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January 13, 2021 5 min read

"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. :slightly_smiling_face: "


The start of a new year usually has us thinking about our future and what that means for our personal and professional goals. While the end of 2020 was long-awaited, the beginning of 2021 doesn’t exactly have us jumping for joy(not yet, anyways). This is why now, more than ever, it’s important to create a list of New Year resolution ideas and set measurable goals that you can feel good about accomplishing.

Whether you feel confident and excited about setting New Year’s resolutions or you are looking for some motivation, it’s important to use this time as an opportunity to reflect on everything you accomplished in 2020 (no matter how small of an accomplishment it may seem) and start to reexamine your goals, careers, plans, relationships, perspectives, and priorities for 2021.

If you need a little nudge of encouragement, continue reading for our tips on how to set and achieve healthy New Year’s resolutions!

A woman writing down her New Year’s resolution

Tips for Developing Your New Year’s Resolution

1. Set Aside Time for Reflection

Cultivation of your New Years resolution ideas should be fun and stress-free. It’s advisable to set aside time where you can relax, focus, and be alone with your thoughts. By first reflecting on the past year, you will be able to tap into insights regarding your most important desires and needs for the year ahead.

Achieving a calm state of mind is a different process for everyone. We recommend taking a soothing nature walk, practicing yoga, working out, meditating, or taking a bubble bath. Freeing your mind of all external stressors will allow you to start proactively brainstorming.

2. Brainstorming Best Practices

The key to brainstorming is to let ideas flow. Do not overthink – no matter how extreme your ideas may seem, write them all down. This way, you’ll avoid analysis paralysis and truly let your creativity shine. In this step, your New Year’s resolution can be anything you desire – no goal is too big or too small!

Now that you have a long list of possible goals and resolutions, categorize them into buckets. They can be based on themes such as the following:

  • Health and fitness
  • Career and finances
  • Mental well-being
  • Spiritual growth
  • Passion projects
  • Bucket list actualization

Or they can be based on a matrix of urgency, desirability, and necessity, such as:

  • Urgent – Desired
  • Urgent – Needed
  • Not Urgent – Desired
  • Not Urgent – Needed

Note: The categories you use are entirely up to you. However, try to limit your categories to a manageable number.

A woman practices yoga in her room as part of her New Year’s resolution

3. Focus Your Energy on the Most Important Goals

By focusing your time and energy on just the “most important” New Year’s resolutions, you will be more likely to accomplish them, be less stressed in the process, and feel more self-fulfillment by the end of the year.

After categorizing your goals it will be easier to see the bigger picture and narrow them down. Reflect on which of these goals are the most important to your overall happiness and well-being. During this process, you may eliminate some goals (or categories) or decide to postpone some of the harder to measure or more complicated ones. Aim for around three to 10 short- and long-term goals that will have you seizing the day and year ahead!

4. Determine the Small Steps You Need to Take

Some of the bigger goals relating to larger dreams or long-term behaviour changes can be daunting. This is why it’s important to set smaller steps or milestones relating to that goal. By doing so, it will help you have an achievable and measurable starting point. Later on, these steps or milestones will also give tangible evidence, and therefore gratification, on how much progress you’ve made on a big goal.

5. Set Realistic Deadlines

“A goal is a dream with a deadline,” said Napoleon Hill, a globally acclaimed self-help author (Think and Grow Rich). It’s important to set reasonable deadlines for your goals as this will propel you to get started as soon as you can. When creating a New Year’s resolution, be specific and measurable for each one. This means including dates, such as, “I’ll finish renovating the bathroom by June 11, 2021.” Acknowledge that the more challenging the goal, the more focus, time, and energy it requires.

A planner opened on the January calendar page

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution and Goals

5. Make Your Goals and Resolutions Visible

The key to a successful New Year’s resolution (or any goal for that matter) is to write them down, by hand. The next step is ensuring they’re in a space that is visible to you at all times – this could be in your home office, your daily journal, or on a vision board! If you choose to tuck them away, what can sometimes happen is that when the hype of the new year ends, these potentially life-changing goals and resolutions are simply out of sight and out of mind.

A vision board will remind you of what you can accomplish and inspire you to feel happy and hopeful about your goals. The constant reminder and the positivity you feel about them can truly make all the difference.

6. Monitor Your Progress

The brain loves progress. The more progress that you see surrounding your New Year’s resolution, the more inspired you will be to keep going. In fact, one of the most effective productivity-enhancing and habit-building techniques is called: “Don’t Break the Chain.”

“Don’t Break the Chain” is a method developed by the well-known comedian, actor, writer, and producer, Jerry Seinfeld. In this method, you will take one small step every day towards a bigger goal or resolution and you will mark an X on the calendar for each day that you were successful. The challenge is to not break the chain. Seeing long streaks will encourage you to keep going. And on days when the chain is broken (it can happen to anyone), you will be inspired to make a chain yet again through consistent and deliberate daily action.

Soon, the habit is strengthened and you gain momentum and the idea is that it will take very little effort to keep going. You’ll be able to smash through your goals before you even know it!

A woman looks at her vision board

7. Use the Buddy System

What better way to stick to resolutions than to use the good old buddy system? The buddy system is defined as an arrangement wherein individuals are paired or teamed-up so that they assume responsibility for one another’s productivity, welfare, and/or safety.

Your accountability buddy can help you stay on track and vice versa. You will both get the needed encouragement, support, and even insights while meeting your goals one day at a time. As an added bonus, it cultivates your relationship with your accountability buddy and makes the process fun!

8. Set Up Rewards for Yourself

Having a good reward system is yet another way to ensure you stay on track. Of course, accomplishing goals is already rewarding in and of itself, however, with the added incentive of small, healthy rewards along the way, this will solidify your commitment to your goal. As an added benefit, you get to show yourself some appreciation for all your hard work! Treat yourself to a spa day, go on a mini-vacation, or have a nice dinner. If you set up a buddy system, you can even set up rewards that you can do together!

Share Your New Year Resolution Ideas With Us

That wraps up our New Year’s resolution ideas and tips! Reach out to us and let us know which of these was your favourite; we’d love to hear about your goals. Our New Year’s resolution is to choose more eco-friendly, reusable options in our everyday life; and we encourage you to do the same! If you have any questions about illum or our product offering, don’t hesitate to chat with us.

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