This New Year, Make Micro Resolutions

Sign in to save article

Making a New Year’s resolution is easy — keeping it is another story. Most people give up on their New Year's resolutions by mid-January, perhaps because the goals set feel too big or unobtainable. To ensure you keep your resolutions this year, try another approach — make micro resolutions instead. 

Micro resolutions are a way of reframing your New Year's resolutions, or any personal goal for that matter. The idea is to break down a larger goal into small, manageable steps. These actions will build upon each other to complete the goal you’re after, or they can drive motivation by boosting your confidence once each task is complete.

What Does a Micro Resolution Look Like?

Micro resolutions are typically things you do for a short period of time, and more often. They don't feel like an overcommitment because skipping a day or two has less of an impact, and many of the actions may be things you do every day anyway. The key is to feel proud about completing these smaller tasks so when you hit your goal, it feels great, and the good habits you’ve formed along the way stick.

For example, “Write a novel in 2022” is a great achievement, but the statement feels broad and overwhelming. How long is this novel? When will you work on it? What do you need to prepare before you begin the project?

“Write one page of your novel per day” can be a good micro goal instead. It provides a specific time frame, specific product/outcome, and the action is small enough to be completed in a short period. 

The goal is to finish one page, but chances are, you’ll be “in the zone” and keep going, resulting in more work getting done than you had planned for and reaching your goal sooner.

How Should I Break Down My Micro Resolution?

One of the best reasons to create micro resolutions is they can be structured however you like. Take a look at your daily schedule. Find pockets of time that you might have available. Maybe you have 15 minutes during your lunch break, or an hour of free time after you put the kids to bed. Once you recognize the time you have, you can fill it with a micro resolution or two.

For those looking to build better personal habits, break your micro resolutions up by month. CNN reporter David G. Allen created a year’s worth of micro resolutions, with one goal per month, to build up stamina and motivation.

“After two years of micro resolutions, some of these improved behaviors have had a lasting effect even though I stopped at the end of each month,” he states. He’s kept up meditation, improved his listening skills, and developed a healthier snacking habit as a result.

What Happens If I Don’t Follow Through?

The beauty of a micro resolution is that since it’s a small action, the impact of not completing it is as minimal as not ticking off something on your daily to-do list. You might be disappointed, but the time it takes to complete the task is short enough that you can carve out a new time to complete it.

If you find yourself repeatedly skipping these tasks or see them as more of a chore than a life enhancement, take it as a sign to move on. This will free up more space in your life for goals and hobbies that feel good, not like a chore. “The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it,” states Daniel Wallen, in an article for Lifehack

Micro Resolution Ideas

If you’re looking for some micro resolution ideas to get you started, CircleAround has you covered. Here are a few micro resolutions organized around some larger goals. 

1If your goal is to lose weight and/or get healthier:

  • Try removing or reducing one problem food per month (for example, sugar).
  • Make a goal to watch and perform one fitness video three times a week.
  • Take a 15-minute walk each day.

2If your goal is to get organized:

    • Choose one room to declutter every week.
    • Perform one chore each night before you go to bed (for example, dusting the living room).
    • Cross off one item from your to-do list each day.

    3If your goal is to save money:

    • Consult with a financial planner once a month.
    • Restrict your meal deliveries or dining-out experiences to once a week or less.
    • Put all of your loose change into a jar at the end of each day.

    4If your goal is to master a new hobby:

    • Sign up for an online class once a month.
    • Read or research about your hobby one day each week.
    • Dedicate 20 minutes per day to “create” or practice your hobby.

    The Bottom Line

    You don’t need the start of a new year to begin improving your life, but it is a good opportunity to think about where you’d like to see yourself in the coming months. Breaking down your resolutions into smaller, actionable items is more manageable and feels less daunting than larger, broader goals. Start small, and next year you can look back on all the ways this practice has made a big impact on your life.

    Tags: new year, Next Step, Organization, Personal Growth

    Sign in to save article

    Written By

    Katka Lapelosová

    Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

    CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit current Girl Scouts: the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us. So CircleAround for inspiration, and CircleAround the leaders of tomorrow. CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

    Love this article?

    Sign up for the newsletter to get the best of CircleAround delivered right to your inbox.

    to our circle.

    CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us.

    So CircleAround for inspiration, and the leaders of tomorrow.

    About Us