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Dear Me: How To Write A New Year Resolution Letter For Better Results

As the New Year rings in, it often brings with it high hopes: a promise of a fresh start. On January 1st, we are each given 365 days to accomplish our new year resolutions. Yet resolutions, while set by many, are accomplished by few. To be among the few instead of the many at the end of the year, try writing a letter to yourself.

This is what I did this year, and I encourage you to try it for yourself. In this new year resolutions letter, I imagine the upcoming year with what I have accomplished, what I felt, and how I spent my 365 days. The letter visualizes where and how I should be at the end of the year. The process of writing this letter _ on paper, by hand _ caused me to slow down and really think about where I want to be at year’s end.

For your new year resolutions letter, start with three headers.

  1. For my organization/team
  2. For me at work
  3. For me personally outside of work

Write the letter with the end of year in mind. What do you wish/hope for yourself, in each of those areas? Get as specific as possible. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What did you do or accomplish in these areas? (This doesn’t necessarily mean you must have the item completed by year’s end.)
  • How do you feel—Emotionally, Physically, Mentally?
  • Did you learn something new? Visit a new place?
  • How did you “show up” during the year at work? At home?
  • For these three areas, how are you and what is different at the end of the year compared to the beginning?

Once you have written the letter, print four copies. Place each in its own envelope, and date them March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, and December 31st. Take the first one and tape or tack it to your desk/cube wall.

As each date passes, open that envelope and read it. Reflect on how you did each quarter towards your letter. Resolve what you need to keep doing, add, or change. What were your obstacles? What happened that you didn’t expect? And how did you respond?

Use your letters as your “blazes”—markers on the trail that ensure you are on the right path. Then your destination will be realized!

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