Forget New Year’s Resolutions—Small Changes Are All We Need

table view of a woman writing in a journal with a cup of coffee after choosing to forget new year's resolutions

As we start the New Year, I am reminded of years past and what I have longed for, accomplished, and have yet to fulfill. I just love the newness of a Monday or the first of the month or a January full of unrealized potential and loads of plans and goals. With each January we are given a new chance and more time and, as I get older, I am realizing that time is more valuable than money.

I have a small list of resolutions this year: less sugar, less screen time, more quality in our week, more love for my husband and my kids, and leaning on my Jesus. Giving myself grace, walking daily, returning to yoga, writing on Sundays, and reading one book a month. These aren’t overwhelming tasks, but they will all take a certain amount of drive and tenacity and faith that what I do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis will add up to the difference this year makes in my life.

To Have a Good Lifestyle, Have a Good Day First

I heard the coolest analogy once about a good life being like a pearl necklace. If you want a good life, start off by having a good day—that’s one pearl. Then have another good day and yet another. As my husband and I share this perspective with our young twins, we realize a good life doesn’t happen. You work for it. You carve it out day by day, week by week.

Heading soon into the New Year I can tell you I have had to remind myself to give myself grace. I have taken social media off my phone just to take a pause on the scroll and to give myself some time to look within and really slow down. That helps to keep these desired changes from turning into a list and more into a lifestyle.

If you want a good life, start off by having a good day.

Where will I be in three months if I walk every day? Or if I really take the time to make those I love the most know and feel that love?

With work, school, soccer and gymnastics, it is easy for us to get caught in the check-it-off-the-list mentality, but there are the moments of tickle time and snuggle time, and the walks where my husband comes and finds me. (These are secretly my favorite ones.) There are the moments when the view here in East Tennessee reassures my questioning mind that we did the right thing moving from California. What if I slow down and carve out time each hour, day and week to accomplish all of these goals this year? 

I have already started to lean outside of my comfort zone by moving across the country with only the peace knowing God is calling us to something different, something new. By sharing my words with someone other than my family and friends.

When we are called to use the gifts God gives us, somehow the fear you have just subsides and it’s no longer about that at all. I am no longer scared of what someone will think of me. I am now more called to helping others. I think age does that to us. Or at least as a women in my ’40s, that is what I will tell myself it helps ease the pain from getting wrinkles… Except I would not trade them back! In fact, I call wrinkles “wisdom lines” now, and you cannot tell me I’m wrong.

Forget New Year’s Resolutions—Small Changes Are All You Need

So for my new beginning, I am not only going to do the typical things we attempt every January like eat better and work out more. I am going to dig down and excavate years of past trauma and self-shame and finally work through them so I can be finally on the other side of them. I have already set my appointment to start EMDR therapy and have looked into various somatic workouts to help my body and mind.

Doing these things early in the new year gives me the best chance at being a new me by year’s end. I no longer want to carry trauma, or shame, or perfectionism. I am 45 years old and tired. In the undoing of wrong behaviors I want to see a becoming of new ones. Ones that align with the me God intended and the me I am becoming finally.

God’s plan is not for us to suffer through life and not enjoy the everyday because we carry our pasts or our  issues in the present. We need to hand it over to him. We need to push through our comfort zones so we can get to the other side, the place we want to be.

How many years have you had the same new year’s resolutions? How many times have you told yourself “this is the year”? Forget new year’s resolutions—the change you want to see can happen this year. You can do it. I can do it. I can heal and live the second part of my life in a quieter place without the negative self talk and shame I have lived the first half of my life with. I am working hard to prepare for the year ahead mentally.

I am in between where we were and where we are going physically, and although we get closer every day to being in our new home, there is something about the waiting period. I think that’s where the inner work happens. If you are in a waiting period—or even if you’re not—you can start the journey to new. Any time, any day. When something in your heart does not align with God’s plan, you can feel it. You are the one to do something to change it.

What can you do this year, today, or this week that will align your life with your heart? We don’t have to do big things to make big changes. The biggest changes always start with small changes adding up.

Use this January as a blank canvas. What picture do you want to see come this December? That is where we should all find our motivation for the color, media, and design we will use to create our 2024. The greatest gift we can ask for was waking up this morning. So, what will we do with it? A new year can be a new you as well. As for me, I am taking it one day at a time and remembering to give myself grace, which is so hard for a perfectionist to do. But we can do hard things. So, happy new year, and happy new you.

Do even small changes feel intimidating? Listen to this podcast episode for tips on hitting the reset button with confidence: Need to Reset, Redo or Restart This Year? Here’s How – 231

Scroll to Top