Updated: Dec 2, 2021
It’s time to ditch the traditional New Year’s Resolution. According to the U.S. News & World Report, 80% of people do not complete their New Year’s Resolution. Here’s what you could do instead!
Consider Focusing On One Word
A word of the year can be a more gentle approach to a New Year’s Resolution. By selecting a simple word as your goal for the year, boundaries and restrictions become less rigid. Instead of vowing to exercise for three days per week, you can choose a more general goal like “movement.” Here are some ideas for your word of the year:
Reflect On the Past Year
To help you select your word of the year, it’s important to take time to reflect on the past year and your present self. We suggest doing an activity like the Wheel of Life, which is a simple activity you can complete in under 20 minutes to evaluate how balanced your life feels. The Wheel of Life is a guided reflection activity to assess how fulfilled you are in different parts of your life. You’ll need a piece of paper and pen; if you’re feeling creative, grab something to color with as well.
To begin, draw a large circle on a piece of paper. Draw lines to divide the circle into 8 sections—like a pizza with 8 slices. Label each section with an area of your life that you’d like to reflect upon. Some examples of sections to include are:
The most important thing is to create sections that are important to you. For example, if you are very interested in social change, perhaps you could include other sections such as: community of support, volunteering, and activism.
Once you have 8 labeled sections, you’ll begin to assess your personal feeling of fulfillment in each section. Treat the center of the circle as 0 and the outer edge as 10; then, mark the circle with your rating on a level of 0-10 based on how you feel you’re doing in each area. You could fill the section with color by a certain degree, write the number in the section, or place a dot along one of the lines of the section to indicate your rating. For example, if you feel you’re doing excellent in one section, you might fill in the section completely with color, mark it with a “10,” or place a dot along the outer edge of the circle. Choose the visual representation that works best for you.
Once you’ve completed each section of the circle, take a moment to review your wheel in its entirety. If you’ve used dots to mark your feelings, you could connect each one around the circle to see where your line goes in and out. If you’ve filled them in, see which sections are fuller than others. Now you can identify 2-3 areas you’re doing best in and 2-3 areas where there is room to improve.
Take a moment to congratulate yourself on how well you’re doing in some areas. Life is a balance; we can’t exceed in all categories all the time. Instead, it’s productive to reflect on what is going well. Write 2-3 notes on why you’re doing well in each of the best sections.
Next, take a closer look at the categories where you have room to improve. Are there specific, smaller things you can do to get closer to fulfillment in those areas? Or is there an overarching goal that will be a stretch to reach? Maybe it’s not something concrete but something generic, like “establish boundaries,” “be present,” or “build up savings.”
Now that the activity is complete, you’ll have a better idea of what goals you can set for the coming year in order to make your life feel more balanced. You may decide to choose a word, a firm resolution, or no resolution at all for the coming year. Whatever you decide, we hope that 2022 will be a year of prosperity, opportunity, and fulfillment for you.
Download Our Wheel of Life Worksheet!
Luciani, J. (2015, Dec 29). “Why 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail.” U.S. News & World Report. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail