3 Ways to Stay Accountable in 2018 Without Making New Year’s Resolutions

new year's resolutions

A new year means new you right?  Maybe, but if history has been any indication a new calendar year does not necessarily mean that you will be more inclined to stay on your diet, quit smoking, or head to the gym. 

There are many ways to start the new year off with goals in mind without setting yourself up for failure. I am sharing some of my faves below.

new year's resolutions

3 Ways to Stay Accountable in 2018 Without Making New Year’s Resolutions

Word of the Year

Instead of writing down a lot of ambiguous goals for the year set a word of the year. This word will inspire you through the year’s journey.

Picking a word alone is not enough though. You do need to choose a word that you have every intention of believing in and one where you can take steps to make the magic happen. 

If you choose a word like successful you not only have to define what success means to you but you also have to have measurable ways to measure that success. Does that mean you get the promotion at work? Or maybe you finally quit corporate and start your own business? Whatever it is you need to work at making that success happen. Intention without action won’t get you anywhere.

new year's resolutions

Has 2017 left you feeling walked all over? A word like strength may be a good choice. You can work on the strength to stand up for yourself, to stand up for what you believe in, and the strength to put value in what you do and make others see it. 

Goal Book

Instead of writing out a list of goals for the year you can write ONE goal down in a new notebook. Write a goal that you can ultimately accomplish in the near future. Once that goal is complete you can cross it off and write another goal to be accomplished. At the end of 2018, you can look back on your book full of goals that you HAVE accomplished in 2018 and feel good, instead of the dread that usually happens when you think of all the goals you never met from the previous year. 

new year's resolutions

Vision Board

In one of my college courses, our year-end project was to make a vision board for all we wanted in life. I remember making that board in April of 2012 and adding things that seemed completely out of reach at the time: dream car, own our first home, get a good job, be financially secure among other things. 

After school finished and I didn’t give much thought to that board but by November of 2012 we had bought the older version of our dream car, bought our first home, got a great job, and finally felt financially good. I still have that first vision board in my laundry room to remind me that if I want something it is within arms reach

Your vision board can be as basic or fancy as you want. You can scour old magazines and cut out pictures and words that represent what you want in life. Another option is to save pictures from the internet and drag and drop them into a program like Word or my personal fave Canva. You can then save and print to be displayed somewhere you can see it often or keep it as your desktop background. I have a big chalkboard in my kitchen where our goals are displayed so that I see them each and every time I am in there. As I wash the dishes I can plot and plan how to make those dreams a reality and some of my best ideas came to me as I was peeling potatoes or loading the dishwasher. 

You can print out this page and just add your own items to it. 

new year's resolutions

Find What Works For You

I think the most important thing here is to find what works for you and do it. You may not want to make New Year’s resolutions but you also don’t want to go into the new year without any goals or ambitions. If you need some motivational reading material to help you make 2018 YOUR year to shine make sure you read our post on the Top Ten Motivational Books to Read Now to Make 2018 Amazing.

Figure it out, set your intentions, and make 2018 your best year. 

new year's resolutions


Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. Darlene Schuller
    December 31, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    I’m not really a resolution person but I truly love this word concept!

  2. Tannis W
    January 1, 2018 / 3:15 am

    Some great ideas for planning for the new year. Thanks for sharing the tips. Cute notebooks and notepads in your photos too!

  3. LisaM
    January 1, 2018 / 8:59 am

    I love this idea. I think my word for the year might be “peace”

  4. Lynda Cook
    January 3, 2018 / 9:21 am

    Sounds like you have it all together, I sadly do not even have a word for the new year, I’m just not feeling it this year!

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    January 6, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    I have never made a New Year’s resolution, I feel that if you want to do something you should just get on with it and not wait for New Year. These tips might help people who do though.

  6. Heidi C.
    January 8, 2018 / 9:33 am

    After a difficult and challenging 2017, I think that I will be poaching the word strength from you. I don’t make resolutions but I do try to make each year like a fresh page. This year’s fresh page is going to be supported by the word strength.

  7. Calvin
    February 13, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    Nice way to keep track of goals.

  8. Julie
    February 17, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Wow, I love these ideas! I have never been very big on NY resolutions but I love these!

  9. Debbie White Beattie
    February 26, 2018 / 1:58 am

    I don’t make resolutions but this is a big way to challenge yourself. These ideas are great !

  10. kathy downey
    June 17, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    Those are lots of need ideas,thanks for sharing!