Resolution Alternatives

Do you set New Year's Resolutions? I think I used to a while ago but I can't tell you anything I achieved from them. I can, however, tell you every goal I've achieved (or not) since 2011 when we started recording our Priorities and Quarterly Goals. To name a few: I got out of debt; got in the best shape of my life; renovated our home, twice; started my business; started this blog; travelled a bunch; and got pregnant!

I'm not against resolutions. I'm such a fan of Lifestyle Design and taking time to stop and think about where you're going in life and where you want to go. If you'd like to set some resolutions, both Leo Babauta and Gretchen Rubin have great books and blog posts about how to set yourself up for lasting change (hint: accountability is important). There are, however, some alternatives to resolutions that might be easier to keep, easier to achieve, or simply just more fun!

1. Set a theme for the year... even just one word. Post it in a place you come to daily and let it guide your decision making for the year. Some examples I've seen are Growth, Overcoming Fears (from Jess Lively), Saying "Yes" (from Shonda Rhimes), Kicking Butt... for 2016, mine would probably be the Uncharted.

2. Write down your values. It's that simple! Taking the time to figure out what's important to you NOW and how you want to live your life can be so powerful. You can keep them to yourself, share them with a partner, or share them with friends. Your world will improve as will your integrity!

3. Try Monthly Experiments! Instead of sticking with one difficult change over the whole year, embrace tackling smaller ones for only a month each. My monthly habits are how I learn more about myself and shift away from living the default. My morning routine, meditation, oil pulling, and better sleep all came out of new habits. These experiments are fun to come up with and can make lasting change in your life. Oh and failure is an option, it's the best way to learn!

4. Start a Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project was one of the inspirations for my monthly habit routine. Read the book and try it out! You'll go from taking a lot in life for granted to being joyful and grateful for what you have! Uh, yes please!

5. Set Quarterly Goals. Every quarter (well, every trimester now), Greg and I sit down and write out our current top five Priorities and then create a Goal (with Projects!) for each one. This is how I've accomplished almost everything over the last four years and life has just gotten better and more peaceful since!

Recording Priorities and living in line with them are major components of Essentialism and way more powerful than just cleaning out your closet. I'm going to spend the beginning of 2016 explaining this process on the blog (Essentialism 101!) so we can all live the life that's right for us. Cheers to 2016... it's going to be quite a year! xo