New Year Resolutions aren’t working. Try a better method to start the New Year off right.
The beginning of the year is a natural time for reflection. Many of us look back at the past year and think of the year ahead. While we can make changes at any time, the New Year is the best time to commit.
A study indicated that only 9% of people feel that their New Year’s resolutions were successful at the end of the year, and people are left feeling like they didn’t hit the mark.
To encourage people to hit the core of their goals and values, the study suggests taking time to write yourself a letter.
This is a letter that nobody else will see. It’s not about resolutions; it’s about feelings and values, and it comes from your heart. We have probably never taken the opportunity to write a letter to ourselves, but when we do, things start to happen, the study says. You start to lead your life according to your own set of goals and wishes that come from within.
How to Write Your Letter
Your letter should talk about the year you want to have ahead. The letter should answer five questions:
- What are the fears you plan to tackle, those things, in your opinion, holding you back?
- What are adventures you will enjoy embracing in the new year?
- How will you connect or reconnect with other people in your life?
- How do you plan to grow?
- What can you do to serve others?
These key questions seem to evoke the deepest reactions. These bring up key issues. These are not necessarily what you’re going to do in Q1 and Q2 for goals. It’s deep, internal, and intimate.
Reviewing Your Letter
Once you write your letter, refer to it over the course of the year. Reading your letter over again that’s personal to you, will remind you what your key values and goals are and will become a key motivator throughout the course of the year.
Since it really keeps you on track with the most important aspects of your life keeping your letter nearby, such as in your nightstand is promising. This is a living document, and don’t be afraid to revise it.
Be sure to review your letter at the end of the year before writing the one for the next year. When we take a look at that letter after a year there is something really special about that moment. We are talking directly to ourselves, saying, ‘This is what I cared about a year ago. How did I do? Did I hit those values?’ We can make reading this at the end of the year an important reflection moment.
When you go through the process of reviewing it, look at where you hit the mark and where you didn’t. Give yourself some grace and the ability to be human. Knowing that there are times when you will miss the mark. You won’t always do exactly what you think you will do; life intervenes and sometimes we fall short.
For those things we fall short on, we should tell ourselves, ‘Yes, I want to do this better and I’m going to recommit to it.’ Or it can turn out that, ‘This wasn’t really what was important to me now that I’ve been through the year.’
View your letter as a gift. Use it to push yourself through some uncomfortable yet right things to do. The study concludes that it can be an incredible upward spiral where one thing will lead to another, then all of a sudden you are leading a life of accomplishment.
About the Author
Sohena Hafiz is the President at Ascent Innovations LLC.