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Alternatives to Your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

January 17, 2019

The essence of a list of new year’s resolutions is well-intentioned; however, resolving to live a better, more fulfilling life year after year sometimes feels repetitive and like one more thing we never get around to completing. With an $11 billion dollar self-care industry inundating us with workout videos, juice cleanses, daily motivation chatbots, meditation apps, and “live-a-simpler-life” listacles, focusing on what truly helps us grow becomes confusing at best and potentially depressing at worst.


At Northern Fir, we're always striving to be better. We enjoy exploring ways to connect us to our purpose, enrich our self-confidence and promote a healthier overall well-being. Instead of making a typical list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, we are trying out a different approach. Here are some alternatives to try out:


Focus on a word for the year. Whether you choose “openness”, “kindness”, “discipline”, or “frugality”, you may find that an annual theme guides your decisions in a positive and more fruitful direction. At Northern Fir we believe in being "intentional" - this year we're going to make sure that everything we're doing is intentionally serving our purpose as a brand. 

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Map out two versions of yourself. Literally take out a pen and paper (or your phone, laptop, whatever) and make two lists - one that accurately describes your current habits and their effects (e.g. smoking, drinking on weeknights, spending too much time on social media, etc.) and another list that describes your aspirational habits (e.g. working out 3x per week, reading at least a few pages of your book every night, reaching out to family members more). Now, honestly review your lists and picture the difference in outcomes if you were to stay the same versus pursue a new way of doing things.


Create a list of what you are looking forward to in 2019. Visualization is a powerful thing, friends. If you get it in your head at the beginning of the year that you are going to have a prosperous, fulfilling year ahead, your attitude will drive your actions and (hopefully) yield some good results. Try it out.

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Define one personal challenge for the year. You could commit to running a 10k or reading one book per month. The options are endless, but the rules are simple. Make your goal quantifiable, break down the time needed to accomplish it, and stick to it. You got this.


Plan out a quarterly retreat. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to shake the winter stiffness with the excitement of quarterly retreats. These don’t have to be extravagant international getaways (although those work, too!). They can be staycations in which you just set aside a day or two to relax and recharge. We're in the planning phase of 2-day/1-night wellness retreat mid-April at Garner State Park with Rooted Method, who offers connected nature experiences across the country. We'll circulate more info on our joint-retreat soon. 


Commit to spending more time with the people you love. Instead of identifying goals or resolutions, identify people you want to deepen relationships with. After all, at the end of the day, all we have are those we’ve loved and been loved by in return. One of the great elements of self-care is being able to not only love yourself but receive love from others too. 

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Celebrate last year’s accomplishments. We are always looking ahead and figuring out what we can do next to stay on the path to success. Take some time to reflect on what you did really well in 2018 and how you can build upon last year’s life lessons.


Take a year off. Shoot, we may do this, too. If this isn’t possible in 2019, then think about it in the next couple years. Taking a year off can be a life changing decision and may guide you to a total paradigm-shift or a big career change. Sell your things, pack a few pairs of clothes and toiletries, and go work on a farm in New Zealand or backpack around South America.


Do you have other alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions? If so, we’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments below, and happy 2019!



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