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    7 Alternative New Year’s Resolutions to Try in 2024

    New Year's resolutions are notorious for having low success rates. So instead of making a to-do list for the entire year, try shifting your focus in 2024 to new beginnings. Start fresh this year with these 7 positive resolution alternatives that are proven to boost your mindset and help you get through tough days.

    1. Focus on the joy of everyday experiences

    Scientific evidence indicates that mindfulness—being fully present in the moment—is a powerful practice. When you’re bringing mindfulness into your day, try to be in the moment, without judgement. Your goal is not to quiet your thoughts, but embrace them without judgement.

    Mindfulness alleviates stress, improves health, and contributes to emotional well-being. It increases your engagement with patients and coworkers. Mindfulness can also foster gratitude, which has been proven to improve mental and physical wellness. 

    2. Indulge your curiosity

    Did you know that curiosity helps you remember what you learn? Curiosity stimulates the parts of our brains associated with pleasure and reward, and increases activity in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory. That means that curiosity is a key driver of learning.

    Curiosity even helps you remember “boring” information: If you pair a study topic that you are not interested in with one you are interested in, curiosity about the second topic helps you retain knowledge about both.

    3. Value your own wellness

    This coming year, why not treat yourself as your primary patient? After all, you entered your profession to promote health and wellness. Be sure to include yourself in the equation in 2024. 

    4. Believe in your goals

    You’re probably already familiar with the important role hope plays in healing. But did you also know that hope is essential to learning and achieving your goals? 

    Hope is not just a feel-good emotion but also a dynamic cognitive motivational system.” Learners who believe they will be successful are much more likely to reach their goals, even if they start with a deficit in resources and skills. Hope is different from optimism, because “people with hope have both the will and the pathways and strategies necessary to achieve their goals.”

    5. Commit to gratitude exercises

    The list of benefits associated with expressing and witnessing gratitude has gotten longer and longer since scientists started studying it 2 decades ago—improved mental health, increased physical health, better sleep, reduced aggression, healthier relationships. The list goes on and on! 

    Ways to tap into those benefits include:

    • Keep a daily gratitude journal where you write down the things you're grateful for
    • Go on a gratitude walk to combine exercise with positive thoughts about the world around you
    • Take the time to say thank you—out loud or in writing—to those who have added goodness to your life in little or big ways
    • Make a special unexpected trip (even if it's just down your office hallway!) to express gratitude to inspiring or impactful people in your life

    6. Choose a 2024 "word"

    Stay focused on the positive in 2024 by picking a word like "joy," "grace," "abundant," "love," even "gratitude," and repeating it to yourself like a mantra this year. Doing this will set the tone for the next 12 months, and help you reset in times of trial. For example, when you get frustrated with others—or even yourself—repeat the word "grace," take a deep breath, and move into a more positive mindset.

    7. Start a healthy habit

    You already have what you need to be successful within you—you just need to learn how to develop the right habits. This year, find that habit and stick to it! We've got ideas for starting good habits and becoming an expert (they work on becoming an expert on anything—not just medicine!) that are a great place to start. 


    Hope, joy, curiosity, gratitude, wellness—sounds like a prescription for a great 2024, doesn’t it? 


    To kickstart your 2024 study sessions, we've put together a 14-day study challenge. What better way to super charge belief in your goals than to work toward them with daily:

    • Tasks to focus your study sessions
    • Motivation to keep you on track
    • Evidence-based learning techniques to lock must-know information into your long-term memory

    Join the challenge today!

    Related Categories

    Behavior science

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