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2023 New Years Resolutions “Success”

December 29, 2022

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Before we get to our 2023 New Years Resolutions recipe for “success”, let’s address the moment. Christmas has just ended and we’re in that awkward in-between stage of waiting for the new year to start. That moment of waiting for January 1st so we can hit start on all our rhythms and goals and magically watch ourselves succeed in all of them, all at once, overnight.

I know that sounds wildly unrealistic and obviously you don’t think like that (she said with a note of sarcasm). And yet that is often how we think, whether consciously or subconsciously.

We tend to live in this in-between week as if there’s a magical switch that’ll click when January 1st rolls around. While nonexistent in December, this switch will turn all our 2023 new years resolutions, desired rhythms, habits, and goals into a reality, almost overnight. Or at least by the end of January, right? 

And for the first few weeks, we’re super motivated to make that happen. We’re patient with ourselves, gracious with the process, and charged up. 

But what happens when January 22nd or February 3rd rolls around, when the progress we had envisioned for ourselves is nowhere to be seen? Or maybe even that we’re moving in the opposite direction of what we envisioned? 

In Eeyore’s words from the movie “Christopher Robin”, we tend to see “disgrace, shame, humiliation.” Dramatic? Maybe, but often the state of our heart can lean into this posture, sometimes without us realizing it, and we act accordingly.

We either give up on the rhythms and goals in a huff and say “better luck next year”. Or we slowly fade them out, claiming some life circumstances that normally wouldn’t stop you, is suddenly too much. 


Before I go too far, I do want to caveat that for some of us, this past year (or years) has been really rough. We have experienced great loss, struggle, and etc. This new year might feel like a really great fresh start and we also might still be carrying a lot of baggage. To the point where seemingly trivial life things do feel overwhelming and derailing to new rhythms you’re building. If this is you, know that the words I write are not meant to be a critique or a call to “just get up and try harder.” That is not and will not be the solution or even a solution. If this is you, instead, allow yourself to move into the rhythms with grace and patience. To take the step forward and acknowledge that there might be a few steps back in the process.

Which actually is a great segway for all of us in asking, well how do I stop the pitfall of giving up? Or rather, how do I help myself move through the pitfall of wanting to give up when it happens? 

Here’s my two suggestions for helping yourself prevent the pitfall and move through it if/when it happens:

one: purpose

Before we dive into those 2023 New Years resolutions and hit purchase on any of the equipment that will supposedly help you achieve them, write out the purpose behind the rhythms, goals and habits you’re going after. 

  • What about them are desires of your heart this upcoming year? Are they something you felt you lacked this last year and will help you feel (fill in the blank feeling) in the upcoming year? (i.e. working out more is a desired habit because you felt sluggish this past year and want to feel more energized)
  • Are they something a loved one has encouraged you to try out? Is there something about the rhythm/habit/goal this loved one has suggested that is pointing to a deeper heart posture that needs to be addressed? (i.e. finding more rest as a goal because there is a deeper struggle of overworking for finding worth)
  • Are you doing it with someone else? What about doing it with that other person(s) is motivating to you? (i.e. sticking to a specific eating lifestyle to help a friend who is struggling with digestive issues and the motivation is to practice being selfless and compassionate)

Writing out what your purpose and heart motivation is behind the 2023 resolutions will create a sense of internal motivation which will create a sturdier foundation to fall back on for when the process of achieving that rhythm/habit/goal becomes hard. Generally, internal motivations outlast external motivations as they are not dependent on, you guessed it, external factors that are uncontrollable and unpredictable. 

And yes, I truly mean write it out. When we go through the act of writing, not typing or texting or voice memo-ing, we are more likely to engage our brains with the information being written down. Thereby, we are also more likely to comprehend, reflect on and remember what our purposes are (link if you don’t believe me).

Take time to write out your purposes behind the desired dreams/goals/rhythms/habits for 2023.

two: plan

We shouldn’t be surprised that this is one of my two suggestions. I am a planner designer after all. 

We all need a plan for how we’re going to tackle those dreams/goals/rhythms/habits. It’s beautiful to have it all written down, but without actionable steps for how to go about them, they’ll just remain as beautifully written words and ideas until December 2023 rolls around. 

Turn them into quantifiable and tangible steps with a plan. 

  • How are you going to build working out more into your schedule? Does this mean signing up for a January 2023 challenge? Does this mean telling a friend who you know regularly works out to help you stay accountable? Does this mean committing to 2x a week doing an at home workout? 
  • How are you going to build more rest into your life? Does it mean stopping work at 7PM each day? Does it mean not opening emails on the weekends (aka deleting the app or turning off notifications)? 
  • How are you going to monitor the change of eating habits? What are the exact guidelines for the new eating habit? What are the things that aren’t changing and what are the things about the new eating habit you’re going to look forward to and enjoy? 

Coming up with a plan helps us have more manageable tangible steps towards the bigger loftier less measurable dreams/goals/rhythms/habits we aspire to. 

Write down your actionable plan steps for the New Years resolutions you’re going for in 2023.

bonus: tools

Once you have the plan, then, and only then, evaluate if or what are the tools that will help you in the process of developing those habits/rhythms and achieving those goals. 

Would it be helpful to get yourself a habit tracker so you have a paper accountability partner for going after those rest goals? Would it be helpful to download a breathing meditation app? Would it be helpful to purchase a fitness notebook or meal planner? 

If no, then don’t get those! If yes, then figure out where you’re going to get those items from.

Here are a few of our favorites from our shop: 

  • Simple (undated) planner – an undated planner (aka you don’t waste a single page for those slow or “I completely misplaced this” months) with built in check in and reflection space to remind you your life is more than just what you get done
  • Habit tracker – tear off notepad pages to help you keep track of all those smaller actionable steps towards those bigger goals/habits/rhythms you’re working on
  • Be Still Journal – a journal with 10 different prompts and blank lined pages to help you slow down amidst life’s busy or to check in with yourself during the mundane.
  • Bible Journal – an undated (or dated) journal to help build the rhythm of daily Scripture reading, with space for your to-dos that might sneak up on your midway through Psalms. Podcast with full rundown of the who/why/how/etc. of the journal here.
  • Tote Bag – large canvas tote bag that literally holds everything (I’ve tried) for all those work needs and your workout goods, with encouraging printed words on the front to remind you of the beauty and joy in life.

Regardless of whether you are team 2023 resolutions or team no new years resolutions, my encouragement is that each of us would spend some time reflecting on the 2022 year in preparation for the 2023 year. Whether you set goals for yourself or not is not the point, reflecting well and preparing in some way for the new year helps prevent the slumpy and yet abrupt feelings we sometimes experience when new years or transitions happen.

With joy & gratitude,



For other resources on rhythms and planning for resolutions and goals, see the below links:

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