I don’t like the word resolution this time of year because it is usually followed by feelings of pressure, fear, and guilt. Pressure to succeed in the area you chose, fear that you might not reach your goal, and guilt when it comes to the end of the year and you realize you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do.
So, instead of making resolutions, I like to think of the end of the year and the beginning of a new one as a time of self-reflection and growth. Self-reflection is such an important part of life. It requires us to stop and think about ourselves and our life without any distraction. It involves taking the time to think about who we are, who we’ve become, and where we want to be.
I do this for myself by brainstorming in my planner for the new year. I take some time and jot down areas that I want to grow in personally over the next year. My brainstorming page looks different every year because there are so many directions you can go in with this. It might involve ideas broken down into categories like: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Mental, or Social goals. Or it might look more like: Home, Travel, Work, Relationships, and Self-Care. It’s fun at the end of the year to look back at the previous year’s planner and reflect on what I cultivated as a part of my life, and then look ahead to what I want to continue doing or change depending on what my life looks like at that point.
Instead of making resolutions based on quantity (ex. work out 5 times a week), I like to slowly cultivate new life habits over the course of a whole year (ex. find ways to encourage my husband more, or do more things that bring me joy). The first is something that is usually started new overnight and therefore is not sustainable, but the second is slowly developed over the course of a whole year and so it becomes a regular part of life.
To help, I put together this downloadable PDF with questions to prompt brainstorming as you do your own self-reflection. Enjoy! And remember to give yourself grace and adapt as life changes and new challenges present themselves throughout the year.