how to: new year’s resolutions

most people find setting goals stressful or unsettling or pretentious or painful. i can’t say that i disagree with any of those things. but i am a sucker for setting new year’s resolutions. i love the idea of a fresh slate or a new chapter. but i also know myself well enough to realize that i hate harsh, limiting rules and will find a way to break them and that gigantic life changes take time. so recently, i’ve started setting intentions: the lazy person’s resolutions. ok not lazy but maybe easily overwhelmed, super realistic, borderline cynical, busy person’s resolutions. these are small things, mainly phrases that evoke some sense of purpose for me and allow me to see the bigger picture, rather than the smaller ‘resolution’ such as never spend money on takeout food. they allow you to create an outline rather than a rulebook. they replace guilt with joy and inspire a growth mindset. so yeah, i’m a big fan.

if you’re feeling overwhelmed by new years and gym instagram stories, take a million and a half deep breaths and follow this quick step by step guide for getting your shit together without the drama:

  1. start by imagining how you want to feel this year. i think this is easier and less overwhelming than listing all of the individual things you want to accomplish.
  2. write these words down. for example, a few that i chose were full, daring, at peace, fulfilled, warm, open, creative and agile. write down as many as you want! crazy things, weird things, all the things.
  3. now the how. while often this feels like the hard part, i think it’s actually pretty simple if you don’t allow yourself to overthink. when you picture yourself feeling these things, what are you doing in the process? in the day to day living process.
  4. write it all down (again). then cross things off. move things around. combine them. split them up. fix the phrasing. pick words that inspire. no ‘do, complete, finish, execute’. if you want your intentions to be full of fire, your words must be too.
  5. choose ’em. i try to narrow it down to 5 or 6. changing isn’t easy. don’t let anyone convince you that you should be doing it faster, better or more. pick your own pace.
  6. set them as your phone screen saver. or print them and put them on your mirror, car dashboard, cubicle, toilet, whatever. focus in on them once a day, week, hour, however often you feel misaligned or chaotic. i use them to help make decisions. if something will not fulfill one of those goals in some way, goodbye. see ya.
  7. allow them to live. these don’t have to be set in stone or rigid. hopefully you create language that can be interpreted individually but if something feels more important or better intentioned– change it. that is the whole thing after all.

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