What you should be doing instead of making new year's resolutions

I woke up New Year's Eve morning complaining about all the resolution fuss. Not because every time I make a resolution, I give up on it by the 6th (who really needs to go to the gym more than five days, anyway?!), but because I think we have it all wrong. Trust me, I'm all about setting goals... but I think there's a better way to do it.

1. We're making resolutions in such crazy context

What could possibly be better than declaring a major life change on a bleak January morning when all you did last night was eat hors d'oeuvres and sip Chandon like it was your job? Let me tell you - lots of things!

Before setting a goal like this, ask yourself why you haven't done it yet. And, is this really the right time? Nothing is stopping you for making this decision last week, next week, next month or whenever the time is right for you. You may need to work through something else first before resolving to change something big, possibly failing and then feeling discouraged. Have you ever been to the gym on January 1st? I think it's safe to say we all need a little space with our personal goal-setting. 

2. We're saying it all wrong

Usually, when you ask someone what their New Year's Resolution is, they respond with, "I really want to..." or "I'm trying too..." (cook healthy meals, skydive more often, save all the animals, etc.) This isn't goal-setting; it's just stating hopes and desires. In order for change, you need to set an intention.

Be strong, positive and assertive with your words. It might seem scary to declare, "This year, I am going to get over my fear of needles and finally get my ears pierced so I can justify buying those cute Kate Spade gem studs,"* but that only means you're doing it the right way. A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.

What we did instead of making resolutions

In the afternoon on New Year's, I shuffled on over to party city for some sparkly, loud objects. When I started to look for decorations, nothing was quite to my liking... perfect excuse to bust out the craft supplies.

We had a party at my friends' apartment and I hung this a banner. Each pennant said something along the lines of, "In 2015, I will..." or "2015 is the year for..." and we all wrote our intentions for the new year.

Making the banner was super easy, and you can do it too! All you need is card stock, twine or ribbon, sharpies and tape to stick it all together. If you want to get fancy, add some sparkles or ombre tissue paper tassels.

"2015 is the year for an environmentally friendly 9A."

"2015 is for turning dreams into dollar bills." 

"2015 will be baller." 

"2015 is the year for culinary excellence."

I think we started the year on the right note.

All resolutions aside, I was so grateful to spend the last day of 2014 and the first day of 2015 with some of the best people I know.

So moral of the story: don't go to crazy with all the New Year's Resolution nonsense. Stick to setting meaningful goals that come from a place of reflection and intention. 

To you and yours (and all your goals), Happy New Year.

* I'm personally taking this goal into consideration.