Rethinking Your New Year’s Resolutions (P.S.–It Matters)

Our year is winding down, and ahead of us is the High Holiday for all goal setters: New Year’s. Potential resolutions are hiding right around the corner, so let’s start staring them down now.

Be honest: how many of your past New Year’s resolutions have you kept for any significant length of time?…..

Probably not many. Here’s why: they were probably either unrealistic, or overly standardized.

They probably involved something like “losing weight”, “quitting smoking” (or some other bad habit), or “doing better with money”. Do you see the common thread?  They weren’t quantifiable, and they all involved giving something up. Instead of saying , “I will lose ten pounds by St. Patrick’s Day”, you sort of mumbled about losing weight, and then settled back to regular life after a few days.

Also, these vague goals all involve loss, and denial.

Ewww. That’s no fun.

So buckle up, Kids–we’re going to think outside the box, and decide to start something, instead of stopping. And then we’re going to get even crazier, and choose goals that will start to better the world in some way, instead of just ourselves.

How wonderful is that?

Let’s say, for example, that this January, everyone decided to be friendlier, and then committed to doing just one thing to make that possible.

Let’s imagine that starting Jan. 1, 2017, everyone committed to smiling at every person they come into contact with, before any words are spoken between them. Imagine what could happen, Friend. Here’s a New Year’s Resolution that’s not only extremely doable, it impacts our world in a good way. Think you can do it?

Or…what if everyone decided to count to five before answering someone, whether in person or online? What if everyone agreed to pause, think and then respond? To not fire off in anger, misunderstanding or pride, but to genuinely listen, pause and then answer. Imagine what the world would look like, then. Think you can do it?

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What if during this new year ahead of us, everyone forgot about their waist lines for a second, and worried instead about their fellow-man?

Let’s say that on January 1, 2017, everyone committed to donating something to their favorite charity once a month. It could be a cash donation, it could be time spent helping this group sort paperwork or maintain a facility, or it could be as simple as dropping off a Goodwill box on the last Saturday of each month. What if your New Year’s resolution was a pledge to do at least one thing, once a month, for an organization dedicated to improving the lives of others? Think you can do that?

Of course you can.

You, my friend, can definitely choose to do something small to make our planet more peaceful.

Collectively, each of us doing a small thing will make a big difference. Yes, I know–your weight matters, and I’d love it if you would quit smoking. You can still work on all of those things, and if you need help, check out this earlier post about goal setting.

There are others things our world needs right now, though. Please consider, as you narrow down what you are going to eliminate in 2017, what you would also like to add. Then make it happen.

I can’t wait to hear about your new resolutions, and will happily provide you with feedback on how to help make them a reality if you need any guidance.

Please feel free to comment below, and then be sure to subscribe, so we can stay connected.


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**Chanler Jeffers is a woman who has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent, was a single parent for many years, has survived cancer and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.


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  1. I love the way you think. Giving versus giving up. I increased my giving this year 2015 at my church, offering to do behind the scenes work to cleanup after coffee fellowship. My son and I work together on this task and enjoy the quality time we give. Priceless.
    So this year I plan to give more time, serving the elderly in some way, or home bound. Involving my oldest son and husband are desirous of course.
    It’s my pleasure to serve others.

  2. That’s such a great idea! Like you mentioned, most make a New Year’s Resolution to give up something, and many resolutions fall to the wayside by January 10th. Instead of giving up something, it is a great idea to “pick up” a good habit instead.

  3. Hi Chanier

    I have created goals that I got bored with almost immediately and just as you brilliantly highlighted, I have working on creating goals that align with my personality and out of the box.

    Thanks for sharing this post. Take Care

  4. Hi Chanler

    A thought provoking post!

    I need to rethink – it is a great idea that instead of giving up something this tie let me start something new. Maybe a good habit

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

    I love this. It takes the resolution out of the realm of me me me to you us our. Great. I really like the one about smiling at people and counting to five before responding. it is very simple and i think I can try it.

  6. Resolutions! Used to have them years ago. But it never worked for me. I pick 4-5 realistic goals that I absolutely am aware that I will see through and break it down to make it easier.

    I was sitting with my husband today and was discussing about our goals for this year. 2015 has been awesome. So much achieved. I’m looking forward to 2016 as I’m currently undergoing a course in Positive Psychology. I have just started on making you tube videos. They’re not that great but at least I started. Next year will be brushing up on my video making skills and speaking skills.

    Last but not the least, I want to be a mom. So let’s see how we go with that:)

    Thank you for a great inspiring post Chanler.

    P.S this was my first time at your blog. Loved it:)
    Thank you.

  7. Hey Chanler,

    Every time I read a post you wrote I smile. You in some way bring out the better thought processors in me. Smiling at people is actually do-able. It is giving back without even putting a grand effort into things. I have thought about giving my time to a charity, especially serving Christmas lunch to the homeless for me this would be a true blessing and honor. I am yet to action it, although it is on my list of things to do.

    The plan for the year a head is to continue with what I am already doing. The long term plan is being actioned each day. Thanks for a wonderfully uplifting post.


    1. Oh, Rachel–
      thank you for such kind comments!
      I’m so glad that I somehow get the wheels spinning in your mind, and thank you again.
      Not just for enjoying the post, but for actually implementing some of the ideas contained within it.


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