Rather than wishing you a Happy New Year, I've been racking my brain on how to actually help you make it happy. So, I studied the Top 10 New Year's resolutions for success and happiness, and reflected about what I learned in 2018 that might provide ideas for you to make progress on whatever your goals may be for 2019.
Last year my most meaningful personal breakthrough came from the "Power of Two", a workbook with very specific exercises to improve communication in marriage. I liked its catalog of simple, prescriptive techniques so much, that I adapted them to teach survivors of human trafficking at Restore NYC how to manage work-related conflicts.
That workbook also reminded me I've learned that to succeed at achieving important life goals, I must write them down and work a system to tackle them with a partner.
So, here are the top New Year's resolutions with the systems that I've liked the most, and my thoughts on how to partner up for success. It's my own blueprint for an amazing 2019, with resources I hope can also help you persevere on achieving your resolutions.
1- Eat healthier/lose weight/drink less alcohol/quit smoking: Watch Dr. Judson Brewer's TED Talk "A simple way to break a bad habit". For weight loss/eating/alcohol, get his Eat Right Now mindful eating app with a $24.99 month-to-month subscription. You can write about your journey in the app to get support from a virtual community, plus they have weekly calls. I lost 1-2 pounds a week when I used it. He has another app to quit smoking.
2- Exercise: I gain momentum by carving out just 15 minutes of exercise from my busy day. My favorite resource for this is Patry Jordan's GymVirtual YouTube Channel (exercises are easy to follow if you do not speak Spanish). The joy of achieving this goal, even in a small way, usually leads me to exercise longer or at least feel less guilt. I need to recontact my next door neighbor so we can get back to our exercise routine.
3- Learn a new skill or hobby: A Restore assistant facilitator who experienced trauma-related memory loss, requiring she relearn how to read and write in her native language, has gotten to the intermediate level of English fluency in three years by using Duolingo every night. She inspired me to learn Mandarin and told me the app allows you to set up peer competitions to stay accountable to your learning routine. For now, I will continue practice my basic and growing vocabulary with the Chinese women we serve at Restore.
4- Read more/spend more time with family and friends: Check out the "Get Momentum" workbook by Jodi and Jason Womack. Their 30/30 rule about spending 30 minutes a day on a goal that you want to achieve in 30 days has allowed me to persevere on building my private job search coaching business while working long hours to develop Restore's Economic Empowerment Program. Last year they offered a free 5-Day Challenge (it's now $297 but you have to wait until they open it for registration), where Jodi Womack serves as your accountability coach to schedule and complete a 30/30 work session.
5- Find another job: If you are a bicultural professional who wants to land a great marketing job, download my cheat sheet: "Seven Reasons Why Your Job Search Isn't Working and What to Do Instead". Plus, join a group for job seekers to stay motivated in the face of ghosting or rejection. In Manhattan, you can get free career coaching at The Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) and at monthly Fifth Presbyterian Church events, such as the 1-1 resume critique on Feb 19, 2019. For those in Chicagoland, I've heard the Community Career Center in Naperville is a great resource. If you're curious about the benefit of paying for job search coaching, read this article I wrote for FairyGodBoss.
6- Spirituality/relationship with God: Learning to abide, or choosing to remain connected to the life of Christ, has been an anchor during my ups and downs since 2005. Rich Case, my mentor in that journey, teaches how anyone can abide in his "Discerning God's Will" and "Adversity" books. I'm looking forward to the online videos and study guides on this topic that he is launching in early 2019. For those of you with a different view of spirituality, there's SoundTrue.com, where I got the helpful and free Mindfulness Daily at Work lessons.
7- Save more/spend less/invest savings: I'm looking for recommendations on this one, where I can balance enjoying life with saving and investing. Some people rave about Dave Ramsey, and I've seen subway ads about an app that allows you to invest $5 at a time, but I have not focused as much on this area of my life. It's time to change that!
May all our plans and dreams come to pass in 2019! Please click here to comment on this post on LinkedIn, and let me know about other resources you love, ways you leverage partners, or questions that came up after you tried the ideas on this list.