Make an impact in 2019

Written by Elise Matthews


With the end of 2018 comes a lot of pressure to create resolutions that will help us improve some aspect of our life in the upcoming year.  The statistics of success with resolutions are pretty grim which begs the question, what if we tried a different approach to this resolution thing?  

I don’t love the idea of making a resolution for two reasons:

  1. The effort towards achieving the resolution seems to peter out in a span of a couple of weeks, leaving yet another year of broken resolutions.

  2. If you actually achieve the resolution and then flounder from there because you’ve hit your goal giving your subconscious free range to take a pass on growth for the remainder of the year.  

What if we broadened our focus from specific goals?  What if instead, we focused on an area of impact for the year?  This has been my approach for the last several years, I love that committing to making an impact is a much more malleable focus that can expand and morph as you continue through the year.  

Three years ago my impact focus was on being less wasteful.  That goal started with reducing the amount of food that was wasted in our household but later morphed into being less wasteful in my spending habits and taking time to do a needs/wants analysis before I made purchases.

Two years ago my impact focus was on work / life balance.  That year lead to me not working after 5 pm, planning, and cooking 95% of our family meals, making time to walk the boys to/from school (almost every day).

This past year my impact focus was on my minimizing our family’s footprint.  This year we reduced our use of plastic bags by getting rid of ziplock bags, not using saran wrap, and only buying water bottles for emergencies.  I started commuting back and forth work either on bicycle and reduced my average driving to a 6 miles per week. We stored and brought all of our recyclables to a recycling center instead of throwing them away (The town where we lived in MS doesn’t offer recycling) We started looking for lightly used items on amazon facebook marketplace instead of immediately buying something new.

The cool thing about creating a focus around making an impact is that it allowed for a broad range of positive results in my overall wellness.  Through minimizing my family’s footprint, a focus on environmental wellness permeated into physical wellness and financial wellness and made positive changes in those areas as well.   

How do you do it?

Take some time to figure out where you would like to make a personal commitment to positively impact one aspect of your life.  From there you create a phrase like:

Through 2019 I will make an effort daily to make a positive impact on _______, then you say it to yourself.

 A lot.  

Every morning with my meditation I run through this statement, every night as I close my eyes to go to sleep, I run through this statement.  The repetition forces the impact focus to the front of my subconscious and the ideas/ inspiration have all come from there. I just have to take the ideas and go forward from there.  The cool thing? We STILL don’t have any food waste, I still do a want/need analysis before making purchases, we still walk the boys to school most days, we still don’t buy/use plastic water bottles, etc!  The changes have stuck!

Need some ideas about areas to make an impact?

I’ve provided the 8 aspects of wellness below that might help you as you create your focus.  

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