Inside: Use these New Year’s Resolution ideas to live intentionally to create purposeful goals for the coming year.
A guest post by Cora Gold
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on your life.
While typical New Year’s resolutions may involve making more money or losing weight, those aren’t always the most fulfilling goals.
Instead, try focusing on intentional living in the new year. Strive to be present in the moment, value experiences over things, and simplify your life.
Check out these resolutions to help you live intentionally all year long.
8 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Live Intentionally
What does it mean to live intentionally? It’s really about being thoughtful and purposeful in your life. Here are eight New Year’s resolution ideas to help you do just that.
1. Erase a Limiting Belief
You can declutter for a fresh start, but first, you need to identify the thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back in your life.
Even the most confident people likely have at least one limiting belief about themselves. It’s challenging to be human and make mistakes without garnering some negative self-talk that becomes instinctive.
If you think critically about yourself all the time, it’s hard to feel happy. It can even negatively impact your cognitive performance by changing how your brain works.
Reflect on your typical thoughts when you get a quiet moment. What’s one negative opinion you have about yourself? It might connect to your hobbies, values, career, or relationships.
Whatever you discover, set a New Year’s resolution to deconstruct it. You can challenge it with a positive reminder every time it comes up in your mind to feel happier and live intentionally more easily.
2. Declutter Your Home
Feeling happy with what you have is easier when you don’t live in the middle of clutter. Spend some time decluttering your home over the next few weeks or months.
Anything that doesn’t serve a purpose can go to a donation center or up for sale.
Depending on your free time, you could work through one room each week or month. This resolution ensures you know exactly what you have and why each of your belongings is fulfilling.
Simplifying your home makes it a bit easier to live intentionally as you’re no longer distracted by all of the excess stuff.
3. Pick an Experience
Intentional lifestyles prioritize living in the moment. Doing that while chasing goals can feel challenging, but not if you make them actionable. Actionable plans have clear steps forward so people achieve them more easily.
Consider what you’d love to try for the first time. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go scuba diving or run a marathon.
Whatever you pick will have actionable steps built into the idea, like booking the scuba certification classes or starting a training regimen.
Setting SMART goals that are clear and specific will help make them more achievable.
Experiences are much easier to accomplish as intentional New Year’s resolutions because they come with steps. When your experience begins, focus on what you learn about yourself or the world to include the lesson in your daily life.
4. Learn How to Listen
Relationships make life more meaningful, so invest in your loved ones by creating a resolution to listen more effectively this year. Listening and healthy communication are some of the habits of a happy family and they’ll help you to be a better friend too.
You’ll improve your listening skills by watching for body language during conversations, maintaining eye contact, and leaving your phone to the side. Your presence will project your respect and love for the person you’re talking to, making connections an intentional priority.
Consider setting this resolution by practicing one active listening skill each month. By the end of the month, it will feel more natural.
You can easily add another the next month and become a pro at active listening by the end of the year.
Spending more time listening rather than talking makes you a more intentional friend who is concerned for the needs of others.
5. Practice Self-Care
In the pursuit to live more intentionally, don’t forget to make self-care part of your routine.
You’ll feel as uplifted as other people in your life when you pour some of your energy back into your physical and mental well-being.
Set aside time daily to soothe your mind with quiet time and a hobby. Repeat positive affirmations to redirect harmful thought patterns with uplifting beliefs about how you’re strong, wonderful, intelligent, and capable. Incorporating healthier foods into your meals or drinking more water can help you to feel your best physically.
When you support yourself with small, intentional changes, you’ll feel more at peace with yourself and your life. You’ll know what you need and how you meet those needs, giving every aspect of your life a purpose as it helps support you and your goals.
6. Study the World
Learning to live intentionally is challenging if you’re unsure about your values or purpose. People often define those things for themselves by learning about the world.
Pick a country or a cause, and study it — read about it in the news, watch documentaries, and check out related books at your local library.
You’ll quickly learn about your values as you discover more about different cultures or time periods. They reveal where you fit into the world, leading to greater personal connections.
Discovering what causes you’re passionate about is a helpful step toward living more intentionally. Asking yourself the right questions can clarify your why as you strive to live simply.
7. Be Purposefully Kind to Others
Every action has a reaction. You may have learned that in science class, but it applies to relationships, too. Imagine telling someone how great they look in an outfit.
Depending on your tone, your encouraging comment could make them feel uplifted or hurt by the sarcastic remark.
Become more intentional about how you affect the world by evaluating your actions through a kindness lens.
How will your words or actions spread kindness? Even the most minor efforts make the world a better place for just one person.
Aim to do one small act of kindness each day and perhaps a more elaborate one each week or month. That could be something as simple as sending a text message to a friend letting them know you’re thinking about them to bringing a meal to a friend who hasn’t been feeling well.
When you look for ways to brighten other people’s days, you’ll create more happiness in your own life too.
8. Start a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude is often a natural thing that happens when people start living intentionally. If you value the smallest things, you’ll feel more appreciative of your life.
Be intentional with documenting your thankfulness by starting a gratitude journal. When you look for things to be grateful for, you will likely find that they multiply.
Your journal entries might be one line or a couple of pages of thoughts, depending on how you feel. Research shows the most successful gratitude practices typically involve a list of things people love about their lives.
As long as you put your thoughts where you can read them later, you’ll sustain your gratitude and feel happier. Set a resolution to write in your journal at least once a week to kickstart your new habit.
Find Intentional New Year’s Resolutions for Yourself
While everyone else sets goals for the new year, reflect on what best serves your personal growth. New Year’s resolution ideas that help you live intentionally could be the best path forward.
You’ll grow into your identity, form stronger relationships, and appreciate every moment, fostering the intentional joy many desire. Which one will you choose or be inspired by?
Which of the New Year’s resolution ideas to live intentionally do you hope to work on? Let us know in the comments section.
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