5 alternatives to New Year resolutions

Rachel Eden profile April 2017As well as the annual tradition of setting new year’s resolutions, I’ve also noticed that  it feels over the last few years that an alternative tradition not setting new year’s resolutions has developed.

The Holy Brook team is a bit split on this with some people seeing it as a useful way to set intentions for the year, and others as a way to set yourself up to fail.  One thing we all agree on is that setting habits and goals rather than vague ideas is a good thing.

As an accountancy professional, who now works in a more creative way if I was setting a standard new year’s resolution I might say to myself “Be more creative”.  However I know this would be something that I would look back on in a couple of weeks and realise I had done nothing to achieve.

So here are some some other options I am considering:

  1.  Create habits that will indirectly lead to your goal.
    The amazingly creative Mark Mason has just shared a set of 10 habits you can integrate into your working life that will foster creativity.
    For example Mark has been asked to bring ice cream to our Holy Brook team catch up on 5th January.

  2. Set SMART targets:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant* and Time-bound.
    This was actually the approach that Lyndsay Henderson advocated we tried last February as a Holy Brook team, and it worked (it is also worth a re-read).  Setting a SMART target for creativity might seem counter intuitive but actually structure can be really important for allowing true creativity.
    For example I have set a target to create a blog post to be published each Friday of January that adds value to our network
  3. Set a word of the year This lovely idea is one I spotted on Antonia Taylor PR’s instagram feed.  The idea is to set a single word that you want to use to sum up your year.  Then everything you decide on and activity you chose should be able to be linked back to that.
    For example I am playing around with words to use currently I think ‘create’ is the word I will pick, although that might not be creative enough – so I’m going to throw it out to the Holy Brook team for ideas

  4. Have anti-resolutions.  Rather than deciding what you will do, decide what you won’t do, such as cancelling a gym membership that you never use.
    For example I am not going to allow other work invade my Friday morning creativity sessions and I am going say “no” to projects that are not part of my creative mission for the year
  5. Visualise your future state.  This can sound a bit mystical, but I know a few people who are great believers in visualisation.  The idea is to picture yourself and the world in the state that you want it to be, but make it very specific.  As an accountant, another way I might put it is to have a well defined goal.
    For example I could picture myself finalising the draft of a book on using financial management techniques to foster better communication.

Of course there’s nothing to stop you setting some good old fashioned new year’s resolutions, but if you find in a couple of weeks they aren’t quite working for you, it might be time to revisit and try one of these alternatives.  I’d love to hear what your doing via our twitter account.

We’ll be sharing more tips on goal setting and creativity via our newsletter in the coming months so do subscribe if you’d like free access to these and all the resources we shared in 2017