When we make new year’s resolutions, sometimes we inadvertently put pressure on ourselves to achieve a specific result. The end goal seems so far away, so impossible, that we throw in the towel before January is even over.

So who needs them?

This year, skip the traditional resolutions and opt for these thoughtful alternatives instead.

Choose A Word Of The Year

Picking a word of the year is less about quantifiable goals and more about concentrating on themes that matter to you. It imbues everyday life with a little focus and guidance. Choose a word that encapsulates a value or concept you’d like to embody. Examples include “growth”, “kindness”, “joy”, “wellness”, “serenity”, and “patience.” Hang the word somewhere you’ll easily see it and use it as inspiration when making decisions both big and small.

Set A Mindful Intention  

Goals helps with the future, but how do you want to live right now? Mindful intentions are about living in the present and staying positive. They focus less on results and more on a mindset of being. For example, instead of focusing on losing weight, a mindful alternative would be to try tasty nutritious foods and to move your body in a way that feels good. That way, instead of sweating and suffering to achieve an end goal, you engage in healthy behaviors that feel rewarding right now.  

Keep A Daily Written Record

Start a daily record for any part of your life you’d like to focus on. Track your spending. Keep a food diary. If you’re involved in a creative project, record how many words you wrote or how many minutes you spent on a painting. Don’t worry about results or outcomes. Just observe and record. Slowly, you’ll become more mindful of your behaviors. You’ll see patterns emerge. This will help you make gradual and realistic adjustments over the course of a year.

Take Stock Of What’s Going Well and Keep At It

Is there something that went well for you this past year?  Maybe you’re killing it at work or you found a passionate new hobby. Maybe some of your relationships have grown richer and you’d like to deepen them further. Beginnings are exciting, but ensuring a good year can just mean maintaining what’s in front of you. There’s no rule that says you have to start something new when there are already lots of positive things in your life to focus and improve upon. Make a list of what you already have going for you and resolve to keep going with each item.