A Mindful Approach to New Year's Resolutions | Herbal Goodness

It's a new year. A clean slate and another 365 days of opportunities and possibilities. It is at this time that we roll out our notepad to write down a list of things we need to get done - resolutions, we call them. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just goals. They have a far more powerful effect on our psyche because the end of one year and the start of another symbolizes new beginnings, a new chapter, and another chance to achieve the things we’ve always dreamt of. 

We love the idea of resolutions but they can be a double-edged sword. This is because we sometimes fall short of achieving most of them (which is a very common occurrence) and then beat up ourselves. These resolutions which were supposed to inspire us to be so much more end up being expectations and weights that burden us. We translate the inability to achieve a resolution as an inadequacy on our part - a flaw. But several things come into play in meeting up with our resolutions; were they realistic? Were they time-bound?... We should put these things and more into consideration as they help in seeing us meet up with our resolutions.

So to truly honor the bright future of this new year, we're setting positive intentions - aims to guide our actions and how we adapt to everything that life throws our way. Good intentions require quite a bit of honest flexibility. Research indicates that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Most fitness resolutions last, on average, 8 days.¹

Why practice mindfulness when dealing with New year's resolutions

Mindfulness is about practicing presence and about setting aside (or minding) any mental preoccupation with the past or the future. With that said, mindfulness of the present moment can shape our future by increasing self-awareness.² As we enhance our awareness of how we feel and what is important to us, we are empowered to act in ways aligned with our highest intentions. mindfulness of our thoughts and emotions can help us to gain insight into what it is we most authentically long for.²


5 Mindful ways to Approach new year resolutions 

  • Examine Your Intentions: The most common resolutions are to lose weight, spend less money, and get organized. Those are all valuable and healthy practices. But why are they your intentions? Do you want to feel better about your body? Know that you won’t need to worry about money for retirement? Stop wasting time looking for all your things in the morning? Honoring the personal meaning behind an action helps us maintain our resolve.
  • Focus on Process, Not Results: Resolutions like “lose weight” and “get organized” are completely focused on a result, with no identification of a process for how to get there. Studies show that when employees, from sales executives to Formula One pit crews, focus on process and style instead of sales numbers and speed, they perform better.³ Fixating on results makes us less likely to achieve them. Instead of focusing on “saving 1500 dollars,” try focusing on cutting back on impulse buys or surfing the internet for sales deals. You will probably end up saving more in the process. And you might even have fun in the process. The focus of our resolution should be the process rather than the single instance of its attainment. Or even the rapid rate at which we can achieve it.
  • Change Your Habit Loop: Turn your attention to the habits that you would like to change, and examine what sustains those habits. If you want to spend less money, for example, take some time observing how and when and why you spend money. If you often find yourself scrolling through sales pages online or going to the mall more than you need to, then you might want to reevaluate those moves. You will find that minor adjustments to your pattern could lead to incredible changes. And wouldn’t you know? The word “resolution” is derived from the Latin resolvere, which means “to reduce into simpler forms.” That’s where we should start.²
  • Reaffirm your resolution through words: We might be able to remember our resolutions in the first month of making them. But as with all long time goals, reaffirming and constantly reminding yourself of your resolutions is very important in achieving them. You can support your dreams for the coming year by reaffirming your intention or resolution through words. You could practice keeping a journal to keep track of your goals and growth. If keeping a journal is something you might not be able to get into, having a positive mantra made up of your goals could help. 
  • Be Kind to Yourself: A fundamental lesson we learn through practicing mindfulness is that we are constantly beginning again. We begin to understand that no matter what intentions we set for ourselves, there will be days and weeks when we don’t live up to our expectations. The same goes for resolutions. When we fall short, we can gently and non-judgmentally bring our awareness back to our intention. That’s the purpose of setting resolutions; calling ourselves gently to our behavior, recognizing when we've strayed from the set goal, and beginning again. Embracing the fact that we are humans and not perfect by any measure.¹

External support from someone we love and trust are invaluable. After you finish this practice, share what you’ve been resolving to change or grow with someone you trust, who can support and uplift you on your more difficult days. Inquire about their dreams and aspirations for the new year, this way you will both be driving each other forward as well as be accountable to each other.

Related: How Does Papaya Leaf Extract Increase Platelets? | Herbal Goodness

Have an awesome new year!


  1. www.leftbrainbuddha.com. A Mindful Approach to New Year’s Resolutions. Accessed on August 3, 2021.
  2. www.mindfulnessexercises.com. A Complete Guide to Setting Mindful New Year’s Resolutions. Accessed on August 3, 2021.
  3. www.leftbrainbuddha.com. A Mindful Approach to New Year’s Resolutions. Accessed on August 3, 2021.