How I’m Setting New Years Resolutions in 2018

How I'm Setting New Years Resolutions in 2018

As I’ve been talking about on Instagram (@paigeschmidt) I’m feeling super excited about 2018! A new year brings with it the hope of new opportunity and new life. I like to think of the new year as life/space waiting to be discovered. When I can be intentional with that space, even better!

Last year I didn’t set resolutions, intentionally. My mom was so sick I didn’t know what to expect, so I felt like I couldn’t and didn’t want to make any goals. All I wanted was to be present with her. That I did, and that I am so grateful for. 

Not setting traditional resolutions taught me how good it feels to not look back at a bunch of unmet/meaningless promises.

“Lose 5 pounds.” 

“Go to the gym 5 days per week.”

“Finally go vegetarian.” 

This year as I think about 2018 and feel all of the hope that I have for this new year, I’m setting up my “resolutions” in a new way and I wanted to share that with you.

If you’re like me and get excited about setting goals but don’t want to do so in a way that feels “empty” or purposeless, stay with me… and if you don’t want to set goals that’s totally okay too! Sometimes I find it better not to. It’s whatever you’re feeling up for that’s right for you.

The problem with traditional New Years Resolutions is that they leave no room for your future self to change her mind. They leave no room for her to say “Hang on… wait a second… this thing that you thought you wanted? Yeah, it’s not important to me.”

They’re too generalized. They’re not time specific, and they’re usually a bunch of things we can never get ourselves to do but are hoping that once and for all we’ll finally be up for doing them… for a whole year… Not very promising, right?

So INSTEAD I am writing notes to my future self. Notes that are for shorter chunks of time. Notes that express WHY I set the goal in the first place. Notes that leave room for my future self to say “Ah, I see where you were going with that…”

For example…

Hey, March self. Right now it’s December 2017. I’m sitting here reflecting on 2017 and what I want out of the new year. By this time, I would love for you to be budgeting consistenly and saving $300 each month. I’m hoping that this will feel empowering for you and set you up to really experience financial freedom. So, seeing that you’re now reading this, it should be March. How’s it going? Is this still what you want? Have you been saving $300 per month consistently? How has it felt? What do you want moving forward? 

(Note: this is not a goal I’m setting – I made them up for the purpose of this post.)

In my perspective, this is so much more thoughtful and considerate of your future self. It’s also so much more specific and manageable than “save money in 2018.” A whole year for a general goal is too hard to follow (let alone, to remember).

This concept – writing notes to your future self – leaves room for reflection and change. It’s more manageable and allows you to be more self reflective all year long as you’ll be checking in with yourself regularly. 

Now, I’ve never set goals this way before… but what I imagine is that this type of goal setting will provide me the space to express where I hope to be and allow me the space to see how the goals actually end up feeling.

It’ll also allow me the grace to reevaluate and change if I need to. Or, to say “Heck yes, this is great! Keep going!”

Instead of setting “New Years Resolutions” join me in writing encouraging notes to your future self.

Gentle tips:

  • Set up intentions that your future self will thank you for. Ones that will feel GOOD for her. Your intentions should be things that you’re willing to start TODAY. Right now. If you’re not willing to do something now, will your future self really want to do that thing either?
  • Let the timeframe be as short as you need so that you can feel confident in your goal. If you have confidence that you can consistently save money for three days, check in on January 3rd. If you have the confidence that you can save for 3 months without a problem, check in March 1st. It’s up to you!
  • Finally, start now! Give yourself a little taste of all of the things you think you want in 2018 now so you can decide if they’re really important to you, now.

Choose commitments that you believe your future self will be excited about, should she achieve them. And leave room to reassess what’s important to you.

Thoughts? Share them with me in the comments! 

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