Another year has come and gone, like, really freaking fast. I swear Christmas 2017 was just a few months ago and now we’re about to dive into 2019. With a new year comes new resolutions. Or not, depending on your view of them. I feel like a lot of us don’t even attempt to make New Year’s resolutions anymore because we always quit a month or two in and, frankly, we’re tired of our own bullshit. No resolution, no disappointment.

But I do think it’s critical – even if you don’t make any resolutions or set any goals – to spend some time reflecting on all aspects of 2018 and meditating on what you want and hope for in 2019. Growth is so important. In fact, it’s essential. I’m not the same person I was in 2017 and I hope that I will be a different, better person this time next year.

I absolutely get being tired of making promises to yourself that you break, though. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to read my Bible more. I’m going to save money. And so on and so on. All of the ways you may have grown this year are drowned out because you didn’t keep one resolution. Let’s change that this year, shall we?

I could write all day about why we tend to give up on our resolutions, but instead I’m going to offer a few alternatives to resolutions that you can implement in the New Year.

  1. Choose a Bible verse for 2019. I say choose but really it’s a matter of being led to a piece of scripture that God wants you to memorize and write on your soul. A friend of mind suggested this a few years ago, and I love this idea. Pray for the Lord to point out a verse that will be your verse for the entire year. Ask God, and then listen. When you see the verse, you’ll know. Don’t stress out about it. He’ll lead you. When you find out what your verse is, write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it. Put it on a letter board, make it your phone background… Whatever you need to do to make it visible. Think on it, dwell in it, research it, pray about it, and try to apply it to as many areas as you can in 2019.
  2. Choose a word for 2019. I know a handful of people who do this. If Bible verses aren’t your thing, or if you want something shorter and more to the point, pick a word that you want to focus on in 2019. This word can be a goal (such as “health”) or it can be something you’ll like to manifest (such as “success”) or it can be something you’d like to embody (such as “courage”). Again, write it down and tape it up. Let it be your mantra for 2019.
  3. Set Wellness Dimension goals. This is what Chase and I are doing, and it’s a little more involved than the first 2. The idea is that there are 7 dimensions of wellness – physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and financial. In order to be truly “well”, none of these areas can be neglected. So we’re setting a small goal – not a resolution – for each area. Each one has to be something simple. For example, don’t say that for the physical dimension you are going to go to the gym 7 days a week and meal prep and start yoga and give up carbs. Instead, set a goal to eat one vegetable with every meal. Or walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week. If you do more, great, but start out by not overwhelming yourself. Here is an example of what these goals can look like:
    1. Physical – no more than 1 soda a day or walk 3 days a week or don’t eat after 8pm
    2. Emotional – meditate for 5 minutes a day or take a mental health day once a month or start a gratitude journal or download Daylio and track your moods/habits
    3. Social – join an online book club or commit to calling a family member once a week  or plan a friend day once a month or meet someone new once a week
    4. Spiritual – read a Bible verse a day or pray every morning on the way to work or commit to going to church 2 times a month or listen to praise and worship music once a week in your car.
    5. Intellectual – read a book every month or attend a class or conference or workshop in an area you’re interested in or download Word of the Day and buff up your vocabulary.
    6. Environmental – switch to reusable grocery bags or pick up trash you see on the ground or plant wildflowers in the spring
    7. Financial – save $20 out of each paycheck or resolve to pay off one credit card or eat at home 4 days a week or cancel any subscriptions you don’t really use.Write these goals down and track them however you need to. I’ll need to make a chart so that I can have them all in front of me and I can check off each one as I do it. Or I might get some stickers because I’m even though I’m 30, I’m really 7.
  4. Create a 2019 bucket list. This isn’t so much of a habit or consistent resolution as it is setting fun goals and things to look forward to. For example, for 2018 Chase and I made a list of the places we’d like to travel to during the year. We even put the month that we would like to travel there. None of these places were huge trips, just weekends here and there to Savannah or Helen or Orlando. You can also add things like put a certain amount of money in your savings account or change careers or get married. You know, just simple things 😉
  5. Create a 2019 vision board. I LOVE VISION BOARDS. Actually, I just love collages because they are super therapeutic to create and look pretty badass when you’re done. A vision board is a collage of the things you want for your life. It can be words or images, can be literal or a representation. A vision board forces you to look upon, think about, and visualize your future and what you want 2019 to look like. It can be a pretty powerful tool. You’ll need a stack of magazines, a poster board, scissors, and a glue stick. Cut out anything that speaks to you about what you want for 2019. If you want to travel, cut out a map or airplane or tickets. If you want a family, cut out pictures of babies and cribs. If you want to graduate, cut out anything that represents that to you. It’s completely subjective and personal. Put it up in your closet so you can look at it every morning when you’re getting dressed.

New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be a set up for failure. They can be creative, novel, and fun. Choose what you want for 2019 and go for it. I believe in you and I’m proud of you. Happy New Year!

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