An Organizer’s Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions (hint: DON’T!)

January 30, 2021

Last week, Abundance Organizing had our first team meeting of the new year. In addition to catching up on everyone’s holiday season news, we were asked to share what goals and/or resolutions we had set for the year ahead. As we went around the virtual room, it came as a surprise to hear every single team member say something like “I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions” or “I never set New Year’s resolutions.”

As organizers, we discuss goal-setting on a daily basis in our work with clients. Planning is in our DNA. Several of our ranks claim an “Achiever” strength profile. So, what does everyone have against resolutions? The prevailing sentiment was that the concept of resolutions has become trite. The expectation that you will break your resolutions just as quickly as you make them simply does not jive with these women who take goal-setting seriously.

On the other hand, some saw resolutions as too severe. The definition of resolution includes phrases like a formal expression of opinion or intention made OR a firmness of purpose. These qualifiers feel way too strict to professionals who frequently see the happy pandemonium that results from full and vibrant lives. As organizers, we are often branded as rigid. The reality couldn’t be further from that stereotype. Our work is rooted in knowing the value of flexibility, compromise, creativity, and prioritization. Unless you’re living in a museum, perfection is static— and unrealistic. We help our organizing clients implement solutions that support their dynamic lives. We offer our moving clients assistance during life’s transitions. Our work is all about change and fluidity. Stuffy resolutions need not apply.

Lest you think our team is bereft of goals for 2021— the reality is quite the opposite! Every one of us had a clear and hopeful vision for the year. The exercise of sharing these ideas among our group was inspiring and profound. In our experience, the act of sharing a goal out loud creates added accountability that helps with follow-through. Here are some techniques our team offers as alternatives to resolutions:

Vision Boards

Several of our highly visual organizers assemble vision boards at the beginning of every year. They curate images based on words or phrases that they would like to invoke for the year, destinations they would like to visit, people with whom they want to connect, or scenarios they want to emulate. This visual goal-setting exercise is powerful. Post them in office spaces or display them as wallpaper on the computer home screen. One team member said of her board, “It makes me happy to see these images every time I turn on my computer. I am reminded of the things that light me up in life.”

Theme for the Year

Some team members shared words or phrases that they had chosen to set the tone for the year. These themes are easy to remember and repeat as a mantra. They are guiding principles, not rigid rules. We heard themes like “preparedness,” “grace,” and “grounded.” After all the unexpected challenges that hit us in 2020, it feels good to cultivate a tone of certainty and confidence for the year ahead.

Self-Care Commitment

The most popular anti-resolution was simply a statement of purpose. In our busy day-to-day, we frequently miss opportunities to nurture ourselves. As an all-women team, we find ourselves prioritizing everyone else— partners, children, family, clients, community— over our individual needs. While we strive to empower our clients every day in our work, we often let ourselves come last. Many team members made a commitment to shine that light of advocacy and care on themselves this year.

Enroll in the Self-Care Summit

Self-care is a New Year’s commitment we can all get behind. As we bolster ourselves with more spirit and vitality, we then have more to give to the people around us. In that spirit of self-care, Abundance Organizing was excited to be part of the team of featured contributors that have been asked to provide content for the Self-Care Summit. The wellness coaches at True You Advantage have brought together dozens of professionals from various wellness disciplines to produce this virtual event with the goal of making self-care do-able. The content promises to be rich! Each wellness professional has recorded step-by-step guidance so that you don’t have to figure things out and included gifts and download materials to help you achieve success. It’s all accessible online, with additional content being dripped out throughout the year. We were super proud to be involved in this valuable series. You can enroll in the Self-Care Summit here.

We’ll try to keep you posted on our success as we see how these New Year’s anti-resolutions work out. What’s your practice for starting the year off right?