How To Set a New Year’s Resolution That Actually Makes You Happy

Build Then Bless

Sooo, did you make it past Quitter’s Day? Also known as January 12th and the day that 80% of people throw their New Year’s resolutions to the curb? Now, we’re not resolution haters but we do hate setting a goal we’re pumped about and then realizing we’re actually not that interested in keeping it.

There are blogs upon blogs from mindset gurus and life coaches giving you “X tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year!” Sticky notes and accountability buddies are great, but maybe the missing link isn’t how you’re going to keep the goal, but the goal itself.

This year, give your resolutions themselves a makeover and see if that doesn’t change things.

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail?

Think about the goals you’ve set in the past: make more money, lose weight, travel more, read more books. Sound familiar? These are all great goals and accomplishing them might improve your life. 

But the problem is, they’re sometimes outside of your control and a reminder of how you’re inadequate—and that’s demoralizing! 

It’s easy to get swept up in society’s expectations of what a successful person should want: a high-paying job, a fit body, an exciting social life. But if these goals aren’t meaningful to you, it’s no wonder you lose motivation halfway through January.

We know that might sound a little cheesy. Most people label this as “finding your why” or “aligning with your purpose.” And those are great ways to look at it, but again, they’re not very tangible and can be hard to put into practice. So let’s break it down into four simple steps.

How To Set a Resolution That Actually Makes You Happy

A better way to set New Year’s resolutions: 


Before you even think of setting a goal, take time to reflect on what makes you happy. What makes you feel fulfilled? What activities cause you to lose track of time? What values are important to you? If you need some guidance, try taking a free personality test, journal about what makes you happy, or ask close friends and family members what they observe.


Once you have an idea of what will highlight your strengths (rather than make you feel like you’re already failing), brainstorm ways to incorporate that into a goal. For example, if you love being creative, set a goal to complete three art projects by the end of the year. If you value giving back to your community, make it a goal to volunteer at least once a month.

Get Specific

Don’t just say you want to “travel more.” Instead, set a specific and achievable goal, like visiting a new place every quarter or planning a solo trip for a specific holiday weekend. This will give you something concrete to work towards and track progress on.

Plan for Obstacles

No matter how much you love something, life will always throw obstacles in your way. The key is to plan for potential roadblocks and have a backup plan. If your goal is to read more books but you know you’ll be busy with work, set a specific number of pages or chapters to read each day instead of a general goal for the entire year. 

Do some habit stacking à la James Clear and read a page of a book before you get onto any social media. When you reach for your phone, your brain will send up an alarm reminding you to read instead.

The Most Powerful New Year’s Resolution You Could Set for 2024

Nope, it’s not “find love” or “get a promotion.” In fact, both of those examples highlight another reason why resolutions fall flat: they’re almost always focused on ourselves. Personal growth is important; it’s a great thing that you’re even wanting to set resolutions and become a better person this year.

But we challenge you to do the opposite of what you’ve been doing all these years. Consider setting a resolution that doesn’t just benefit you, but benefits others instead. Maybe it’s volunteering regularly for a cause you care about, or committing $15 each month to helping someone in need. The person behind you in the Starbucks line, the elderly widow next door, a family affected by a recent disaster.

Our theory? By shifting the focus from yourself to others, this New Year’s resolution will become more a part of who you are than “eating healthier” ever will. Plus, blessing other people’s lives has some unbeatable benefits in it for you—take a look at them here with the science of giving (spoiler alert: better sleep, less pain, increased happiness, and more).

In fact, the feel good chemicals that come from service might even help you reach your  physical goals more easily. Somethin’ to think about.

Ready To Set Your Happy Resolution? 

What’s going to make you happy this year? Try turning New Year’s resolutions on its head and do something you’ve never done before. You might find that a nonconventional goal was exactly what you needed to make this year the best yet.

For inspiration on how to experience all the benefits of person–to–person service this year, check out Lemonade Stand’s Build Then Bless™ widget (bottom right of the page). It’s a real–time collection of how Lemonade Stand employees use $50 each month (provided by their employer) to build and bless the lives of people they interact with.

One of our favorite stories is when Bitsy, from the onboarding team, bought $50 worth of snacks for a group of teen boys at the grocery store, and a whole chain reaction unfolded!

Build Then Bless™ is available for companies worldwide and is the best way to help you stay accountable for your goals to do good. Check it out!

Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand helps businesses around the world grow by building high quality custom websites with transparent internet marketing services and measurable results.

Find Out More

Build Then Bless

Build Then Bless® is a first-of-its-kind cultural operating system for your business or organization that has the power to transform your people and truly change the world.

Join Our Waitlist