A Better Alternative To New Year’s Resolutions

Creating new habits instead makes taking action easy

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

For many of us, the beginning of the year is when we come up with new resolutions. Do you already have your list of resolutions for 2022? Or maybe you have some ideas, but are reluctant to commit to one?

Many people who I have talked to have given up on making new resolutions. They have gotten discouraged by making resolutions every year, only to break them weeks later.

As I have experimented with intentions, goals and habits over the years, here’s what I have found works best for me: I set goals for the year ahead, but with the understanding that the most important part is not reaching the goal, but having a meaningful direction to move in for the year.

Then I create a new habit that will help me make progress towards that goal. Habits make taking action easy, since they become automatic as we practice them and require less effort.

Some Examples Of Habits

Over the years, I have implemented a variety of different habits:

  1. Goal: Spend more time in nature

Habit: Take a walk every morning after breakfast (with our doggie Rafa).

2. Goal: Be more mindful and grounded

Habit: Meditate every morning after returning from my walk.

3. Goal: Choose positive thoughts over negative thoughts

Habit: Write out 5 gratitudes (things that I am grateful for) and 5 acknowledgments (things that I acknowledge myself for) every evening after dinner.

Over time, I adopted the same approach for business/career goals and found that weekly habits worked just as well. When I decided to connect to people more often (by practicing authentic networking), I created a habit to attend at least one event a week and reach out to people I already knew at least once a week.

Create Your Own Habit For This Year

I invite you to join me in creating a new habit for this year that will make a positive impact on your life and career.

I recommend starting with just one habit at a time and making it very small and doable in the beginning. For example, if you want to start meditating, you can begin meditating for just 1 minute. Ask yourself what you could easily commit to.

Then tie it to an activity you already do regularly (e.g. right after brushing your teeth, right after finishing breakfast, right after sitting down at your computer in the morning etc.)

This year I chose to begin journaling again in the morning, right after I finish my meditation, before checking emails or doing any work. I am already noticing that it’s becoming easier and more automatic every week.

What do you most deeply desire for 2022? What habit would best support you?

Wishing you a productive and fulfilling 2022!

Manuela loves helping mid-level professionals create a career and life they love through career exploration and life coaching. You can sign up here for her newsletter with monthly tips and occasional course announcements.

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