News Years Goals that Actually Work

Let’s face it—the majority of New Year’s resolutions don’t last. In fact, some studies show that around 80% of resolutions fade into the abyss by the second week of February. So, how can we actually find some success as we enter this new year? Instead of looking to the future, it may actually be more helpful to look to the past.

I invite you to take 5 minutes to consider the GOOD from this year and complete the following prompts in a journal:

  • “I remember…”
  • “I felt…”
  • “I did…”
  • “I saw…”
  • “I am now…”

We can simultaneously honor all the challenges AND find gratitude for the goodness that got us to the completion of this wild year. You may not be exactly where you wanted to be one year ago today, but you have succeeded—because you are here now.

Confidence or self-efficacy may play an important role in this ability to create lasting change. Have you ever noticed that when you’re lacking confidence, you lack motivation? It’s totally normal to get stuck into a “why bother” mentality when things get difficult, especially these days.

It becomes less about resolving, and more about remembering

On the other hand, when something is already going really well we may have more motivation to continue pursuing it. For example, when you’re already doing something to take care of your body (even if it’s not crushing a HIIT workout), you’re likely more kind to yourself and more motivated to reach your goals. By gaining confidence in our small steps, we find our motivation to reach the summits. It becomes less about resolving, and more about remembering how we made it here in the first place.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they often come from a deficit mindset. We resolve to make changes because we don’t have what we want or need. And then when we don’t reach our goals by February, our motivation to persevere plummets with our confidence.

By the way, according to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit, and a median of 66 days. We may not see lasting changes until August of 2021, but we’re not going to see ANY changes if we’re already out of juice on January 18th.

If we build on what we have now, we can integrate what we already know, what we’ve already experienced, and what we’ve already learned (especially this year) with the reality we want to see for ourselves, our families, and our communities to come.

NOW, I invite you to flip your page over and write the same prompts as if you are speaking about the upcoming year in the past-tense.

It’s December 31st, 2021… What do you remember about this “past” year?

  • “I remember…”
  • “I felt…”
  • “I did…”
  • “I saw…”
  • “I am now…”

If you could completely choose how this upcoming year, 2021, feels and looks (within your control), what would this next year feel and look like?

This embodied vision captures the essence of your best possible self and may give you the confidence you need to make it your REALITY. As you are doing this exercise, stay mindful of your body and breath. Do your best to breathe as you are at your best; put your posture in a way as if you are feeling your best; create a container for yourself.

Create a reality that’s challenging and compelling, and of course, in alignment with your values. Your vision may come from your depths and not just what you’ve been told you “should” do. State in as much detail as possible what you’ve accomplished, and how you got there.

Continued 2021 time-traveling exploration prompts:

  • What do you remember most from the year 2021?
  • How did you feel in your body this year?
  • What did your relationships look like? What did your relationships feel like?
  • What did you notice around you in your community, the country, and the world?
  • In what ways did you grow into yourself during 2021?
  • What did you do, in order for you to be here, embodying your best self on 12/31/21?

Put this page or journal someplace safe so you can revisit it one year from now and see how capable you truly are.

With love and gratitude,


Thanks for following along in 2020! We have some exciting things coming in 2021, including a 7-day National Parks ADVENTURE RETREAT.

Click Here to Learn More

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