New Year’s Resolutions: Aiming for Less, Achieving More

2016 is just around the corner, and I have started to think about what excitement, adventure and experiences the next 365 days could hold.

Looking forward, I have a few aims that I would like to achieve in the coming twelve months, but I won’t be measuring myself against them. I find that too often we measure our success against achievements that actually don’t contribute to our main priorities or overall happiness.


Too often my old resolution lists used to look something like this:

  1. Get a promotion or new job
  2. Stop drinking / eating a naughty indulgent treat for a month
  3. Visit 4 countries in a year
  4. Buy a shiny new material object after saving such as a new car or handbag
  5. Get 100 new Twitter followers (I have a small but lovely following online so this would have been a big deal for me!)

In fairness, these were goals that I felt passionate about achieving and I did get a sense of elation when I could tick one of them off. It also didn’t help that magazines published at that time of year bombarded me with top tips such as ‘How to smash your resolutions in the New Year’ and ’10 resolutions you HAVE to keep’. As a young twenty something, it is no surprise that I was easily influenced by shiny glossy magazines filled with ways in which my life could be that little bit better.

When I did save up and buy that new shiny handbag, the excitement only lasted a short while until I coveted something else newer and shinier. Yes my resolution had been achieved, but in reality, my goals didn’t leave me with much satisfaction at all. Even worse, if I only managed to visit three countries in a year or get 99 Twitter followers I would feel disappointed in myself, which shouldn’t have been the case.

I am not much older now, but as I have tried to live my life more minimally and experience more by clearing away the clutter and distractions, I have become more aware of what aims matter and what I should focus my resolutions on going forward. I won’t use goals as gateways to being happy. I can be happy as long as I am working towards achieving the right things, not if I can cross something off a list at the end of the year.


Now I will be using my resolutions for 2016 as guidelines to help me make decisions. I won’t be setting goals with measurable targets, instead I will have rough guidelines that will direct my choices over the next year.

My old goals used to be quantified by stuff, or by things. Going forward, I will know I have achieved my new goals by feelings or values.

So, what are my resolutions for 2016?

  1. I want to travel as much as I can with my loved ones and friends to experience new places and make lots of memories.
  2. I won’t buy anything material that I don’t need for as long as I can in 2016. This means no new clothes, shoes, gadgets or shiny trinkets that I am buying for the sake of wanting not needing. Don’t get me wrong, if all my shoes have holes in I will be buying a new pair, and as I am moving house I will be purchasing a kettle and other essentials, but I won’t be buying for the sake of it. 2016 will be the year that I try to not buy indulgent items just for the sake of wanting.
  3. Spend more time writing, reading and taking photos. Three things I love to do.
  4. Give something back. I want to give a little more time to a cause that needs it.
  5. Eat better, all year.

I will be documenting my resolutions throughout the year, and letting you know how I am getting on. What are your resolutions for 2016? Let us know what you want to achieve or aim towards in the comments below.

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