2019 is just around the corner!
It’s crazy how quickly time flies by and it’s hard to believe that a new year is upon us already. How do you feel about what you accomplished this year? Where do you want to be at this time next year? What do you want to achieve?
The concept of a new year’s resolution has been around for thousands of years (thank you Babylonians), with the term being coined in the way we use it today in 1813. The idea of seeking continuous improvement is not new, and the new year always seems like the perfect time to reset or recommit yourself to growth.
So whether you’re still warming up to the idea of a new year, wish 2018 would not come to an end, or eagerly await a fresh start in 2019, we’ll help you ease into the new year’s resolution making process. Plus we have 19 new years resolution ideas for you in 2019!
Crafting your 2019 new years resolutions
The end of a year is an exciting but busy time. Holidays, visits with family and friends, vacations planned and taken. It’s hard to slow things down with all that’s packed into the last month of the year, let alone contemplate a plan for an entire year ahead.
But it helps to start thinking about the new year in advance.
Timing. To set a good new year’s resolution for yourself, or a few, you need to set aside time to reflect on the past year and dream of the year ahead – figure out your lessons learned and build up your motivation and excitement. Be careful though. The pull and lure of a new year and new you may lull you into making superficial resolutions if you don’t put in thoughtful time up front.
If it’s impossible to set aside time in December or you didn’t start earlier, don’t fret if you time your reflection in early January instead. You want to craft quality resolutions over quantity, so do this when you have real time to commit.
Reflect. 2018 and years past are your guide in this first step. So before you get too excited and eager for all that 2019 will bring, set aside time to reflect on what the past year meant to you, what you did, what you did not do, etc. Use these questions (if you have an Ink+Volt Planner, they can also be found at the front of your planner!) to help you reflect:
- What do you want to shed and leave behind from this past year? It could be something physical or emotional. For example: clutter, bad habits, self-doubt, debt, unhealthy relationships, etc. Think about what happened this past year and what you do not want to bring with you into the next. Shed layers you no longer need and enter 2019 feeling lifted and lighter.
- What do you want to learn in this new year? What can you do to improve yourself or learn to become better at doing, saying, feeling? Maybe it’s a new language, a skill or craft, or you might want to learn how to change or respond to bad habits or triggers. No matter what it is, think about those things that you want to learn out of curiosity, for self improvement, and/or because that knowledge or skill will assist you in another area of your life.
- What things did you want to do this past year, but didn’t? Think about the things you did not get to do in 2018. Why didn’t they happen this year? Do you still want to do them? Figure out what got in your way. Maybe it was positive — it didn’t happen because you realized it wasn’t a good use of time so you took if off your list. But if it was negative — it didn’t happen because you didn’t set aside time, money, energy — then think about how you can avoid that happening to future goals.
- What was the best thing that happened this past year? Think of and reflect on your achievements, including goals or milestones that you accomplished. What did you do to make them possible and how can you repeat that success? Be proud of these moments!
New years resolution ideas for 2019
After reflecting on this past year and the year ahead, you’re ready to start brainstorming resolution ideas. *Remember* your resolutions will be more successful if they’re in line with what you learned from the above questions and built on the progress you’ve already made.
To get you started, we’ve compiled some ideas for you to build on and branch out from. Make them your own!
1. Be more present. Feel guilty by the look your friend gives you when she’s talking to you and you’re doing your best to feign listening while on your phone? Give the people around you your full attention when you’re with them, do one thing at a time to really experience the moment, or limit double booking yourself or scheduling things (that are within your control) back to back to back.
2. Explore. Resolve to explore more this year. Maybe you have a staycation and explore your town, take mini weekend trips, or go on that big trip you’ve always wanted to take. But exploring isn’t limited to travel. Explore new foods, new ideas, books, music, art or a new class at the gym. Bring back the child-like curiosity and adventure that exploration encourages.
3. Find calm. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, overworked, or stressed, find an outlet, something that will make you feel better and less anxious. It could be getting fresh air, listening along to a meditation, writing, exercising, disconnecting, or taking necessary breaks just for you. Or practice being more patient with yourself and others. Then when you feel those feelings, use the outlet that works for you. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
4. Volunteer. Volunteering your time to those in your community or for a cause will positively impact you and those you touch. Challenge yourself to do something regularly to feel more connected; hospitals often look for volunteers to visit or support patients, shelters need volunteers to serve food, visit with senior citizens, or support a school’s afterschool program (especially if you have a skill you can offer).
5. Focus on gratitude. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward. Keep a gratitude list, gratitude jar, or send thank you notes. Being a more grateful human being affects those around you. Studies show those who practice gratitude are more helpful, generous and compassionate, outgoing, forgiving, and feel less lonely and isolated.
6. Update and upgrade your personal brand. What is your brand and what does it say about you? Take steps to update it, recreate it, or completely revamp it for 2019. Present yourself in the way you want people to see you and what you do.
7. Turn your hobby into a side gig. This could be the year you take an idea and turn it into something tangible. That side gig you’ve been thinking about is ready to come to life.
9. Increase your savings/retirement or become more financially fluent. Some ideas: increase or maximize your retirement contributions, open a retirement account, take advantage of employer matching contributions, forgo spending on certain habits, automatically transfer funds directly into your savings, or take steps to create your emergency fund (enough money to cover 3 months’ expenses is recommended). Can you be more financially independent this year?
10. Complete a physical accomplishment. No matter what your health and physical goals are, resolve to train for and successfully (healthily) complete a race or competition. Whether it’s a 5k, marathon or triathlon, rowing, or rock climbing feat, what physical challenge will you take on?
11. Develop a filing and record keeping system. Ever get the sense that all your info is floating around somewhere in the cloud…but you have no idea where it really is? Develop a system or utilize a program that easily allows you to track paper and/or electronic files, so you can always find your insurance info, health records, and other important paperwork when you need it. Want to go all electronic? Set up a time quarterly to scan, file, label, etc. documents onto your computer and/or backup hard drive.
12. Meal prep. Develop a habit of prepping your meals in advance! Pick a day or days of the week that you can consistently prep your meals for the days ahead, follow a food blog, share ideas with a friend, or set a goal to eat X number of homemade meals a week, e.g. 15 meals (or 5 days) a week.
13. Set up a system to remember important dates, and recognize them. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and dates of loved one’s passings are all dates we want to remember. Avoid scrambling to remember, rushing to find a card and (fingers crossed) sending it out on time. You’ve probably got reminders in various places, including social media. Instead, consolidate all of these dates in one place that will work for you; a notebook, your planner, spreadsheet, etc. Add reminders to send cards or texts/emails in your planner or electronic calendar. Buy stationery for the year ahead, so you have the cards you need on hand, with blank notes ready for any impromptu thank yous, get wells, or condolences.
14. Set up your family’s medical appointments. Plan you and your family’s medical appointments for the year ahead all at once. If possible, coordinate them during convenient times of the year that are efficient (schedule the entire family for back to back appointments) and convenient (schedule physicals in August for the school year ahead).
15. Only take the stairs. Forgo the elevator or escalator and only take the stairs! You’ll be amazing what an impact making a small, daily commitment to exercise can make.
16. Reduce clutter. Closet and drawers overflowing? Finding multiples of the same thing throughout the house? Pick a room (kitchen) or group of objects (closet or drawers), schedule a day or find ways to do little things every day, and declutter. Donate, recycle, re-sell online or at a garage sale, or toss. Want to buy new clothes or shoes? Commit to not bringing anything new into your wardrobe, unless you plan to swap out the exact number of items to donate or sell.
17. Take lunch breaks. Lunch breaks not only force you to get up and leave your desk or work area, but they also ensure you eat. Skipping meals and not giving yourself time to refresh is a recipe for burnout and unhappiness. It seems so much easier to just keep working through lunch, but the long term benefits won’t be in your favor.
18. Stop procrastinating. Good at finding reasons not to do something until the last minute? Put your skills to better use and put an end to the last minute flurry and less-than-your-best. Practice techniques to end this bad habit.
19. Journal, write, draw – express yourself! Take advantage of outlets that allow you to be creative and express yourself more regularly.
Let your resolutions take shape
In crafting your plan for achieving your resolution, take into consideration these guidelines:
- Your new year’s resolution can come in any shape and size you desire. But typically, it is something that is, size wise, bigger than a 30 day challenge, but smaller than a medium term goal, e.g. less than 1-2 years. If it’s a resolution that is part of a larger long term goal, break it down into manageable pieces for 2019.
- Focus on a resolution that will take effort to accomplish, that you resolve to do, to improve, positively change, or put an end to for the better. Remember to build on your accomplishments or progress in the past year.
- Use the format of the Ink+Volt Planner 30 day challenge to develop your new years resolution ideas and encourage their success. For example, clearly state what you want to do, why you want to make it happen, and your plan of action.
- Keep resolutions specific and narrow (think SMART).
- Establish deadlines and check-ins with yourself, tracking your progress and development throughout the year.