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Last Updated on December 24, 2020

15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

With the new year quickly approaching, it’s time to make our resolutions once again.

If you’re like most people, then you have a recurring pattern of creating a resolution, and forgetting about it in less than a month. Studies show that the reason why 92% of people[1] don’t follow through with their resolution is simple — the resolution isn’t exciting enough to get them to take the actions required.

We’re going to help you break this pattern today, because we’ve curated the top 15 new year’s resolution ideas that will put some fire into your belly. We recommend that you choose a few of these, and test them out in the next few days. The biggest mistake people often make is when they try to take on too many goals without having a specific direction to guide them.

Without further ado, here are 15 new year’s resolution ideas.

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1. Travel to a country you’ve never been to

One of the biggest personal growth opportunities comes from discovering new cultures and locations that you’re unfamiliar with. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world alone, and it’s one of those rare situations that pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

I understand that amid the pandemic it’s diffcult to travel the word, but stay hopeful, you will get to travel again when COVID is over!

2. Less tech, more nature

As we become a more connected world through technology, it can feel impossible to disconnect. This brings with it more stress, baggy eyes, and lack of connection (no pun intended) with the people we love most. You can use free productivity apps to help you block out the distraction and unwind.

3. Learn a new language

If you’ve been putting off learning a new language, this is the year to make it happen. As the world is becoming a more globalized place by the minute, having a foreign language under your belt is transitioning from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ skill in life, and in the workplace.

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4. Invest 10% of your salary/income on yourself

Warren Buffett is famous for sharing that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Whether it’s $100 or a $1,000, allocate a portion of your salary to invest in yourself. This could be your education, your health, your love life, whatever you want to improve in your life.

5. Explore a new career opportunity

If you’ve been in a career that is not maximizing your full potential, it might be time for you to take that leap and explore new options. There are limitless options out there, and you can start looking at popular job boards like Indeed, Monster, or even Craigslist.

6. Rekindle an old friendship you lost

Is there someone in your life who you haven’t been able to keep in touch with? Perhaps it’s a friend from high school, or it may even be a family member. One of the biggest regrets people have at the end of their lives is leaving incomplete relationships that should have been fostered. Take that step today and rekindle an old friendship before it’s too late.

7. Commit to getting in shape

No amount of money or success is going to matter if your health isn’t optimal. Getting in shape should be your number one priority, because it’s the foundation that will not only help you become more successful, but enjoy your success once you get it.

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8. Develop that skill you’ve been putting off

Do you have a skill that you’ve been wanting to learn, but have been putting off? You may have been discouraged in the past because you weren’t picking it up fast enough. Try following some of these strategies to master a new skill faster.

9. Read one book every week/month

The more you learn, the more you earn. Kick-off the new year by committing to read one book per week (or per month if you know you can’t commit to one week).

10. Quit smoking

I recommend you read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. Published in 1985, this book has helped millions of people, including celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, quit smoking after implementing the strategies outlined in the book.

11. Go 80%

Everyday we huff and puff, trying to squeeze in that extra minute, paragraph, or meeting. But if we can work smart, it’s completely possible to get 95% done by putting in 80% of the effort in, and avoiding the unnecessary stress. The key is to choose strategically what you want to be working on.

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12. Say ‘Hell Yeah’ or ‘No’

Derek Sivers has a famous saying of either saying ‘Hell Yeah’ or ‘No’. This means that unless you’re incredibly excited about a new opportunity and willing to give 100% of your effort, you should practice saying no. It will allow you to focus more of your time on what truly matters.

13. Give back through volunteering

We’re incredibly fortunate to have the lives we lead, no matter where you are right now. If you’re able to read this using a smartphone or a laptop, you’re more fortunate than the majority of the people around the world. Giving back through volunteering will not only give you perspective on how grateful we should be, but it will help you contribute to the community.

14. Become a digital nomad

The rise of digital nomads has arrived, and it’s here to stay. Check out The Top 20 Tools For Digital Nomads.

15. Review your goals every month (not every year!)

The most impactful New Year’s Resolution may be to actually review your resolutions more than once a year. You can make adjustments based on how far you’ve actually come, and you’ll feel more motivated by reviewing it every month (or even every week).

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Featured photo credit: Ava Sol via unsplash.com

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More by this author

Sean Kim

Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

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Last Updated on June 16, 2021

What to Do If You Find Yourself Making Slow Progress Towards Your Goal

What to Do If You Find Yourself Making Slow Progress Towards Your Goal

If you are making slow progress on a goal you’ve set, maybe it is the wrong goal in the first place. Perhaps factors, including your attitude or environment, do not allow you to make your desired progress. However, it is easy to blame timing and luck; if you set a goal, you and only you are accountable for achieving it (read the achieve my goals guide). The question is, how?

Start With Why

On my career path, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore and learn things practically. After a successful corporate career, I spent two years trying to establish an entrepreneurial consultancy, only to realize marginal success.

The consultancy formed based on my core values, candor, curiosity, and collaboration, but unfortunately, my customer base and projects were seemingly random and disjointed. While I understood I needed to establish a consistent and repeatable approach to content marketing to drive my clients’ results, that approach was not apparent in the brand I had built. Things got so rough that I had to resort to collecting unemployment at the onset of the pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I delivered a webinar called earning trust in uncertain times: coronavirus edition. Afterward, I received an email from a participant. He shared some thoughts on a campaign for his jewelry company and asked for feedback. When I read his email, I realized I could quickly help him to gain clarity, so I sent him a note with an offer to get his message on track. He offered to pay me for my time, and I said to myself,

“I am adding value, and I can charge for this!”

This first client needed to shift my offerings from general marketing consulting to a more diversified career that focuses on personal brand building.

It took a global pandemic to realize I needed to shift my goals to align with the change I was trying to make in the world, to a new business, coaching that applies my skills in an authentic way to me and valuable to prospects and customers.

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Start With Your Identity

James Clear discusses identity-based habits as deeply rooted in a person’s outlook toward life.[1] As a businessperson, identity-based practices are what impact business goals and your approaches towards achieving them. Identity is what you believe in, and outcomes determine what you seek to achieve. A permanent change comes from transforming the who part of behavior—the character.

Whether it is a coaching program I develop, a class I teach, or a marketing campaign I create, I always start identity. According to The Brookings Institute:[2]

Identity is a unique, inherited collection of assets, history, traits, and culture that distinguishes it internally and externally and can unite people and places.

But this logic also applies to personal goals. If losing weight is your goal, your focus is on an outcome rather than an identity-based plan, and you may lose motivation. Think, “Why am I trying to lose weight?”

  • Is it to be more healthy?
  • Did you get some lousy test results at the doctor?
  • Are you at risk of severe health problems?

It may help reframe your goal around a positive statement like, I am working to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Motivation has to come from a place of confidence and belief in yourself. You know what they say about the air mask on the airplane – put it on yourself first.

It is ok to set goals for others; for example, “I am losing weight so I can live for my kids;” however, if you don’t set goals around themes that you can own, and you don’t do it for yourself first, then the people in your life will not receive any benefit.

Think about what you achieve from your efforts — the outcomes. The reality that you are looking at right now must also allude to the fact you promise to create for your clientele, and that is not possible unless you believe in it and make it believable for others.

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Be Specific About What, How, and When

Your values need to align with other people and systems to engage in meeting your desired outcome, so make sure to put in place a process that accounts for what motivates you, that you can reliably complete until you achieve your goal.

If you are not specific and clear about how many pounds you are trying to lose and when you will lose then, then how will you know if you met your goal in the first place?

BJ FOGG, the author of Tiny Habits, suggests that you start small. In the Tiny Habits method, you always start with a tiny behavior. Some examples:

  • Floss one tooth
  • Read one sentence in a book.
  • Take one deep breath.

According to Fogg, an excellent tiny behavior has these qualities:

  • takes less than 30 seconds (even better: just 5 seconds)
  • requires no real effort
  • doesn’t create pain or destructive emotions

Make sure it’s a habit you want to have in your life. Don’t pick something that’s a “should,” choose new behaviors you wish to.

The next thing to learn is where to place the further tiny action in your life. Just like planting a seed, you want the right spot for it, a place where it fits naturally and where it can thrive.

Be flexible and adaptable. We are in a complicated and volatile world, and things change on a dime, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to change how you go about achieving your goal or even what goals you are trying to accomplish first place.

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Be aware of bias. As you set out to achieve your goals, it is critical to be aware of the bias that can sneak in and sabotage your thinking. Yes, it is essential to collaborate with others to achieve your goals, but you need to understand yourself and make sure you are not getting in your way before doing that. Here are some common forms of bias.

  • Confirmation bias: People tend to listen more often to information that confirms the beliefs they already have.
  • Selection bias: Selecting individuals, groups that do not provide diverse perspectives for you to consider.
  • Self-serving bias: People tend to give themselves credit for successes but blame failures on external causes.

What about serendipity? Many of us believe that the great turning points and opportunities in our lives happen by chance, that they’re out of our control.

Dr. Christian Busch, author of The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck, spent a decade exploring how, if acted upon, unexpected encounters can expand our random social encounters can enhance our worldview, expand our social circles, and create new professional opportunities.

Serendipity is usually about connecting dots that have previously remained elusive. Busch’s findings suggest that Good luck isn’t just chance—it can be learned and leveraged. When you are perceptive, curious, open-minded, and eager to see opportunities, others might see only negatively. If you notice something unusual but can connect that bit of information with something else, you are in the right mindset for achieving serendipity.

Motivation and a Realistic Plan

Only you can choose the goals you set. Motivation is critical in meeting your goals. But choosing goals is not enough; you need to select the right goals and define a plan that keeps you accountable for meeting your goals.

Author Gabriele Oettingen defined a methodology you can use to get better at achieving your hopes and dreams. It’s called WOOMP![3]

WOOP stands for:

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  • W = Wish
  • O = Outcome
  • O = Obstacle
  • P = Plan

WOOMP, there it is! WOOMP will force you to be hyper-realistic about your goals and be action-minded in your approach to achieving them.

Show up Consistently

In order to turn your vision into reality, you will have to regularly show up by consistently organizing, leading, and building to get to your goals.

“Some people show up when they need something. Some people show up before they need something, knowing that it will pay off later when they need something. And some people merely show up. Not needing anything, not in anticipation of needing something, but merely because they can.” — Seth Godin

Final Thoughts

While I would be happy to be your trusted advisor and coach, the answer has to start with you. My process will help you to define and document an ownable set of values and marketing frameworks that will make you more appealing to clients/ employers, especially on LinkedIn. These values will translate beyond work, as well.

More on Making Progress

Featured photo credit: Aj Alao via unsplash.com

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