The Resolutions Project

The beginning of a new year is, as we all know and love (or know and loathe), the traditional time to make resolutions. Sure you may be padded with some extra poundage from all the feasting of the holidays, or getting over that hangover from New Year's Eve, but now you can look forward to the new year as a blank slate on which to write your dreams. I personally adore the tradition of making resolutions. It's magical to me.

Printable 2016 Resolutions sheet

But often, as each and every single one of us knows, it's hard to keep a lot of resolutions. Why? A million reasons why, millions of millions, each of them specific to ourselves. You can read article after article about why they're hard to keep, and hints on how to keep them. Make specific goals. Tell a friend. Make a mood board. All that jazz.

So I've decided to begin a monthly experiment: a resolutions project, trying out the different ways to stay on top of my resolutions. At the beginning of each month I'm going to review my resolutions, see how I'm doing, and also see whether I got my priorities right in the first place.

The first thing for anyone to start with to identify what their true resolutions should be. Here is a printable diagram to chart exactly what should be your real and true resolutions, your do-it-or you'll-regret-it list.

How to use the diagram to zero in on what truly should be on your list:

It would be awesome to do: A dream of yours (going to Paris, learning to knit, exercise every day, living life to it's fullest). This one is easy and usually on the top of people’s lists. But they might also be things you have no real plan for how to accomplish.

I really should get around to doing it: Something you’ve been meaning to do for a while (perhaps getting in the habit of flossing every day, losing 10 pounds (if you’re over your Body Mass Index), or organizing your home). This may be something you've been vowing to do for years.

There are consequences to not doing it: A project or habit that if you really keep putting it off you will impact your health, wealth, or long-term happiness. (Like if you don’t take time to work towards your dream job you will end up frustrated, or if you don’t get back in touch with dear friends you may lose them.) There are new studies showing that concentrating on consequences may help you overcome the blocks between you and your resolution.

  1. If something exists in only one of the circles, you may not actually care that much about it, and you will not be able to accomplish it until you care. Be honest with yourself.
  2. If it falls in two circles, put it on your resolutions list, and make a plan for it.
  3. Where all three circles intersect, it’s time to do it. These are the things you will regret not doing, perhaps not only when the next year rolls around, but forever.

Download the resolutions worksheet, print out your resolutions list, write your no-regrets resolutions list, and hang it where you will see it every day. And join me in starting out on the adventure of living a life with no regrets.





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