Happy New Year! I love the idea of New Year Resolutions because, as a Maximizer®, I also love working to be my best and supporting others to do the same. As you work to set a resolution of your own (or not), below is some guidance based on the 34 CliftonStrengths®.


Achiever®– Ready. Set. Aim. Fire. On the balcony, you’ve got this resolution on lock down. In the basement, you may be afraid to set a resolution because not attaining it would be devastating. Trust in your ability to complete goals and you will find much fun in the process.


Arranger®– Scheduling how you can fit an extra 5 minute stretch or meditation into your jam-packed days is a fun challenge. Although you are busy, you know making time for things is how you show they are important to you.


Belief®– Make more time for self-reflection or prayer, so you can appreciate the purpose and intent in your new year.


Consistency®– Stick with the same resolution you’ve made every year- Keep on keeping on! Your calm seas do not need a shake up. If you think you are ready for a change, find a way to make small, baby steps so that your life does not seismically shift overnight.


Deliberative®– You are a great reviser! Give yourself time every day to revise your daily agenda, plans, and projects. Also, give yourself big weekly chunks of time to contemplate and revise the big picture of your life. Time for you is the resolution.


Discipline®– You were built to set and achieve goals. You work this way most of the time, anyway, so setting a new year’s resolution might not have any special allure for you. So, keep it up with your current goals.


Focus®– You are great at zeroing in on goals. You do this frequently. To work on your narrowing blindspot and broaden your scope, just pick one word to represent what you want for the year. It could be health, love, abundance, etc. Pick one, focus on understanding how it shows up (or does not show up) currently in your life, then create goals to increase its presence in all aspects of your life.


Responsibility®– Unsure how you can fit one more thing on your plate, the idea of doing something else is stressful! Create a self-care resolution that will re-charge you to tackle your duties. Re-sharpen your saw, everyday. For instance, sticking to a bed time to make sure you have enough rest is a great resolution. Giving yourself more energy will help you do the things you already deem important.


Restorative®– Be sure to frame your resolution as a solution. You are motivated to solve problems. For example, “eating healthier just because” is not motivational to you. But, “avoiding sugar so it stops clogging your skin” frames the goal in a way that solves a problem.


Activator®– You were excited and started on your New Year’s Resolution in December. You might be running out of steam by the time January 1st rolls around. Instead of trying to motivate yourself to stick with one long-term goal, create lots of different little goals. At the beginning of each week, you could create a goal-of-the-week. Each new goal will give you a boost of energy and motivation!


Command®– Put your full self into your resolution. You reach success when you are all in! You think baby steps are for… well… babies. As long as you can be all in, take the risk of setting and working towards a big, hairy goal. The more audacious the better!


Communication®– Tell everyone your resolution because they will help hold you accountable. It has been proven that people that share their resolutions are more likely to achieve them.


Competition®– Find a way to track your resolution’s progress with someone doing the same thing. It could be with a friend or an online community. Some type of leaderboard that you tick your progress on is the best type of motivation.


Maximizer®– This is your jam! Embrace the excitement to build resolutions or goals off of successes from the previous year or positive things already in motion.


Self-Assurance® – You can easily envision the completion of your resolution before you even commit it to memory. You know you can tackle any challenge that you deem worthy.


Significance®– Publicly track your progress towards your resolution. For instance, sharing weight loss online and receiving praise from friends  can be incredibly motivating and inspiring for you.


Woo®– Whatever your resolution is, just be sure it is with people! Isolating yourself to complete an objective is your basement. Going to a place full of people and energy, like a gym, is not only motivating for you, but it is also where you can be on the balcony.


Adaptability®– Take whatever the New Year has in store as it comes. Do not fret about setting a resolution. You know focusing on one might mean you miss out on other opportunities around you.


Connectedness®– Create your own personal “Humans of New York” in your mind, or better yet, on Instagram. Find ways to connect to a new stranger every day and learn about them. While sticking to a rigid goal or timeline is not your cup of tea, you can find daily inspiration and motivation from the humanity around you or online.


Developer®– Your motivation is to help others reach their resolutions, and that will always come before you reaching your own. So, align yourself to support someone with a goal that also supports you. For instance if your friend wants an “accountabilibuddy” to better reach their self-care resolution, volunteer to be that person and take care of yourself through the process, too.


Empathy®– From our friend at A Little Spark of Joy, “Not all empathic traits are positive. Thinking that being an empath is all ‘rainbows’ and ‘sunshine’ is what makes the abilities difficult for those with true empathic natures. It might be surprising, but addictions to alcohol, food, work, and drugs are common amongst empaths because those things serve as distractions that take the focus away from negative emotions and mental disturbances. This isn’t something that a person chooses consciously, and most are unaware of the true reasons for their overeating, excessive drinking, etc. Empaths also tend to put on a lot of weight around their middle as a physical way to ‘pad themselves’ against absorbing energy.”

In order to manage your Empathy® basement and stay on the balcony, create a list of positive and negative energy in your life, and make a concerted effort to increase the positive and decrease the negative in your life. And, be kind to yourself!


Harmony®– Take a step back to identify ways to find peace and reduce conflict in your life. Could you hire a baby-sitter twice/week to help with kids? Could you delegate a forever-nagging task to a colleague? Could you see a frustrating person less frequently? Once you identify a way, try it! If it works, stick with it as your resolution. If it does not work, try another strategy until you reach success.


Includer®– Corral others into sharing a resolution with you. For example, let’s all set a “work out every day” resolution and do it together. The more the merrier!


Individualization®– You are skilled at crafting personalized resolutions for friends and family. You can see what they need in their life. As you share with friends and family, ask them to return their thoughts for a resolution for you. Reaching a goal that your friend help you set will be more meaningful than if you set it by yourself.


Positivity®– Keep a daily gratitude practice. There are lots of ways to do this that you can find online. My recommendation is to just be sure to count your blessings every day to keep you motivated and energized. Writing it down in a journal will double the impact of the practice.


Relator®– Making more time for the people important to you will light up your life. Schedule one night/ week as phone call night to keep in touch with long distance friends and family. Or, if you are fortunate enough to have all those people close by, schedule a special weekly family event. It could be a fancy dinner, game night, or walk in the park. Find what makes you feel good with the people you love!


Analytical®– It is so easy to identify aspects of your life that require improvement. Finding a way to track and measure your resolution’s progress with numbers or data will not only help you achieve your resolution, but it will also motivate you!


Context®– Remember how you’ve been successful with resolutions in the past, and repeat! Pulling from your history of successes is your superpower!


Futuristic®– Out of all the strengths, vision-boarding works best for you! Clip images that represent your goal and put them somewhere you can see them everyday.


Ideation®– So many great resolutions to pick from, don’t just choose one, choose a few! I’d recommend selecting four—one for each day, each week, each month, and one for the whole year. Use mine as an example- I have a daily gratitude practice. Blog every week. Spend deep quality time with at least one bestie each month. And, complete my PhD before 2020 is over. Variety is your spice of life! Embrace changing your goals with each new week and month, too!


Input®– This could be the year that all of your collected information is put to work! Whether you have data about people (and their families, pets, hobbies, etc.) or things, organizing the information into a spreadsheet or system could empower you to use it more easily. If you already have such a system, why not step up as a leader and share it with your team? Or, identify ways to complete your collection with missing pieces. Either way, your best resolution will be one large and many small pieces simultaneously. Example: Complete the collection. And, secure 45 extra data points to do so.


Intellection®– If you do not have your own personal fortress of solitude, yet; get one! Then, be sure to use it every day for at least 20 minutes. This could look like a 20-minute daily walk with your dog in a park or 30 minutes of thinking/writing/creating in your car as part of your lunch break. Just be sure that it is alone and without technology. This is your brain and creativity’s special re-charge time. Distractions can decrease the quality of the charge.


Learner®– You likely have already enrolled in some class or identified some skill you want to improve on or learn over the next year. Have fun, take chances, make mistakes, get messy!


Strategic®– Build a timeline or use a calendar to mark important days for your resolution, this can be your road map for resolution completion. If the route to your destination changes, just be sure to update your timeline or calendar.


Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. The non-Gallup information you are receiving has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup® in any way. Opinions, views, and interpretations of Clifton StrengthsFinder® are solely the beliefs of Stronger Not Harder.