6 Ideas for 2017 New Year's Resolutions
2017 is coming.
The New Year is notorious for being the season of mandatory life organization. Are you ready? I'm definitely not.
Stop fixing you.
Do you use the New Year as a time for taking into account all the clutter and habits that have mucked up the previous year, while setting tremendously overzealous goals for the new one?
Please don't start 2017 that way.
The six days after Christmas and before New Years can feel gimmicky, filled with Pinteresty ideas for the year ahead. Most of them will be suggestions you know you can't manage past February. Any of these sound familiar:
learn how to grow vegetables, learn all the president's names, color coordinate the clothes in your closet for easy morning dressing, read at least one book a month, go to bed early, and this gem: finish what you start...what a double whammy of a resolution!
It's not that any of these are inherently bad. It's just that, most of the time, we take on resolutions that feel heavy because we think they'll make us better people. We focus less on feeling alive and inspired, and more on "things we SHOULD be doing as functioning adults in society."
How to choose a good resolution?
Ask yourself these questions when choosing a New Year's resolution:
1. Is it helping me love people more?
2. Is it helping me to love myself?
3. Is it developing me spiritually?
Those questions have helped me transition from the superficial, heavy, chore-like resolutions to activities that really impact my life.
Resolution Idea #1: Choosing one word for the entire year.
For the past three years, I've chosen words that stayed in the spotlight for the entire year:
2014 - rest
2015 - rely
2016 - present
This activity was so meaningful to me these past few years, as evidence by the fact that I could just rattle off those words to you just now, without a second thought. Those words shaped how I saw each year and what I did. For more info on choosing one word for the year, visit this page.
Resolution Idea #2: 52 Lists Project
It was pretty popular last year, but since I'm consistently behind the ball when it comes to new trends, I'm discovering it only now...which is about right on schedule for me.
Basically, the premise is to write a list each week, all year long.
Here are some examples of list prompts:
- List the words that touch your soul
- List your greatest comforts
- List the things you are proud of
- List your current and future goals and dreams
- List what you're grateful for
- List the ways in which you can love others
- List the things that make you feel healthy: mind, body, soul.
Why do I think making lists would be meaningful? Well, besides the fact that I love lists and live by them daily:
- They're good for my dwindling attention span.
- I can do bite-sized lists throughout my busy day.
- They make me think, and perspective is everything when it comes to happiness and life satisfaction.
- They'll be a unique way to catalog my year. I will definitely enjoy looking back at the lists in December 2017.
If you're interested in getting a cute notebook with the list prompts already printed, you can buy the book on Amazon here. Otherwise, grab an empty notebook, google some list prompt ideas, and go to town with your list-making each week this year.
Resolution Idea #3: Look back at 2016
Sometimes Facebook does this for you, but it's so random. I'm suggesting going through your calendar, and your photos, and your social media (if it'll help) and remember this past year's highlights.
Why? Shouldn't I be looking forward instead of behind?
Yes and no.
I don't think you should dwell on the negatives of the past, but I do think there are great benefits to reflecting on what made you happiest, most grateful, and alive. You want to plan more of those opportunities in 2017.
Was it traveling? Was it spending time with family? Was it hiking? Was it starting a new business?
Discover the highlights of the past year, and you'll learn more about yourself and the things you really value.
Resolution Idea #4: Plan more connection time with folks around you
In 2016, I had more dinner gatherings, coffee dates, purposeful get togethers than I have ever had in my entire life. I get to look back on those this year because I color coded every time of connection green in my 2016 calendar.
It took about 5 extra seconds each time I entered an event in my calendar, but this helped me get a sense of how I was spending my time each month (and now at the end of the year)! Was I really connecting with others or just hoping I would eventually?
Was I really grabbing coffee like I said we should every time I saw someone I knew, or was I just using empty words with friends?
Plan more connection time with the people around you, and color code it on your calendar app.
What if I don't use a calendar app?
If you don't use a calendar app, but a 1980's paper calendar and ball point pen (no judgement), then highlight those appointments in a specific highlighter color each time.
Then, see how much you really are sharing your life with others.
Resolution Idea #5: Plan one day getaways
Go for a drive. See new places.
It doesn't have to cost much. You don't even have to leave your state to do this. Just get out of your 20-mile radius and see more of the world.
In 2017, I'll be releasing travel itineraries for different locations, most of which will be driving distance from Nashville. Sign up here to receive those itineraries as they are released.
Resolution Idea #6: Move your social media apps to the last screen of your phone and turn off notifications
I used to pick up my phone and open Facebook without even thinking about it.
Unlock phone. Open Facebook.
Even if I had just been on Facebook 5 minutes before.
Or I'd be on my phone and a Facebook notification would pop up on my screen, and I'd leave whatever I was doing to read the new notification. And after spending some unintended time on Facebook, I'd wonder, "Why did I pick up my phone in the first place? What was I doing?"
After the election, I was so drained by all the opinions and bickering on social media that I removed the apps altogether from my phone. I made it hard for myself to spend time on social media--I could only check it from my desktop and I didn't want to sit there for 20 minutes checking FB. So, I spent less time online.
Listen, you'll miss it the first few days, like you do sugar if you've ever tried to give it up. But you'll feel better in the end.
If you can't remove the apps altogether, push them all to the last screen of your phone and turn off the notifications that interrupt your day. It's time that we stop letting random things hijack our train of thought.