Resolution Revolution

I feel bad for New Year’s resolutions – they’ve taken a beating lately since the popular thing to do is renounce them as silly and dated and contrived. But is that really true and fair? And isn’t there a way to use this time of year for reflection and growth and development in a way that actually has resonance?

Heck yeah there is! So whether you already have a solid list of traditional goals, or you’ve been a little weary to actually start, here’s a new twist on making resolutions that will actually matter.

Find a quiet space

There’s nothing worse than being pressured by outside forces (be it people, social media, or people on social media) when it comes to making your personal resolutions. So get away from it all, literally. Set aside some time to step away, get outside (ideally), and bring a pen and paper and not your phone (scary, I know). Sit quietly for a bit, reflect, and write down the things that are actually important to you.

Find your values

After you’ve been scribbling for a bit, you should begin to recognize some common themes. Zero in on exactly what they are and categorize them. They may relate to money, health, education, personal development, relationships, whatever. These categories relate to your values – things that are particularly important to you and define you.

Find your meaning

Once you have your values defined, you can take a deep dive into what may be missing from each of them, and determine how how you would like to improve. If health is on your list, look for whatever it is you feel is missing in that space and address those elements directly. This is a bit different than a typical resolution like ‘not eating bread’ or ‘running a 5K’ which may sound like a polished goal, but may not directly address the things you actually want – especially if that thing is improved mobility, increased strength, fat loss, etc. In short, ‘not eating bread’ only serves the purpose of ‘not eating bread,’ so dig deeper than that. Think values, not things.

Find your mission

Beneath all this, you should find a purpose and a drive that is deeper than a simple action or inaction common in most resolutions (like ‘go to a yoga class’ or ‘stop drinking coffee’). If we can connect our resolutions with our deeper beliefs and values, we have something far more powerful to direct us forward, and a clear mission and path for the new year.