How to Make New Year’s Resolutions that Will Make You Happy

How to Make New Year's Resolutions that will Make You HappyHappy New Year! And welcome to 2014! It’s a chance for new beginnings, and for many this means it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions. Have you made yours yet?

New Year’s resolutions are great, but I don’t like making them without focusing on what’s most important to us. Why are we making these resolutions in the first place? What do we ultimately want?

I believe the answer for most people is to be happy and to feel fulfilled. If that is the ultimate goal, wouldn’t it make sense to make sure our resolutions will actually make us happy?

Here are 7 steps I have found most helpful in making New Year’s resolutions that will make you happy:

  1. Pick an area of your life that is important to you (This could be Friendships, Family, Significant Other, Career, Health/Self Care, Personal Growth, Spirituality/Faith, Physical Environment, Personal Finances, Community, or  Fun & Recreation/Hobbies, etc.)
  2. In the area that you picked, what do you want to change in 2014?
  3. In the area that you picked, what do you want to start doing in 2014?
  4. In the area that you picked, what do you want to let go of or stop doing in 2014?
  5. What are you ready to commit to doing in the first 3 months of 2014?
  6. Let’s make sure that the intentions you set will actually make you happy! Research tells us that to be happy, we need to set goals that we choose ourselves, that are meaningful to us, and where we actually enjoy every step of the journey.  (You can read more at : So ask yourself:
    1. Is this something you really want to do, or is this something you are doing because society tells you to or others are expecting from you?
    2. Is this meaningful and important to you? (Are you doing this because of a deep personal belief or a strong interest?)
    3. How can you make sure that you will enjoy and savor every step of the journey on your way to your goal?
  7. Celebrate and acknowledge yourself – but don’t wait until the end!  We often think that reaching a goal will make us happy. And while it does bring us a sense of accomplishment, it is really the enjoyment of the journey that brings us the most happiness. So let’s make our journey a fun one!

You can repeat this process for different areas of your life. I recommend choosing only a few areas, so you can focus on what’s most important!

As you do this, you might uncover themes or something you want to do across all areas of your life. For example, I realized that I really want to consciously practice “enjoying every step of the journey” every day, no matter what I am doing, since it is so integral to happiness.

I know it will take lots of practice because we live in such a goal-oriented culture, and it has been ingrained in us that it takes sacrifice to get to a goal. And while it is true that some things take hard work, it doesn’t mean that we can’t figure out ways to make the process enjoyable as well. So feel free to remind me if you see me not enjoying something. =)

What is your resolution for 2014 that will make you happy?

Manuela loves helping professional women bring more balance, happiness and success into their lives! Visit Manuela’s Website for Professional Life Coaching and check our her upcoming 5-week “Fall in Love with Yourself – Fall in Love with Your Life” workshop!

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