Dear Me: How to Write a New Year Resolutions Letter for Better Results

New Years resolution letter for 2018

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 2020, 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 2020 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 your organization
  2. For you at your organization
  3. For you personally

Write the letter with what you wish or hope for yourself at the end of 2020 for each of those areas.  Get as specific as possible—the answers are yours.

  • What did you do in these areas?
  • How do you feel—physically? Emotionally? Mentally?
  • Did you learn something new? Visit a new place?
  • How did you meet the year at work?
  • How should the end of 2020 be compared to the beginning of 2020?

Once you have written the letter, print four copies.  Place each in its own envelope, and date them March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, 2020.  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 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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