Katja Laurien

Inspiring your spiritual journey

How to set your New Year’s Resolutions effectively

2. December 2018 • Katja Laurien

New Year’s resolutions used to give me the shivers. I would feel the fear of not being able to achieve my goals from miles away. My ego decided it’s safer to not even start making goals, so no one would notice I was a failure.

Obviously, I had never given New year’s resolutions a fair chance. Until one fine year I spend NYE with my mum. Together we revalued the resolutions and gave them a new twist. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the process and continued doing it over the years. I enjoy it so much, I can definitely recommend this to anyone. Possible side effects are not only goal achievement, but also emotional healing and spiritual growth.

Main highlights

I start the process by writing down everything that marked the old year. Special events, funny situations, remarkable new friendships etc. I literally write down everything that made that particular year special to me. In this way, you will realize how much has happened and how lucky you’ve actually been in the past 12 months. Best about this exercise is reading your notes back again later. We tend to forget even the nicest things, no matter how special they felt at the time. So, do your future self a favour and write down all these funny, remarkable and special facts! You’ll love rereading them.

Generally, I write down the positive things, except for the notable negative events. While writing, I know one day I’ll have learnt so much from these events, it will only make me smile looking back on it.


Once you have your list with past year’s special events, it won’t be hard to find out what you’re grateful for. Write down everything you’ve been grateful for over the year. It doesn’t matter whether you’re being repetitive; you can easily be grateful for your mother, your health or your job many years in a row.

I can recommend counting your blessings more often than just once a year. It’s such a healing and uplifting practice! But if you don’t manage to do it on a regular basis, do it at least around this time of the year. There is not better way to leave behind the past year and to welcome the new one.

There are many scientific studies that confirm the positive effects of gratitude. The list is long and seemingly endless, but most importantly it improves your mood, it makes you feel more connected to others and supports your goal achievement. Comes in handy when you’re just writing your NY resolutions, right?

Goal setting

Full of gratitude and joy, you start making your list of goals. Make sure you write down all goals and dreams you can possibly think of. Write down everything, uncensored. Some goals might surprise you and reveal some hidden ambitions or dreams.

Afterwards the important part is coming: Once you’ve jotted down all those things reread your list and remove the things that can wait. Look at every single goal and feel inside: Is this really what I want/should do next? The problem with making too many goals is that you lose focus. You don’t know where to start, you are confused and you end up giving up on all of it. Focusing on the things you need to get done first is so much more valuable. Once you have finished the first goals, you can always go back to your list and pick the goals you want to prioritize next.

Visualize the process

In between where you are and where you want to end up, there are many steps. Just ask yourself: What will I need to do or change in order to make this happen? What kind of character traits to do I need to develop? Which actions do I need to undertake? Write all these things down, even when they scare you. Especially when they scare you! Not only are they probably the reason why you are not at the finish line yet, but they are also the factors that will make you learn and grow. Once you get clear on these factors, you’ll be better prepared and more likely to actually achieve your goals. Just make sure this step doesn’t demotivate you from achieving your goal, but motivates you to tackle obstacles and to grow.

New: Make a vision board

This year I will take my tradition a step further: I will add a vision board. I already started accumulating pictures, quotes and ideas for drawings. The main reason why I am doing this is because I seriously think this is loads of fun! Can’t wait to get creative and just soak myself in all those beautiful things I want to have in life! Apart from that it seems that making goals visual and vivid actually enhances the chances of achieving them. Sounds to me like a win-win: fun and functional!

As you see, setting goals is more than just writing down goals. By aligning your mind, heart and soul in this process you gain more than only achieving goals. It’s a treat for your entire system and will make you enter the new year with so much more motivation, love and gratitude. Obviously, you can start this goal achieving process any time of the new, no new calendar year needed! Armed with these mental tools, I hope you will dare to dream again!