Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work (what to do instead!)

Mindset + Motivation

Here’s a simple and fun way to set intentions for the next 12 months.



A real food devotee, self-care connoisseur and Jedi mindset master dedicated to helping you have a body and life you love. I'm so glad you're here! Now, let's rock and roll :)

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Most of us start off the New Year with the best intentions, a laundry list of new year’s resolutions and inevitable expectations of how our year ahead “should” unfold. But if you’re anything like 80% of Americans, you’ll drop those resolutions like a hot potato within the first 30 days and that’s because traditional new year’s resolutions don’t work.

You can pull up any number of checklists out there claiming to help you create “better, smarter, foolproof” new year’s resolutions, with tricks to help you stay accountable and consistent, but even then, only 8% of resolutions are successfully completed by the end of the year.

Not a great track record.  So maybe the fault is not in our commitment but in the idea of new year’s resolutions themselves.

We’ve talked about transitioning into the New Year over the past few weeks, and today, I want to share with you a simple and fun way to set intentions for the next 12 months. I think it’s the perfect way to give your spirit and dreams a little extra nurturing to help them bloom in 2023.

You may have heard people say that they choose a word(s) or phrase to hold close for the entire year and use as a guiding star of sorts. I love this idea, but picking a powerful-sounding word isn’t enough to stay engaged for an entire year.

To help you personalize your 2023 direction (and uncover the best word for your new year), I have a simple journaling exercise for you.

Journaling is a fantastic method of taking the sometimes chaotic thoughts and emotions we have in our mind and body and putting them into a structure that makes sense. You can increase your self-awareness, resolve long-standing issues, reduce stress, and even heal trauma through journaling. Plus, it’s possible to do it anywhere, anytime, with little equipment.

Begin by finding a quiet space to work, free from distractions. Grab a delicious beverage, light a candle, wear your favorite sweater and fuzzy socks – whatever makes you feel good and present.

1) Build a Timeline of the Previous Year. 

Now, we’re going to take a look at what happened to you in 2022 and write down a timeline of events – trips, promotions, breakups, hookups, whatever. 😉 If you checked out my favorite end of the year rituals, you probably already have a good list started, but don’t worry if you don’t have gigantic life changes to record. Even small accomplishments are significant. Include obstacles that came up too!

Write down at least 10.

If you need a jumpstart for your memory (12 months is a long time!), look in your calendar or planner. If you’re anything like me, you’d be lost without your smartphone notifications for events and meetings. Search your inbox for old invites to social gatherings, and scan through your Facebook and Instagram photos to jog your memory.  

2) Focus on your Favorite Moments.

Once you’ve looked at the events, let’s focus on the fun stuff in between and compile a list of at least 10 things you loved last year, like taking your dog to the park or discovering a hidden cafe in your neighborhood.

What were your favorite songs from the previous year, the best movies you saw, the books you read? How many yummy meals did you enjoy and where? And don’t forget things you’re proud of even if you just get the smallest little smile from them.   

3) Sum up the Past Year in One to Three Words.

Looking at your lists of events, accomplishments, stumbles and happy moments — pick one to three words or a phrase that summarizes the previous year overall. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you. 

Now, if you have particularly heavy feelings toward this representation, you can write the words down on a piece of paper and then destroy it, to symbolically let the past go. 

4) Visualize the End of 2023, FIRST.

Rather than focusing on all the things that you want to accomplish in 2023, I want you to focus your actions on how you want to feel. 

What mindset do you want to take on in the New Year? How do you want to show up?

This is where your manifesting mojo can really crank up to eleven. In order to distill the essence of how you want to feel, you’ll need to transport yourself into the future with a little imagination. 😉

What does your ideal life look like now? How does your daily routine go? What are you doing for work, for fun? Are your friendships, your romantic relationships satisfying and joyful?

Focus on how these things make you feel in your heart AND in your body. Do you feel lighter? Less stressed? More spontaneous? Can you move your body with more ease, or do you feel stronger? Has your posture straightened? Is there a spring in your step?

In order to reach this new place in the future, what did you have to do during 2023 to get there? What changes did you need to make in your life to create this?

Take as long as you need to visualize this future self, and free-write out your thoughts, worries and emotional reactions.

5) Discover your New Year Intention 

Now, as you return to the present, do you notice any patterns or themes in the free-writing you just did? Using your these as a guide, choose a few words or a phrase that represents the future you just saw. This is going to be your guiding star for the year ahead. I always choose three words personally 🙂

Make sure you incorporate your newly crystalized intention into as many places as you can – post it in every room in your house if you need to, but it’s important for you to keep it top of mind for the next 12 months. 

I love the idea of having it put on a keychain or a coffee mug you’ll use every day. If you’re an avid reader, why not put it on a bookmark you’ll see each night? If you love to knit or sew, how about incorporating your intention into wearable art? 

The possibilities are endless! And best of all, it only needs to make sense to you, so you can make the message as subtle or as conspicuous as you want. 

My challenge for you this week is to give this exercise a try this weekend. Maybe lay off the snooze button on Saturday and spend that extra time connecting with your intentions.

Then be sure to let me know how it goes by posting a comment in the Badass Beauty Club on Facebook. You will also be able to connect with other badass humans, share successes, swap advice and participate in more exercises like this one.

LOVE + happy manifesting!

Moniqua Plante

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I'm Moniqua, your new let's-get-real friend.

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A Real Food Devotee + Self Care Connoisseur + Jedi Mindset Master dedicated to helping you elevate your health, your life—and your career.

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