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Every New Years we’re faced with the same dilemna: what changes do we want to see in the next year of our lives? And a better question is: how can we really make the changes this time? The pros tell us the secret is in aligning our head & our heart.

your life is a blank slate
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

Statistic Brain says these are the top 10 resolutions this year.

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Getting Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Staying Fit and Healthy
  6. Learn Something Exciting
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Help Others in Their Dreams
  9. Fall in Love
  10. Spend More Time with Family
How many of these resolutions are on your list?

How many were on your list last year too?

Do you find that the same things are on your list of resolutions every year without being “resolved”?

It’s time for that to change.

Connect to Your Deeper Sense of Purpose To Make Resolutions You Keep

How can we make this year different? How can we create resolutions that we actually keep?

In order to feel passionate about change, we need to connect our resolution to a deeper sense of purpose. How do we do that?

An inner change happens when our core values (hearts) align with our choices (heads) to create a sense of purpose.

purpose of life is a life of purpose

heart and head aligned to make true change
This alignment is important because it makes us come alive & creates a hope that empowers us to work towards a new future.

Hope is the magic elixir that energizes dreams, fuels possibilities, and lets you live beyond the limits of your historical thinking. It is not a promise that something you want will happen — it is an invitation to enjoy the possibility of what you want while you and life negotiate the eventual outcome.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.

– Jeremiah 29:11 (World English Bible)

Step 1: Find Your Core Values

choose 10 core values

Take out a pen and paper, open a Word document or start writing on your tablet – whatever works best for your flow of creativity. List 10 core values that are important to you in any order.

Here’s what worked for me:

Instead of listing the usual like family, relationships, career, money, etc., I wanted to use terms with a fresh perspective.

  • Go through our list of core values and whenever a word strikes a chord, write it down.
  • A pattern of usually forms, so group words with similar meanings together.
  • Give each word grouping a name & narrow them down to the 10 most important groups.
  • Take a look – this is your core values, a snapshot of who you want to be & the life you want to live.

I felt the excitement of discovery. Hope was building.

Your values become your destiny.

– Ghandi

Step 2: How Am I Living By Those Core Values Now?

Make a list of ways you live by your core values now to see where the skills you’ve already acquired and find confidence to go even further to be the person you want to be.

This is an important step because it builds on your hope with the added faith that you can really do this because you’ve accomplished similar things in the past & use the skills required in other areas of your life.

The confidence that comes from recognizing the abilities and growth that you’ve already experienced in life sets a foundation for further change.

living my core values
confidence comes from life experience
Go back to your core value word clusters and write down the action and choices you made in the past – and in your daily routine today – that are examples of living by those values.

Spend time writing examples with as much detail as you can and add to your list as things pop into your mind over the next few days. This helps you to see your choices and actions in a new light that boosts your confidence.

What’s Missing? Time to Make Resolutions

The best resolutions are the ones you can keep. By aligning your core values with confidence from past actions you have the hope & passion of purpose that you need to set goals you can keep.

Refer to your core value word clusters. Are there core values that don’t have an experience attached to them? Are there word clusters that you feel need more attention in your life?

Since you’re reading this article you probably have a resolution in mind already. Where does it fit with your core value word clusters?

According to Gretchin Rubin, author of Better Than Before there are 3 types of resolutions:

  1. It could mean more of something good like time with friends or for a hobby.
  2. It could mean less of something bad like smoking or watching too much TV.
  3. It could mean fixing something that doesn’t feel right in our life like stop nagging our husband, furthering our education or deciding to do volunteer work.

Think about the 3 categories and list specific goals for each core value word cluster that you feel needs more work in the next year. Where can you add more of something good, less or something bad or fix something that doesn’t feel right to become the person you want to be and live the life you love in the next year?

Determine to spend as much time praying about your goals as planning them.

These are your resolutions for a new year, a hope for the future, goals for the life you want to live.

the takeaway

  1. People who sit down and make a list of resolutions are 10 more likely to see their goals come to fruition.
  2. When the goals in our mind align with life values in our heart, there is an inner change that creates hope for our future.
  3. Write down 10 core values that are the foundation of how you want to live your life.
  4. Write down examples of where you are living those values today & the skills you use in those situations.
  5. What’s missing? Is there a place where you need to add more of something good to your life?
  6. Is there an area where you need to work on less of something bad for you?
  7. Do you need to fix an area that doesn’t feel right in your life?
  8. What changes do you need to make to become the person you want to be & live a life you love?

I hope this exercise helped you feel like a kid again – where you awake every morning to exciting possibilities.

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Series on Achieving Goals

This is an article in our series on achieving goals in your life and living a life you love.

More Motivation

Read information & inspiration to find the motivation to keep working towards your goals in these articles:

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