The pressure to come up with a strong New Year’s resolution can get to be a little daunting. While it’s certainly commendable to try to better yourself, there’s something a bit daunting about the whole concept of a New Year’s resolution. After all, why can’t we resolve to better ourselves at any other point of the year?!

Below are a few ideas variations to change-up your New Year’s

Make a commitment to someone other than yourself

Most of the time when you make a New Year’s resolution, they are extremely self-focused. Bettering and empowering yourself is always good, everyone needs improvement in some area.  We also think the changing year is a great time to turn one’s focus outward. Whether it’s helping a friend or family member in need, volunteering your time at a community center, or donating to a cause you care about, we think it’s a nice idea to help others this New Year.

Choose a word of the year for 2018

Instead of resolving to work on one specific aspect of yourself or your life, it might be helpful and even a bit more productive to choose one word that sums up how you want to feel in 2018. Perhaps there’s a single word that sums up everything you want to better about yourself, like “thoughtful” or “peaceful” or “helpful.” It’s nice to think that you would carry this word with you throughout the year and apply it to all your endeavors.

Write a letter to your future self

Write a letter to yourself and date it January 1, 2018. Tell yourself all you hope to accomplish this year, the things you want to see evolve, and the changes you wish to undertake. Then open it on January 1, 2019, so you can see just how far you really came.

Focus on intention rather than outcome

Most New Year’s resolutions focus on an outcome: “I want to lose 10 pounds,” or “I want to be more productive at work.” But what if you turned your focus inward instead, focusing on your intention rather than any results? Your goals for the year might then change; instead of losing weight, maybe your goal is to treat food as nutrition rather than enjoyment. You might be surprised at how effective such a mind-set can be!

Highlight the things you do well – not what you need to change

Celebrate the things that you do well and the quirks in your personality that make you, you. Perhaps you’re just perfect the way you are: every flaw, every extra pound, every time you chose to sit on the couch and watch Friends instead of going to the gym. Maybe these aren’t things to be fixed but rather to be celebrated as unique aspects of your personality and life. Perhaps it’s okay to leave the betterment plan for another time, instead focusing your attention on the things you like about yourself—just for now.