Ep 121: 4 Alternatives to New Year’s Resoultions

 

 

Last week I shared Lessons & Celebrations from 2023. This week I am sharing new ways to embrace 2024. 

In 2019, as a newly certified TNM coach, I chose my first ‘word of the year’. This year, in addition to a word of the year, I also added 3 more rituals. I hosted a gathering this weekend to share these rituals and practices and I also recorded this podcast to share them with all of you.

I have found that intentions work far better (for me and many of my clients) than setting goals or making promises about the future. Too often these goals or promises can lead to us being disappointed or beating ourselves up for not following through.

One of the biggest issues with New Year’s resolutions is that they often revolve around huge changes like adjusting our eating habits, getting more sleep, or becoming fluent in a new language. 

Where we go wrong with New Year’s resolutions is there’s this idea that it’s supposed to be some big, sweeping change, because that sounds kind of sexy. [But] as humans, we’re not wired to make big, sweeping changes.

 TERRI BLY, LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

So, I propose we try something different. I borrowed heavily from the trifecta idea that Gretchen Rubin shares about 3 ways to embrace the new year: A One-Word Theme, A 24 for 24 Challenge and My 24 for 24 List.

I already shared about a one-word theme, but this is a great place to start. When we choose a word, we then have more focus on bringing these moments into our lives; for example, last year I used the word ‘delight’ to motivate me to try fun things! When my word was ‘allow’, I found it was a great reminder to let some things go vs. trying to control things.

Gretchen Rubin (GR) shares that it is a good idea to make sure your ‘word’ has various meanings. I also recommend looking up the definition of your word to make sure it captures the emotion you are intending. 

The second idea is to borrow GR’s ’24 for 24′ list. List 24 things you’d like to do by the end of the year. These can be ambitious or easy, (try pickleball; hold a garage sale), a one-time thing or go on throughout the year. Make sure to include something that is easy to cross off your list right away; (for example, I listed ‘go to a live event’. My husband and I already have tickets to a local concert, so this will be easy to accomplish) this helps build motivation and momentum. You can also have fun with the number 24. One participant on our Zoom call suggested ‘write a letter on the 2nd, the 4th and the 24th’.  You might do something 2x a month – 2×12 = 24.

The final part of GR’s trifecta is to do a 2024 challenge. The idea is to do something for 24 minutes a day every day in 2024. Some ideas; get outside for 24 minutes each day; read or rest for 24 minutes a day, or you can join GR and her community and write for 24 minutes each day. If 24 minutes is too daunting, consider doing something for 2-4 minutes each day. Even if you don’t make it every day, a challenge is a great way to make progress!

Number 4: write a letter to your future self. This is a great exercise to do at the beginning of the year because we are generally filled with optimism and hope. I suggest using futureme.org as they will send your letter to you via email at your appointed time. As it so happened, I opened a letter from the past on Sunday. It was a letter I had written on 1/7/2023. In it, I detailed how my word, delight, had created a beautiful year full of playfulness and surprises. I wrote about my accomplishments and learning from the year. The amazing thing is how accurately I had described my year! I encourage you to make this part of your New Year’s rituals; it can be a beautiful experience of positive encouragement.

So, a quick recap of 4 ways to explore getting more out of your New Year’s rituals:

1. Choose a One-Word Theme

2. Try a ’24 for 24′ list

3. Create a 2024 challenge

4. Write a ‘future me’ letter

If you ‘try this at home’ (another favorite saying of GR’s) hit reply and let me know how it goes!

Here is the link to Gretchen Rubin’s Trifecta for 2024

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