Tired of Failed Resolutions? Here is a Better Way to Start Your Year

Tis the season for New Year's Resolutions! Many of us will be making them in the next day or so, but according to statistics less than 10% actually keep them. So, rather than set yourself up for regret and disappointment, I suggest an alternative to the classic resolutions that will start your year off with love and hope rather than a new set of rules.

"This is the year of...."

Instead of a list of specific rules, pick one word that sets your intention for this year. Here are a few I like:

The year of HEALTH. This is a great one if you know you've been mistreating your body. Hitting the gym daily is great, but when we set that up as a rule for our year, part of us will feel like it is punishment and will rebel. As long as candy and cupcakes are a reward and exercise is punishment for not being thin, we will not be able to sustain healthy goals. So, spend some time considering how you can change health into a beautiful theme for your whole life and not just an arbitrary beauty standard.

 Health isn't a number on a scale. It starts from self-love and gratitude for life.

Health isn't a number on a scale. It starts from self-love and gratitude for life.

The year of ABUNDANCE. Do you compare yourself to others? Feel a sting of self-recrimination or jealousy when a friend crushes a goal you've been struggling with? Feel like there is never enough time, money, good men, or opportunities to go around? Then you may have nasty core belief of scarcity. Our society sets us up for this (seriously, we have contests where women literally compete against each other while millions watch and judge) and many of us were taught to see the world this way by our families. But, we aren't a bunch of snarling dogs fighting over a bowl of scraps. The world is full of abundance and beauty, if we can open our hearts with gratitude to see all the possibilities. And, actually, your friends' successes make your own success more likely because we are deeply impacted by our closest relationships. So, if you find yourself saying, "there is never enough time" or "I'm always broke" or "all the good ones are taken," then I highly recommend making this your year of ABUNDANCE.

 A grateful and open heart is the key to seeing the abundant blessings all around us and making room for even more.

A grateful and open heart is the key to seeing the abundant blessings all around us and making room for even more.

The year of SELF-COMPASSION. This one flies in the face of all that resolutions stand for, which makes it kind of bad-ass and rebellious. By designating this your year of self-compassion, you are choosing to wage war on that mean inner critic. Choose peace over perfectionism...nurture over punishment. It is really hard to flourish and thrive when someone is constantly bullying you, especially if the bully is in your head. If you master self-compassion, your whole life will get a lot easier.

 Self-compassion releases us from the tyranny of perfectionism. 

Self-compassion releases us from the tyranny of perfectionism. 

So, spend a little time thinking what you want this year to mean and what changes you want to see by 2019. Then decide on your word. Write it on your mirror. Make some affirmations and mantras about it. Read about it, tell an accountability partner about it, watch YouTube videos on it, and immerse yourself in it. You have so much more power over this year than you realize. So, set your intention now and make this your year!

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About The Author

Dr Charlynn Ruan is the founder and director of Thrive Psychology Group, a psychology practice in Los Angeles that focuses on women's psychology and wellness.