New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions.

New Year's Resolutions

1.What resolutions can you think of for the ideas above?

Useful language:

  • In 2019 I will/ won’t…
  • I resolve (not) to…
  • This year I’m (not) going to…
  • This new year I hope to…

2. Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Do you usually stick to them or give up very quickly?

3. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions for 2019?


New Year's Resolutions

Here are tips if you’re taking on a New Year’s resolution.

  1. Make time to pause and reflect. Decide on a morning to make a cup of coffee and sit down with a pad of paper. Or, perhaps you think best while doing a mindless household chore.
  2. Keep it simple. Settle on one or two things that you really can accomplish. Not a big list. For example: music practice, internet-less dinners, exercise, prayer and meditation.
  3. Define a goal that is measurable, doable, and specific. “I want to lose weight” is too vague. “I will exercise 30 minutes 2x per week” is specific. Then “pencil in” which days you will exercise so it becomes a habit such as “early Tuesday, early Thursday, Saturday.” If one day doesn’t work out, write in a new day.
  4. For some folks, it’s better to be more flexible. For example, instead of starting at “20 minutes 2x per week,” say “exercise a total of one hour over one week.” Or, instead of saying “over one week,” just use a moving seven-day window so this goal is accomplished in the last seven days.
  5. Start small.  Then add to your goal. For the exercise example, add 5 minutes per week, so you’re simply ratcheting up as time goes on instead of changing your habit.
  6. Create a short list of diversions that could come up. For example, if quitting smoking is one of your resolutions, sip on lemon juice whenever temptation strikes or nibble on sunflower seeds. Keep a pencil in your hand to keep it occupied, or play with a yo-yo. If losing weight is a goal, plan on making a cup of herbal tea (or a pitcher!) every afternoon to get you through a midday slump. Many people get tired and have less control late in the day; if you get late-night munchies, be sure to buy something healthy to chew on, such as a handful of almonds.
  7. Create some tools to help yourself reach your goals! For example, I resolve to be on time to meetings this week. To help me achieve this goal, I plan to take a moment  to set an alarm on my phone with a five-minute reminder before any meetings.
  8. Keep track of your progress. Can you create or find a tool to track your habit?  For example, if you need to take a pill each day, get a 7-day pill box!  If you need to follow a skin regime each day, how about drawing a simply weekly calendar with check marks to keep progress. It’s always satisfying to check off a task completed!
  9. Create some accountability for yourself! For example, put a small amount of money in an envelope when you miss.  (Perhaps you give this money to charity.)
  10. If you can’t keep the habit going, take a breather.  After a break, try again. Think about what didn’t work last time. It’s perfectly normal for an approach to fail the first time but don’t give up. Reflect. Try a different approach that works better for you.

Here’s another idea. If you’re not fond of resolutions, how about taking a piece of paper and listing a few regrets about the past year? To help focus on the future, write down your regrets on a scrap of paper and toss it into the fire! Janus, the two-faced symbol of the new year, would approve!

Which of the points do you stick to? Which points would you like to try?

Looking back.

New Year's Resolutions

Think about:

  • 2 things you were happy about in the past year
  • an unexpected thing that happened this past year
  • the most challenging thing that happened
  • the biggest time waster in your life this past year
  • the biggest disappointment in your life this past year
  • the most significant achievement in the past year