When December 1 arrives, I anticipate the upcoming year with excitement. Maybe this eagerness stems from our early holiday content planning at The Everygirl, or perhaps it’s just my tendency to constantly look ahead. Over the past three years, I’ve expanded my tradition of making resolutions well in advance of the new year, and the results have been remarkable. By thinking about my goals before the final week of the year, I’ve been able to set more attainable, meaningful, and lasting goals for the upcoming year.

Whether you enjoy the tradition of making resolutions or find it a tedious process to set new goals each year (I understand), December offers a unique chance to analyze the past and contemplate the future. For me, establishing pre-resolutions has enabled me to approach the annual ritual of setting resolutions with clarity and enthusiasm. I can’t be the only one who becomes extra introspective as the year wraps up. Here’s what you need to know about pre-resolutions: what they entail, why they are important, and how they relate to the goals you will conquer in 2024.

What is a “pre-resolution?”

The period between Christmas and New Year’s can sometimes feel like the Sunday scaries magnified. Previously, I’d spend this week fixating on unaccomplished goals from the past year and anticipating significant changes in the year ahead. Picture me in my childhood room, overthinking the new year while snacking on leftover Christmas treats. If this resonates with you, pre-resolutions may be just what you need.

Pre-resolutions act as journal prompts that extend the reflection and resolution-making process throughout December. This approach helps avoid the feeling of falling behind once January 1 arrives. By documenting thoughts ranging from past shortcomings to future aspirations, the transition to setting resolutions in late December or early January becomes less stressful and more purposeful. Essentially, pre-resolutions involve dedicating the month leading up to the new year to self-reflection and self-connection, ensuring that the resolutions you set align with your desires for a fulfilling and joyful life, rather than generic goals you feel obliged to establish each year but never truly pursue. While you can reflect in one session, I prefer setting intentions for each week leading up to the year’s end. Here’s a sample of what three weeks of pre-resolution prompts might include:

Week 1:

  • What new blessings have I experienced this past year?
  • When did I feel most at peace in the last year?
  • How did I prioritize self-care in the past year?
  • What achievement from this year am I most proud of?

Week 2:

  • What am I ready to let go of as I enter the new year?
  • How can I enhance self-care in the coming year?
  • How can I better support my community and the world in the upcoming year?
  • Which inconsistent behavior from this year do I want to turn into a consistent habit next year?

Week 3:

  • What significant changes do I anticipate this year, and how can I prepare for them?
  • How do I envision my life a year from now?
  • What do I wish to attract into my life in the new year?

Why make pre-resolutions in the first place?

If the idea of prolonging the resolution-setting process seems overwhelming or threatens to dampen your holiday spirit, there’s no need to alter your usual January goal-setting routine. Remember, setting goals at the start of the new year isn’t obligatory; we can choose to pursue specific objectives whenever it feels right. Personally, pre-resolutions help me stay present during the holiday season by integrating gratitude, a crucial element of goal-setting, especially when surrounded by loved ones throughout December.

If you are still hesitant about pre-resolutions, consider them as part of your manifestation practice rather than a once-a-year ritual. Manifestation experts like Roxie Nafousi stress that manifestation requires time, unlike the common belief that resolutions are set once a year and forgotten. Pre-resolutions transform our resolutions into manifestations by extending the time we dedicate to our goals.

In essence, easing end-of-year anxieties begins with realizing that we have ample time to accomplish our objectives and being compassionate towards ourselves for any unmet resolutions from the past. Establishing a structured approach like pre-resolutions to streamline the resolution-setting process can significantly reduce stress. For me, January 1 is eagerly anticipated because by then, I am fully prepared.


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