About 4 years ago a friend of mine recommended a way to think about New Year Resolutions that was compelling. She had found it somewhere online in a blog she had read, and she passed the link on to me. I’ve since been unable to find that blog, but I am writing this one in the hopes that it’ll help others who want to make new years’ resolutions that are comprehensive, based on fact and optimized for results.
This method for creating goals can really work because it asks you to think realistically and intentionally about outlining what you want based on reality and your own values, hopes and dreams. I’ve used it for the last few years and each year I’m able to go back and look at my annual goals to see that I’ve been able to complete them.
Ask yourself these questions and answer them very honestly, with as little ego and as much heart as possible.
I recommend lighting a candle and sitting quietly or with relaxing music to get into a good zone for thinking and being peaceful by yourself.
Where did I spend most of my time this last year?
Where did I spend my money?
What did I let go of?
What were the 3 main emotions I felt?
What were my time leaks?
What took my time away that was not positive?
What did I feel stuck in?
What did I do that was brave?
What were the surprises – both good and bad?
Who came into my life?
What habits do I want to renew?
Who do I want to spend more time with in the new year?
What are my parting thoughts for the year?
What are my intentions for the new year?
What do you want to cultivate and nurture this year?
Think about the feelings and words that describe what you want to manifest in the coming year.
What is my vision for the year ahead?
Imagine everything goes well for you in the year ahead. Your biggest achievements come true and you are happy and healthy. Write down what you envision happening in the year ahead, and describe how you feel.
What are some of my SMART goals for the year?
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. This means that they are goals that you can complete (and then measure after), within a particular time-frame.
What’s my vision for my 3-5 year plan?
What am I working toward on the longer-term?
It’s helpful to lean into genuine emotions, whether it means feeling disappointed or optimistic, or any combination of emotions throughout the reflection. The new year can be a great time to take stock of what’s going on in your own inner world, and check that against the reality of your external circumstances, achievements and challenges.