Personally, I am not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions. Within a month, without fail, that list of ambitious and aspirational goals becomes a mocking testament to my inability to follow through on anything, and irrefutable proof that I don’t even have any potential to achieve.
Happy New Year!
So, given my track record, I would never be so presumptuous as to suggest New Year’s resolutions for anyone else. But I am bold enough to suggest a way for you to explore your goals to see what might be resolution-worthy.
As creatives (and I believe all retail marketers are creatives), we understand subtext and narrative. We intuitively dig for connections and explanations. We like to ask “Why?” So I was honestly surprised when a writer friend observed that I was doing none of those things when it came to resolutions.
My friend, after politely listening to my diatribe demonstrating that resolutions exist only to crush the soul, suggested that perhaps I didn’t really grasp what a resolution was. He opined that my lack of personal understanding could be the root cause of my resolution anxiety.
Insulted, I walked to the bar, resolving never to speak to him again.
When I talked with him later that night, he proposed a little self-examination. “Find out what a resolution represents to you. Look at your history; honestly explore your willingness and ability to change,” he said. “Unpack the emotional baggage and go deep.”
I stopped listening after he said “emotional baggage,” but I’d heard enough to get the gist. So I created 44 questions to ask myself about resolutions. And then I answered them – in writing.
I’m not completely cured. But knowing what I now know about my personal concept of a resolution, I might make one or two this year.
Here are those questions for any of you seeking a more honest relationship with your New Year’s resolutions.
- Why do people make resolutions?
- How can you improve your life in 2017?
- If you could have a New Year’s wish, what would it be?
- How do you feel at the start of a new year?
- What is your favorite New Year’s memory?
- How do you celebrate New Year’s?
- Why is New Year’s a good time for resolutions?
- What are you the most excited for in 2017?
- Are you sad to see the old year pass?
- Do you like to celebrate on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?
- How was your last year successful?
- By the end of the year, I will…
- What was your favorite part about 2016?
- Do you normally make New Year’s resolutions?
- 2016 was a year of…
- 2017 will be a year of…
- If you could celebrate the new year from anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- Is New Year’s significant to you?
- What is the most successful year you’ve ever had?
- What is the best way to ring in a new year?
- How long does it take you to get used to the new year?
- What is your favorite part of New Year’s celebrations?
- What does the new year symbolize?
- If 2017 is a successful year, how will you describe it when it’s over?
- What would it be like if the new year started in July?
- What was the best thing that happened to you in 2016?
- Describe 2016 in five words. What do these descriptions mean to you?
- Do you think the world will end in 2017?
- How does it feel to celebrate the new year after people in other time zones?
- What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
- Make a plan for your 2018 celebration. Where will you be? What will you be doing?
- Why is New Year’s important?
- Do you need a new year to make a change?
- Why do people gather to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve?
- How will you remember 2016?
- When you were younger, what did you think of New Year’s?
- What does your family do on New Year’s Eve?
- What does it mean to have a fresh start?
- Did you keep your 2016 resolutions?
- What did you accomplish last year?
- What are your goals for next year?
- How do you reflect at the new year?
- What does the new year mean to you?
- Do you believe New Year’s resolutions can be helpful?