We aren’t going to lie to you: we can’t believe we are adding to the countless “column inches” on the subject of resolutions. Is there really that much more advice one can give about resolutions given we do so every year?

January sees the recycling of advice on how, at the turn of a new year, you can be a better you. But, that is all of us with a laptop and an audience assuming you need to be a better you starting new year’s day. Maybe you’re good with who and where you are; or perhaps you’d rather set in motion change on your birthday, not joining every other person in the world. No matter, perhaps the resolution should be not to jump on the resolution bandwagon! But, we are going to give it a try, resolving maybe, to this being our last advice on the matter!

When considering the changes you want to make in your life, ask yourself this very simple question:

What personal values to I want to live into this year?

Resolutions tend to be about actions: working out, drinking less, spending more time with key people, learning a new skill. And, as a result, actions can be easy to start, but also easy to abandon. Perhaps that’s why we have to write these resolutions articles every year.

But, a “values approach” to resolutions tends to impact all aspects of your life. If you want to be more determined you can be so in your work outs, your drinking, allocating your time and becoming proficient or expert in something new.

Or, perhaps you want to be more honest which might steer you towards accepting that you aren't really committed to that work out or to spending time becoming fluent in French.

Maybe this time next year you want to look back and know that you’ve become more balanced and not binged every weekend or spent inordinate amounts of time with people that aren’t fulfilling to you.

The values we uphold are what keep us aligned with our lives and the way we want to live them. They are the “fuel” to the actions we resolve to commit to. So, when we “fail” at a resolution it is more likely because we’ve committed to an action versus to a value. For example, by committing to going to the gym more, might we stand a better chance of it by determining that what we really want to be is more determined, or consistent, or healthy?


And, by committing to a value, we might also stand a better chance of achieving even more actions. Again, if we commit to being more consistent, then we might do so by going to the gym, seeing more of our friends (but not for drinks) and ensuring we do our French homework every week.

So, rather than sign up for a new gym and trainer, and promising to lay off the sauce, focus on the value that you want to make more present in all aspects of your life.

Here’s to living our lives against our values in 2019.