3 New Year’s Resolution Alternatives

3 New Year's Resolution Alternatives | New Year's Resolutions often lead to failure and guilt...so let's ditch 'em. Here are 3 New Year's Resolution alternatives that will set you up for a successful year to come!

I, along with millions of others in the world, have always set resolutions for myself by the time January 1st rolled around.

I have a proposal for you: Let’s ditch the New Year’s Resolutions.

Look, I am all about goal-setting and self-improvement. However, the idea of “new year, new me” poses some issues. We become consumed in guilt when we think about what we wanted to accomplish in 2017, but didn’t. Then, we overwhelm ourselves with a list of things we need to get right in 2018, often setting ourselves up for failure due to unrealistic expectations.

Making resolutions that we will implement starting on January 1st is the equivalent of the all-too-common “I’ll start eating healthy on Monday”. You pig-out over the weekend, and when you accidentally eat a cookie on Monday, you decide to start eating healthy next week instead.

New Year’s Resolutions encourage procrastination by putting off your goals until January. This mindset leads us to constantly plan, wait, and look ahead to next week or next month or next year. We forget to be fully present and live in the moment.

Change can happen at any time, not only after the ball drops.

With that being said, here are 3 New Year’s Resolution alternatives that will allow you to reflect on 2017 and set you up for a successful year to come!


Instead of creating a lengthy list of bad behaviors you should reverse, pick one word to focus on for the new year. Choose your word based on how you want to feel, what you hope to experience, a characteristic you wish to embody, and/or what you desire God to reveal to you. Maybe your word is “intentional”, “space”, “grace”, “strength”, “trust”, “consistent”…the options are endless! Find a word that speaks to you and keep it in mind as you go about each day. Unlike a restrictive resolution that is easily “broken”, a word can be applied to a variety of situations and allows room for growth.


Grab a pen and paper, get comfy, and write a letter from your future-self dated January 1, 2019. Imagine where you will be in one year and reflect on your (hypothetical) personal development over the course of 2018. Thank your present self for what you have already accomplished. Offer yourself advice as you head into the new year. Alternatively, write a letter to your future-self about how you hope your life will have evolved and open it on January 1, 2019.


We tend to get caught up in everything we did wrong over the past year. Don’t beat yourself up for your shortcomings. Instead, reflect on the positive changes you did make during 2017. Maybe incorporating self-care into your busy schedule helped boost your mental health. Or maybe eating more healthy fats allowed you to heal your gut and improve digestion. These habits can be extended into the new year by continuing to include stress-relieving practices and adding nut butter to your breakfast every day. Whatever good changes you made, aim to continue your progress in 2018.

Which one of these New Year’s Resolution alternatives will you be trying?


  1. December 28, 2017 / 9:16 am

    This post is so insightful and well-written, the “choose a word” thing is such a lovely idea. I think writing myself a letter feels too intimidating, but I like the word thing and will further think about that. 🙂
    Mia, you have an absolutely gorgeous blog; I adore your content! I’d love if we can follow each other on Bloglovin maybe? Do let me know <3 have a nice week!

    Joanne | With Risa: A Lifestyle Blog

    • December 30, 2017 / 1:49 am

      I can see how choosing a word might be a bit less intimidating than writing a letter. Your word will definitely help guide you during 2018! I just gave you a follow 🙂

  2. December 29, 2017 / 1:06 am

    I love this so much! I also read your post on healing your gut…it was too good! Your blog is so awesome and uplifting, keep it up girl.

    • December 30, 2017 / 1:49 am

      Aw, thanks Meg! I’m glad you enjoyed 🙂

  3. December 29, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    Great post and tips! I like when you talk about choosing a word, that’s a great thing I think! Thank you for sharing and happy holidays!


    • January 3, 2018 / 7:59 pm

      Thanks Violette!

  4. December 30, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    I really like the idea of choosing a word, though it is daunting. I like these alternative ideas 🙂

    • December 31, 2017 / 1:03 am

      Thanks for reading Anna!

    • January 1, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      You should try it out this year!

  5. January 1, 2018 / 4:28 am

    A few years ago, my teacher had us all write a letter to ourselves when we’re older. I’m excited to open my letter and see all that I wrote.


    • January 1, 2018 / 6:44 pm

      One of my teachers had us do the same. It’s definitely a cool concept!

    • January 3, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Happy New Year Margaret!

  6. January 2, 2018 / 5:39 pm

    I LOVE this!! Especially the “choose a word” I think my word of the year will be “self-care.” I always put others first and forget about myself, time for a little me-time.

    • January 3, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      Self-care is so important and definitely a great focus for the new year! 🙂

  7. January 3, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Word for this year for me is ‘gratitude’. I feel like I’m not grateful enough for what chances I have in my life, what people are in my life and I need to work on that

    • January 3, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Having a grateful heart makes life so much more joyful! That’s a great choice for your word this year 🙂

    • January 6, 2018 / 4:22 pm

      Thanks for reading Elena!

  8. January 5, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog and it is so beautiful. Keep up the good work!

    • January 18, 2018 / 4:33 am

      Thanks Paxton!

    • January 6, 2018 / 4:22 pm

      Glad you liked the post Kelly!

  9. January 17, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    Loved these ideas! We can be too harsh on ourselves at times, so I loved the bit about bringing and continuing good habits in the new year.

    Shann Eileen | http://www.shanneileen.com

    • January 18, 2018 / 4:27 am

      Agreed! We often forget about what we are already doing well on and jump straight to change instead!

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