A better way to set new year’s resolutions

It’s the dawn of a new year, and like many others, I’m thinking about what I want to achieve in 2023. As someone who is obsessed with lists, I love making new year’s resolutions, but I have never once been able to cross off every goal I put down. That’s why I’m changing things up this year by focusing on who I want to be rather than what I want to accomplish.

Usually, when someone wants to make a change, they follow the simple action → results model: they pick a goal and then pursue an action that would ideally lead to that result. However, it’s missing a crucial initial step, and that’s how one observes themself in relation to the plan (or new year’s resolutions) they’ve put in place.

Tie the identity you want to embody to your new year’s resolutions

So what does this mean? James Clear explains this concept in his book Atomic Habits by making the argument that in order to successfully implement a new habit or achieve a certain goal, you must assume the identity of someone who does those sorts of things. For example, if you want to run a marathon, get promoted to manager, or write a book – you have to first believe that you are already a runner, a leader, or a writer.

By tying your actions to your identity rather than your results, you stand a far better chance of actually following through with them – you can always change your goals, but you can’t escape yourself. The key here is being honest about who you are now and the person you realistically want to be. In the words of James Clear: “Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become.”

What identity are you going to embody this year? What version of yourself are you going to upgrade to? And what will that look like? Click the link below if you want to chat with me about your goals or send me an email at [email protected].