The start of a new year is a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to reconsider our habits and set goals for the future. In high school, I noticed that setting generic year-long resolutions usually doesn’t work for me…or anyone I knew. I’d do them for about two weeks and then forget about them until sometime in August. Then, I’d feel bad about it until the next year when I set new resolutions and started the cycle over again.
But during my junior year when I started bullet journaling, I decided to switch to setting monthly resolutions instead. I was told that it only took 21 days to form a habit. And I used a habit tracker in my journal each month to keep me accountable. These resolutions ranged from working on a project a little bit every day to adding/quitting a habit.
The resolutions don’t have to be deep or life changing, and they don’t even have to require leaving the house. The point isn’t to just “start exercising” or “read more” but to identify something that you want to do and lay out a plan that will help you do that in a small way every day. For example, one year I wanted to stop mindlessly snacking so much at night, so I set a resolution to not eat after 7:30.
Though this may sound simple, this approach to goal setting helped me form and stick to my plan to apply to college, run a 5K, quit eating red meat (which unfortunately has been compromised several times since I moved to Taiwan), and start this blog!
While the idea that it only takes 21 days to form a habit is a myth (it actually takes anywhere from 18-254 days), I find that setting aside time every month to reflect on my habits and engage in a pre-planned course of action to try to improve is extremely helpful. A month is a good amount of time to incrementally complete a project. And creating more times to have that “fresh start” feeling that comes with new years has been beneficial for my health/productivity. For habits, I’ve continued to track my progress on each resolution for the month I attempt it. At the end of the month, I reflect and evaluate. If I think the change was overall beneficial to my life as is, I keep it. If I don’t, I modify it or quit it after that month.
This is the fourth year of my 12 resolution practice, and for the first time, I’ve decided to share my resolutions. I’m doing this for accountability and in hopes that you might be inspired to set resolutions of your own.
In no particular order, in 2021, I plan to:
- Learn one word in Biblical Hebrew every day
- Go a month without using plastic bags
- Write 21 Thank-you notes
- Reading a physical book for 30 minutes before bed
- Do one art prompt in my Wreck This Journal per day
- Discover 21 new songs that I love and add them to my music playlist
- Memorize James 1
- Start each day by writing out 3 things I’m thankful for
- Relearn how to label every country on a blank world map
- Keep a 7:30 appointment to read my Bible and pray each morning
- Learn to use Morse Code
- Do a month a weekly blogging
I invite you to join me on any of these resolutions or set your own! If you take me up on it, you can let me know by getting in touch or commenting below.