No Resolution New Year – The Happiness Route

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You may already know how I feel about New Year’s Resolutions. So many of us have good intentions for tackling them; but when we fail, we end up feeling worse. For many of us, resolutions feel just as ugly as the word diet. Besides, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions anyway.

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I’ve written and rewritten this post over and over again. I’m having trouble getting my thoughts down. Because, of course, there is nothing wrong with setting New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, many of you may be excited about them. It’s only natural to want to make a fresh start at the beginning of a new year.

If you’ve already made a New Year’s Resolution, I’d like to offer this advice in order for it to stick:

  • Instead of a resolution, make it a goal. It must be measurable. That way, once you’ve met it, you can feel accomplished. Too often, resolutions are vague: lose weight, be healthier, workout more, be a better person.
  • Create a plan of action. “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” ~ Winston Churchill. Consider this: If you want to go on vacation, you plan the vacation. You don’t wish yourself there.
  • Don’t try to do too many things at once. It’s hard to break old habits, but even harder to make new ones. If you do too many things at once, they most likely won’t stick. Furthermore, you’ll beat yourself up over it. How do you expect to make so many changes in your life all at once and have them all stick? I’m sure you’ve heard that it takes 30 days to form a habit.

Another approach, is to take the happiness route.

Let me explain. I was once asked:

“Well, what do you like to do? What makes you happy? Is there anything you haven’t been doing that you miss doing?”

After some thought, I came up with a list.

“Then do more of that!”

It’s that simple.

Sure, there are things that we may want to do that we don’t have the means to do right now. But maybe those things will inspire you to work on obtaining those means.

Otherwise, just think more simply. How do you want your daily life to look?

With this approach {which I find more fun!}, make a list of all the things you want to do this year. I’m not just talking about goals or things you want to accomplish. Instead, think of the things you love to do in life that you may have not made time for in recent months or years.

For me, one of those things was reading. I’ve always loved to read and hadn’t read a real book in so long. I made a list on my birthday of things I liked doing {as well of things I’ve wanted to do} and am finding ways to incorporate them again. That’s the only way to make your life more enjoyable!

I challenge you to make a list of the little things you like or want to do to make your life more enjoyable. Consider hanging this list on your bedroom mirror where you can see it every day.

But most importantly:

This list should be things you feel good about, not ones that you will berate yourself for if you don’t accomplish them.

That is the difference.

Again, I want to stress that there is nothing wrong with setting New Year’s Resolutions. For me, I started to feel bad about them before the New Year even started! I was sure I’d slip up before January was over.

Sure, I’ve set some goals for myself for the year, too. But they aren’t big overhauls that I “think” will make my life better. Having a list of activities that I already know make me happy makes it a sure thing that my life will be happier in 2013.

How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions?

How do you want 2013 to be better than years past?

What’s on your list of things to make your life more enjoyable?

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy 2013!
Carrie

3 responses »

  1. I never, ever make New Year’s resolutions. Why? I think that one day a year should not be a focal point to change one’s life. Why wouldn’t you want to change your life anytime, any day of the year? Totally agree with you!! 2013 to me…I just hope to stay healthy. I enjoy life all the time, I’m optimistic, sometimes too much but, I’d rather be that way than down in the dumps. I know a lot of people like that and they depress me…lol!! Hope you had a nice New Year girl!! xoxo

  2. Happy New Year! Yep, I am done with making resolutions – just take it a day at a time – and keep looking forward!

    I’d like to do more in our community too – I haven’t volunteered since I got married . . . 12 YEARS AGO! That needs to change. 😀

  3. Pingback: Run a 5k with me! « Season It Already!

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