5 alternatives to New Years Resolutions

Earlier this week I wrote about how some years I struggle to write New Years Resolutions. I’d like to offer you 5 more alternatives to New Years resolutions that you can use to set yourself to have a great new year in this post.

alternatives to new years resolutions

Why find alternatives to New Years Resolutions?

There are seasons in our lives where a list of goals just don’t work (when you’re about to have a baby or at other times when life is completely unpredictable).

You really don’t need yet another reason to feel bad about yourself, do you? If writing a list of goals just means writing a list of things that you’ll likely never be able to do and will taunt you for the rest of the year… just don’t.

We’re all inspired differently and New Years Resolutions don’t work for everyone. While ticking off a list of goals might motivate some you, others feel overwhelmed by a long list of to-dos. Instead you’re better off learning about what motivates you and finding a New Years practice to suit. Here are five alternatives I’ve used…

5 alternatives to New Years Resolutions

Ideal life script

Life scripting is where you write out a script of what you’d be doing in a day of your ideal life. This practice can help you to focus on the daily activities and habits you’ll need to do to actually create the ideal life that you want.

Eg. I wake each morning at 5am and drink a big glass of water. Everyone else is asleep and I enjoy the quiet of the house while I make myself a cup of coffee and read my favourite book for half an hour… etc etc

For those of you who are trying to conceive, you could use this practice to remind you of how you want to feel during this journey, rather than a long list of things you have to change in your life to improve fertility.

For those of you who are pregnant, this practice can help you to examine your expectations around motherhood and what you think you might be in store for when your baby arrives. While it’s probably going to be different than you imagined, having done some thinking about what you’d like it to be like can help you ask for what you need once your baby arrives.

For those of you who are Mums already, the ideal life script means you can start working towards a day that leaves you feeling good rather than depleted, without just giving yourself more things to do that you already don’t have time for.

If you’re interested in a whole post on the Ideal Life Script with examples for each of these stages let me know in the comments below.

A yearly happy list

My happy list is a practice I started after our third loss. I was lost and heartbroken and needed something to help me focus on all the good things in my life again.

But the happy list isn’t just something for when you’re completely down and out. Whatever life stage you’re currently in it can help you to focus on enjoying life rather than just getting through.

If you’re trying to conceive a happy list can help you to not become completely obsessed with baby-making. If you’re starting to feel like that’s all you can think about, write yourself a happy list to refocus on living your happy life.

If you’re pregnant a happy list is a great way to practice intentional self-care before your baby arrives. Bonus points if you can add things to your list that will benefit you (and you can keep doing) once your baby is here as well. IE. hire a regular cleaner, take a weekly you-date, etc

If you’re a Mum a happy list can be so helpful if you’re feeling a bit lost as to who you are outside wiping bums and preparing meals. The list will help you refocus on doing things for yourself and remind you that it’s important to nurture you as a woman as well.

Less / More list

This is a really simple practice to help you focus for the new year. You simply write a list of the things you’d like less of this year and those things you’d like more of. This can really help you get clear on the small changes that you need to make (it’s often the small changes that make the biggest difference).


Less – obsessing, self-criticism, scrolling social media, Netflix binges, going to bed after 11pm

More – reading, coffee dates with friends, positive affirmations, yoga, walking outside

Plan your year in reverse

Instead of planning all the things you want to achieve in the coming year (which can feel overwhelming). What if instead you thought about the year in reverse?

Pretend it’s December 31st 2020 and you’re reflecting back on your year.

How do you want to feel at the end of the year?

What would make you feel like you’ve had a really good year?

Do you want to work more? Or work less? Save more? Or perhaps buy your first home.

When you look back on a great year – how did you spend your time?

Building a business? Studying? With family and friends? Travelling with your partner? Solo?

There isn’t a right or wrong way to answer these questions. They’re completely up to you. Thinking about the year in reverse can get you out of thinking about all the things you feel pressured to achieve and instead help you focus on the way you want to feel at the end of the year – and what you’d spend your time doing to do just that.

Intentionally set no New Years Plans

I know at this time of year we’re inundated with a bajillion annoying “make 2020 your best year yet” articles (just like this one). But some years you need to embrace who you already are and to just hold on for the ride.

It can be incredibly powerful to intentionally NOT set any New Years Resolutions and instead just allow yourself to be present for whatever is coming your way. Giving yourself that sort of grace is possibly the best New Years Resolution of all.

What I’m planning for 2020

2020 already feels like it’s going to be a year of biiiig change for us.

Andrew is starting his new job working away (he’ll be away for 8 days at a time).

I’m going back to the classroom part time.

We’re planning to finally finish renovating our house, sell it and buy another.

We need to make a decision as to whether we’ll all move to Brisbane or stay living apart.

Rory (our middle boy) starts school this year.

In many respects when I sat down to write some intentions for the year, my main thought was I just need to hold on for the crazy ride.

That being said there are some goals that we’ve set as a family and I’ve got a few personal and business ones as well.

Family Goals

I’ve done this for a couple of years now and I love how the boys get involved. At the start of the year we write our goals together up on the blackboard in our kitchen. It’s so satisfying crossing them off.

alternatives to New Years Resolutions

Personal goals

Personally I’m just going with a more / less list this year because I don’t really feel like putting any extra pressure on myself than I already feel like 2020 has in store.

More – reading, holidays, fun, date nights, meditation, laughing, writing, naps

Less – mindless scrolling, stress, coffee, expectations, worrying,

Business goals

I really just have two goals this year.

1. Keep on rolling – I’m really proud of the momentum I’ve built in my business in 2019. I published my book. Filmed and edited over 100 videos. Wrote a blog post every week. Worked with so many amazing one-on-one clients for private yoga sessions. I just want this to watch this steadily grow in 2020.

2. Share my Teacher Training – I’ve been busily writing the manual for my level 2 Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training and once I’m done I plan to film and share this online as well as locally here on the Sunshine Coast. All things going to plan I’m hoping to be ready to share my Fertility Yoga Teacher Training by the end of the year as well.

So that’s it. What does 2020 have in store for you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *