Forget Making New Year's Resolutions—Try THIS Instead
This plan may have you feeling a little more grateful in the new year.
As head into the holidays and the year winds down, we all start thinking about what's next. Most people spend the last week of the year deciding what their goals are for the new year. Many will develop a list of New Year's resolutions. "I will lose 25 pounds," or "I will save money by packing a lunch."
But does setting these goals set you up for failure? Do you add stress and pressure on yourself unnecessarily? NBC Newsreported last year that according to Dr. John Agwunoboi, chief health and nutrition officer for Herbalife, "only about eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year's goals."
That's not to say you shouldn't have resolutions. It's always a good idea to strive for improvement. But maybe we're thinking about it all wrong. That's what life coach Trav Bell suggested to GMA. Nicknamed, "The Bucket List Guy," Bell suggests that for 2019, maybe try a reverse bucket list. The idea behind it is that you take stock in what you've already accomplished which will result in feeling both grateful and inspired.
"We live in a world of chasing the next goal…Reflecting, being grateful, is a muscle that we don't flex often," Bell told GMA.
How to Make a Reverse Bucket List
First, take 30 minutes of quiet time. "The biggest challenge for people is taking time out of their lives to work on their lives," Bell said. Take the time for yourself to truly disconnect.
Next, look through old photos. Yes, we probably all waste too much time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, but this has a purpose. Bell preaches that the reverse bucket list is a "done list" so take a few minutes to walk down memory lane through your photos and remember how great those big wins were for you, whatever they happen to be.
After that, grab your laptop or pen and paper. Write down everything you are grateful for—people, places, experiences, even things that didn't work out. Sometimes something not working out meant that something else really great happened instead. Actually, writing out all of these things helps you to truly appreciate all that you have accomplished instead of worrying about what you have not.
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The fourth step is about recognizing that this list is about end-points. You aren't adding items that you have not yet accomplished. "It's not just about living in the future. It's also about recognizing the past and to be grateful," Bell said.
The final step is to share your list. This isn't about bragging about all you have done with your entire social media feed. Share with your loved ones, the people who truly understand what motivates you. This completed list of completed acts is really a gift of gratitude to yourself. And how awesome will it be to go into the brand-new year having taken a full assessment of where you are now and just how you got there? It also wouldn't hurt to make this list while snacking on a few lucky Southern New Year's dishes, of course.