A New Way to Think About Setting Great New Year’s Resolutions

Notebook for setting great new year's resolutions

With each new year, people tend to make the same resolutions.

  • I want to lose 20 pounds.
  • I want to stop eating sugar.
  • I want to make more money.

These vague resolutions rarely make an impact. So this year, approach your New Year’s Resolutions with a different twist. First, we’ll walk you through breaking up resolutions into several categories. Then, you’ll rate your satisfaction in those areas from 1-10.

Any areas that fall low on your satisfaction scale are worthy of creating resolutions. This strategy can bring a bit of perspective and a greater likelihood of success.


When some people think about having a satisfying social life, they might think about having a huge circle of friends or going to a lot of parties. But that doesn’t have to be what it means for you. Instead, focus on relationships with those who are closest to you. How is your relationship with co-workers, neighbors, those under your roof, even yourself!

If you’re rating these social interactions low, what kinds of resolutions could shift you into a sphere of greater satisfaction in your relationships?

Maybe that looks like resolving to have a monthly date night with your spouse. To strengthen those relationships, you may decide to have coffee or lunch with co-workers every other week. If you feel like you’re losing touch with a child, set a time each week to check-in, sans technology, and just talk.


The vast majority of people tend to make resolutions in the physical category. But this holds so much more than your body composition or weight.

When you think about satisfaction as it relates to physical health, look at fitness and exercise routines, but also nagging ailments or some health issues you might not have answers for. For example, have you been consistent with your annual check-ups? Based on your age, have you kept up with mammograms, colonoscopies, or other preventative procedures?

If you have low satisfaction, think about resolutions that create greater overall health. Maybe that means you set a date in January to call all healthcare providers and make appointments for the whole year. In addition, you may need to schedule a time to check out a few local gyms or meet with a personal trainer for a free one-on-one consultation. As you think about these resolutions, focus on health and not simply weight loss or physical appearance.


It’s almost too easy to put a cover over your financial picture and look the other way. But when you think about financial satisfaction, where do you land? Are you happy with your current level of savings, spending, income?

Resolutions for personal finance can come in all shapes and sizes. Think about starting an emergency fund if you don’t have one already. Maybe you’re ready to commit to reviewing your credit report 3 times a year to check for errors. Or you might be ready to commit to sitting down with your spouse once a month to talk about money.


It’s not uncommon to stop setting intellectual or educational resolutions as we get older. After all, we’re no longer in school, so what’s left to learn, right? To gauge satisfaction in this category, think about how you’ve been feeding your intellectual desires, if at all.

Is there a hobby you’re particularly interested in, or have you been itching to make a career change but know that going back to school is part of that?

If you’ve been limited in the sphere of education, think about resolutions that can change that. For example, maybe you’ll commit to reading one book a month related to your area of interest. Maybe you set a date in January to finally look up career-related conferences and see if work can foot the bill to send you.


Many resolutions naturally revolve around setting new habits. Some of the most common aspects of lifestyle where people try to implement or change habits are sleep, nutrition, and time management.

How satisfied are you on a scale of 1-10 with your daily habits? If you’re ready to set resolutions in this area, can you commit to getting 8 hours of sleep most nights of the week? What about committing to grocery shopping and meal prepping on Sunday?


Speaking of time management, technology can be a major time suck for many people. Assess your satisfaction with technology use. The best way to gauge this might be to look at app usage on your phone. Do you think you’re spending too much time in one place, and are you ready and willing to address it?

Resolutions in the area of technology may look like setting up an app that prevents access after you’ve been on social media for more than 30 minutes. You might commit to spending one night a week reading a book instead of turning on Netflix.


So many people, women especially, spend so much time focusing on others that self-care falls through the cracks. So, how happy are you with your self-care? If the answer to that is not happy, look at creating resolutions in this area.

Do you need to work on skincare and commit to doing a face mask one night a week? Could you make it work financially to get a massage once each quarter? Is your spouse on board with creating a resolution to take the kids for an hour on Saturday morning so you can go to yoga?


If spirituality is part of your life, have you been ignoring it? Maybe spirituality for you has taken a backseat in recent years as you’ve focused on raising a family. If you’re not satisfied right now, what ways can you resolve to get back in touch?

Maybe you commit to attending a weekly bible study meeting with ladies from your local church. Perhaps you’re going to make intentional time each week to study from your spiritual book of choice. However that looks for you, spirituality is a great place to direct energy for New Year’s Resolutions, and it can often bring you more peace in other aspects of your life too.

The Last Word About Setting Great New Year’s Resolutions

It’s so easy to default to the same resolutions you do every year. This year, make it more meaningful. Think about your life satisfaction in areas of social, physical, financial, intellectual, habits, technology, self-care, and spiritual. Then, pull focus on the areas where you need it most. This simple exercise can help make sure you’re creating resolutions that are not only impactful but address your whole person, not just the part of you that wants to lose the last 10 pounds.

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