An Alternative to New Years Resolutions
Let’s try something different this new year.
First and foremost I’d like to thank you for your readership throughout this last year! It means the world to me that you trust me with your time and energy...of which, we know, is our greatest commodity. The fact that I keep ending up in your inbox each month is a testament to your commitment to mental health and well-being, and shows your support for my work. Appreciate it!
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Tomorrow will be a new year. 2024. Wow. I remember watching older movies when the year 2024 was a distant futuristic society. And now, here we are.
With a new year comes new resolutions.
But for some of us, picking new resolutions each year is a daunting task. Maybe you are one of these people who does not want to partake in this new year resolution tradition. Or maybe you have too many resolution ideas on your wishlist.
It can be overwhelming to figure out the one habit or goal that is the most important to you. Plus, there’s all those statistics about how only 9% of people actually stick with their goals, while the rest give up on their resolutions within a couple of months…
So here’s what I suggest: Instead of picking new year’s resolutions, pick a single theme that can be summed up with a word or phrase.
Think of it as a guiding phrase that shapes your daily interactions with yourself and others. It should be an intentional and comforting word that helps you make better decisions throughout the year.
Here are some examples: Inspiration, compassion, mindset, connections, shine, kind, confidence, influence, abundance, growth, love.
The word I’ve chosen for me this year is “optimizing.”
Next Steps for Happier Beings
Create a mantra: A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated frequently (often in meditation or prayer). But you can use yours whenever and however you like. To develop a mantra that is meaningful and powerful for you, set aside some time to think through your priorities and values. You can do a brain dump (a free association style–everything that comes to mind without thinking it through first), a mind map (one concept/word that can lead to another), or draw it out.
Create a vision board: A physical manifestation of your goals act as a constant reminder of your intention. Use magazine cut outs, printed photos, text, or other significant memorabilia to create your board. Every time you look at it, you’ll be reminded of your theme like patience, grace, or fun.
Write it down. Write (or type) your theme and display it everywhere that you spend the most time. It can be on a post-it, a note card, your phone wallpaper, a fridge magnet. Just like with a vision board, this simple visual cue can be a very powerful reminder.
Content for Happier Beings
With each new year that passes, we get older. And as our body ages, so does our brain. Here’s an interesting video about what happens to your brain as you age.
I like this Swedish concept of “lagom” which translates to “just enough.”
Nothing like taking a gander through the best photos of the year to feel inspired for the year ahead!
As usual, please feel free to hit reply and share your thoughts. What would you like to see more of in these newsletters? What questions do you have about mental health and happiness?
And as always, I’m here for you.
Dr. Tal Leead, Psy.D.
“In our rapidly changing society we can count on only two things that will never change. What will never change is the will to change and the fear of change. It is the will to change that motivates us to seek help. It is the fear of change that motivates us to resist the very help we seek.”
—Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Intimacy