. Cultivate current relationships. Be a better husband/wife. Be more organized.

Just remember, when making your resolutions, that these are great ideas to get you started, but be specific and make them measureable! How else will you know when you’ve actually met your goal?

5. Lastly, consider these thoughts collected by elderly people reflecting on their lives.

And finally, I’ll leave you with tidbits from a wonderful article about an Australian nurse who polled dying patients about their regrets in life (a sad thought, but their laments really make you think):

1. β€œI wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

2. β€œI wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

3. β€œI wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

4. β€œI wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

5. β€œI wish that I had let myself be happier.”

With those things in mind, make 2017 count, and do make this a year to remember. 😊

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