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How to Set Kinder Resolutions That Leave You With Hope

The New Year always feels like the perfect time to start fresh and set new goals, but here’s the problem: all too often we set goals that are all about the results, when really, we should be focusing on the journey it takes to get there.

We also tend to set goals that, at their core, don’t come from a place of being kind to ourselves. An all-too-common resolution like “lose 20 pounds” for example, focuses on a number on a scale rather than on how you feel, and that’s doing yourself a disservice.

(By the way, no judgment if that is your goal. However, if you want to do it in a kinder way, try ditching the arbitrary number on the scale and instead setting fitness and nutrition goals that are actionable and that make you feel good, both physically and mentally. Make it about the steps you’ll take to get to a place where you feel the way you want to feel.)

The truth is, if you’re not making kind, introspective, actionable goals, it’s going to be a lot harder to achieve them — and you might find that, even if you do, you aren’t as happy with the results as you’d hoped.

Just like your to-do list feels much more doable when you break down big tasks into smaller steps, rethinking how you create your resolutions can help. And focusing on smaller actions that challenge you and make you happier rather than hitting huge goals will ensure that you end the year with as much hope and positivity as you had at the start.

If you need some inspiration on setting kinder, more productive resolutions, check out a few you can try.

Carve out regular time to work on your hobbies

Whether you’re trying to learn something new or you’re already a pro who feels too busy to work on your craft, dedicating time to the things you enjoy doing is important. Carving out time to do pottery or write poetry or practice an instrument — whatever it is that you love or wish you knew how to do — is an act of self-care, so this year, do your best not to let it fall by the wayside.

Try something new at least once a month

If you find yourself falling into the same routines and patterns all the time, make a resolution to shake things up on a regular basis. Challenge yourself to try something new at least once a month (or more, if you’re feeling adventurous!). This can be anything from cooking a new recipe you wouldn’t typically make to taking an art class to going skydiving or traveling somewhere new — it really depends on what you want to get out of it. But in trying new things, you might find foods and hobbies and new places that you love, and you might even make new connections because of it.

Schedule in time to disconnect

Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you that phones are bad and that you should never go on social media, but there is something to be said for taking time to disconnect a little bit. What disconnecting looks like for you depends on how you usually spend your tech time — maybe it’s not checking your email at night, maybe it’s not checking social media on Sundays, and maybe it’s keeping your phone out of your bedroom at night. Think about what will make you personally feel better and create your plan from there.

Step outside of your regular wardrobe once a week

We all have at least one item of clothing that we absolutely love but never wear, whether that’s out of insecurity or just not knowing what to pair it with. Give yourself permission to wear the things that scare you on a regular basis — with time you’ll find yourself less nervous to try new outfits, not to mention even more confident in your personal style.

Take yourself out at least once a month

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or partnered, going out and doing fun things on your own is a great idea, but it’s something we tend to be afraid of, thinking it’ll make us feel lonely or we’ll be judged. This year, make it a point to love spending time with yourself. Whether that means going to your favorite restaurant alone, taking a solo trip, or seeing a concert by yourself, do something fun on your own at least once a month.

By Brittany Morgan