How to Create the Ultimate 2018 New Year’s Resolution

More often than not, I find myself setting a New Year’s resolution as the clock sneaks towards midnight on New Year’s eve. However, it’s important to take time before leaning into the holiday madness to think through potential New Year’s resolutions. Whether you start your resolution now, in January, or anytime during the next year, below are four tips to creating the perfect resolution for 2018.

1. Reflect on the past year 

2017 was a roller coaster of a year and it’s easy to get lost in the highs and lows we’ve experienced. Before planning for 2018, take some time to think back on your year and your experiences. What challenged you? What motivated you? What made you the happiest? What do you wish you created more space for in your life? Take time to consider the impact of 2017 and start to craft personal and intentional resolutions based on these unique experiences.

2. Keep it simple 

The easiest way to give up on a resolution is by starting with one that’s unattainable. The best goals are those that are bite-sized and reachable; practical goals allow for maintaining accountability and creating sustainable habits that extend throughout your life. For example, many long-term goals and New Year’s resolutions focus on “getting healthy,” but health isn’t easily measured or reasonable to perfect. Instead, break down what “healthy” means to you and what habits you can imagine adjusting on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Maybe that’s committing to yoga once a week, maybe it’s limiting caffeine intake – whatever “healthy” means to you, setting small goals will ultimately be the best way to start a resolution and set yourself up for success.

3. Think through accountability

Creating an accountability system for your resolutions will setup even more opportunities for success. One way to maintain responsibility for resolutions is to write them down. By writing down your resolution in a planner, on your desktop or on a post-it note, the written record of what you’re working toward will create a sense of permanence to your goal. Like doing things with a buddy? Ask a friend to be your accountability partner as you work towards your resolution. Things always seem easier when discussed over a cup of coffee and celebrated with a friend!

4. Be open to change 

Not every resolution we come up with in our 2017 brainstorms will perfectly apply to our 2018 reality; resolutions are not one-size-fits-all, and that’s okay! Be open and honest about what you need and what you can accomplish as the year starts to progress and practice flexibility around your resolutions.

Try something different...

If these four steps still feel daunting, take a page out of the playbook of our Head of Marketing, Jonna Bell: "I pick a word that embodies what I want for the coming year. I can't take credit, I learned it from Melody Biringer, the founder of CRAVE. In 2016, my word was ownership. And in 2017, it was amplify. The personal and career decisions I make across the year are measured against, and drive toward, this word. I write it on the front of my journals, on my work notebook, it drives the conversations between me and my business coach. And I don't make a science project out of it. I've also realized just being mindful of what I'm drawn to as the year progresses has made choosing the next year's word rather easy. In 2018, my word will be voice. It may seem odd to come after amplify, but the great thing about resolutions, they only need to make sense to their owners."

Still don’t have an idea for a 2018 resolution? Don’t fret! If the holidays impact your ability to draft your perfect resolution before the ball drops, take the first few weeks of the year to consider what will have the biggest impact in your life and find ways to extend those resolutions and habit-changing actions into the rest of 2018. Although many resolutions start in January, that doesn’t mean you have to finish them in January. Sometimes, the most meaningful ones might take a whole year (or more) to accomplish.

Check back in January to see more of The Riveter’s tips and tricks to finding (and nailing) your perfect New Year’s resolution!