There’s something about turning the calendar to January that spurs optimism. The goal – “that thing” we wanted all last year that felt so out of reach suddenly feels possible. With resolutions or newly reaffirmed goals intact, we dive into a new year ready to slay our goals. Some opt for the traditional “resolution” and look ahead to a full year of big changes. Others may identify a goal and hope this year will be different but can’t quite shake the reminders of failed attempts in the past. We hope this year will be different but deep down fear it won’t be or worse don’t believe it can be. No matter if you nailed your goals last year or you abandoned them within weeks, this year can be different! Get creative in your approach but don’t lose sight of your goals and why they’re important to you. If you slip up, shake it off but keep going. And, maybe this year is a good time to try something different to help you be successful.

4 alternatives to year-long resolutions: 

Focus on one week at a time.

Establish goals one week a time rather than for the entire year or even month. By doing this, you get a fresh start every Monday. This is particularly helpful if you’re inclined to throw in the towel on a goal when you’ve slipped up. View each Monday as your reset day and commit to the direction and priorities for the week. Make your goals specific and tangible. A few examples might be going to the gym 3 times this week so you schedule time on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. Or, if your goal is de-cluttering, you may choose to have a goal of a focused hour of progress 4 times this week.  You’ll be amazed how the one-week approach adds up to big progress over time!

Use the “one word” approach.

Perhaps you’ve seen one or several posts on social media with people sharing their word for the year. Having a word for the year has grown in popularity over the past few years because it can provide a great framework for  change. This approach helps you have a single focus that you use to create vision and action. I will likely do this in conjunction with my other strategies this year. A few great resources to help you find a word for the year are and the My One Word book available on Amazon.

Focus on your habits.

Peter Drucker once said “What gets measured gets managed.” Too often we set large goals focusing on what we want when we arrive at our desired destination or state rather than what habits or choices will help us get there. What if instead of saying you wanted to lose weight, you set to build habits that yield a healthier lifestyle? Your habits might include drinking the desired amount of water, packing your lunch, and going to the gym 3 days a week. Or if you want to write a book, write 500 words 3 times a week. Focusing on developing and tracking the habits so they become a fabric of your weekly schedule will make reaching your goal far easier. Habitbull is just one of many habit tracking apps available in the app store. Why not add a habit tracking app to your phone or tablet to help you reach your goals this year?

Conquer the quarter.

Have you ever set a goal for the year only to have it thrown out the window before February 1st? With big goals it’s easy to hit a bump in the road and completely throw in the towel with a lot of year still left on the calendar. If this is something you’ve experienced in past years, why not ditch the year-long resolutions and instead focus on conquering the quarter. Define specific goals that you can achieve in the next three months. Focus from now through the end of March on making it happen. Then, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st will be your fresh starts. You don’t have to wait until next January 1st when you’re focusing on your goals a quarter of the year at a time.

It’s your turn.

Be creative when you look at the year ahead. Harness the optimism that comes with changing the calendar to a new year. The year ahead is full of opportunities. Embrace the potential. If you truly want change or personal growth this year, you’ll need to take steps to make it happen. What framework are you putting in place to help you reach your goals to make this a great year? Will you try one of these suggestions, are you a resolution person, or do you have another approach? I’d love to hear from you. Click to comment and let me know what your goals are in the new year and what you’re doing to set them in motion. This year I’m re-establishing my healthy eating and exercise habits and I’m focused on working on my next book. Both will take discipline but I’m up for the challenge.

If this post encouraged you, why not click to share and encourage your friends. With each new day of the year, the pull of day-to-day is warring to defeat our goals and the resolutions of those around us. Why not share this so that your friends have a greater chance of success this year.

Until next time friends, be blessed.

A few other posts you might enjoy: