The Secret to Sustaining New Year\’s Resolutions: Values-Based Alignment

After years of failing to keep my New Year’s resolutions, I gave up. 

But that’s not to say that I gave up on making life changes.

I stopped with the grand declarations followed by the inevitable failure, and instead, I thought about the reasons those changes were significant to me. Those underlying reasons became a core set of values designed to drive every decision I made on a day-to-day basis.

I adopted a philosophy of aligning my decisions—all my choices—to some core values, defined as beliefs I hold sacred.

First, I thought about what I wanted my life to look like if there weren’t a single obstacle in my way. What would bring me peace and joy? I journaled. I asked myself hard questions and had to think about the answers. For example, “Is it good for me to want to be rich? Or is that selfish when there’s so much suffering in the world?” I won’t bore you with my philosophical and existential crises. I will say that following that period of contemplation, I distilled all that angst down to a core set of personal values that look like this:

I want to be

  • financially peaceful
  • creatively free
  • light in obligations
  • politically active
  • image confident
  • ready for adventure

I’ve published a deeper dive on Medium about what those mean, but I can assure you, it’s been a game changer. I no longer feel like I’ve failed on February 1, and that feels like an accomplishment. 

From the entire team at Indie Author Magazine, we hope that 2023 will be your most creative and prosperous year ever. 

To Your Success,