I hate New Year’s Resolutions. It’s where transformational thoughts go to die. It’s the precipice of hopes and dreams. It’s the setup for the setback.

Resolutions lack accountability. They often don’t come with an action plan. And they don’t give us something to go back to when things go awry and the year goes amuck.

Resolutions are intended to be solutions. So when they don’t work or guide us, we are quick to throw them away.

Here are some ways to succeed through all (well most, because we’re human) 365 days of the year.

#1: Create a creed.

Bold text that says, "I am." The text is filled with several adjectives, such as, wise, valuable, loyal and unique.

What I love about a personal creed is that it is a guide. It is a set of actions, principles or beliefs that can strongly influence your thoughts and actions. A creed says, “I am.” “I will.” It comes from a place of truth. It requires commitment. A creed is a declaration!

It’s not: My hope is to lose 50 lbs.

It’s not: I would love to be a writer.

It IS: I will make healthy choices and treat my body better by exercising on Mondays and Wednesdays. I am also limiting my eating out to twice a month.

It IS: I am a storyteller. I am creating content every time I put pen to paper, which is something I do every morning.

A creed is a constant reminder. It serves you. It welcomes you back after life happens and knocks you off course.

#2: Focus on a word or phrase for the year.

This black and white photo features a card titled "my word of the year."

This one has been popular for a while now. It seems like everyone, everywhere is pining for a word of the year. I even just saw a word of the year generator! I’m not sure how a controlled and pointed quiz can know all the desires of your heart, but hey – to each their own!

The beauty of choosing a word of the year is that it can strictly work off of feeling with little to no understanding. It’s an opportunity to tune into your gut and intuition – to take action without explanation.

In 2017, I decided to truly commit to a word. I had been reflecting on the time gone by and the time ahead, yet I had NO clue what 2017 would have in store nor did I know what I truly wanted it to have in store. Something told me, “I can tell you, you’re going to need to be strong.” I kept seeing that message over and over and so I went with it. And boy was my intuition spot on!

The beauty of truly diving into one word is the opportunity to get to know that word and to understand it in new ways. Life will challenge you to redefine it. It is constantly working for you, if you are working for it. Yet, it is fairly low maintenance. There are no deadlines! But if you truly surrender, the rewards are immeasurable. It is soul changing.

#3: Commit to writing quarterly letters to yourself.

A black and gold fountain pen that was used to inscribe the word "love" lays on a piece of paper.

I love this one because it requires zero forethought. We all have those seasons in life when we JUST CANNOT. And that’s okay!

Instead of feeling bad or doing nothing, I encourage you to write a letter to yourself. Take a moment to explore where you are in the moment and the why behind being there. Then commit to checking in with yourself in three months. Maybe you’ll see some change and be encouraged. Or maybe you’ll realize things haven’t really changed and feel a kick in the butt.

Either way, it’ll make you feel and that’s usually a good thing!

January is not a deadline. And there’s a reason most people don’t successful complete their New Year’s Resolutions. They just aren’t practical and don’t stand up to the unforeseen events of life.

Try one of these and let me know how it works out for you! Cheering you on friend. You’ve got this!