On Jan. 1, yoga classes are so packed that mats vie for space on the studio floors. It’s the day when the number of gym memberships skyrockets, when bedroom lights go out at 10 p.m. and all the kale at the market is gone.
Fast-forward one month. It’s Feb. 1, and the number of people in yoga class has dwindled down to just a few on their colored mats. Gym membership cards are lost under month-old receipts for salad ingredients and the glow of phone screens shines through bedroom windows late at night.
Although New Year’s resolutions may start out with the best intentions, it’s hard to follow them all the way to December, or even to February. The triumph that people envision is often overcome by dejection as they reflect on their unfinished resolutions.
An alternative to keeping resolutions (or not keeping them) is making a rememberlutions jar. Instead of creating goals to eat healthier or exercise more, fill a jar with slips of paper with accomplishments and good memories written on them.
I started my rememberlutions jar three years ago, after my older sister stumbled across a Buzzfeed post suggesting it as a fun alternative to making resolutions. We were drawn to the idea of focusing on the positive aspects of the year to come instead of the failures from the previous year. Often, resolutions fall through because of a lack of motivation or small failures, so a rememberlutions jar is a perfect substitute for those who get discouraged easily. It encourages people to recognize that that every step along the way to achieving a goal is just as significant as achieving the goal itself. Each slip is a step closer toward achieving a bigger goal, and is a reminder of everything you have accomplished.
“Each slip is a step closer toward achieving a bigger goal, and is a reminder of everything you have accomplished.”
That New Year’s day, my sister and I spent the whole morning decorating our mason jars — hers adorned with hand-painted waves and mine with bright dots and too many clashing colors. Although my sister’s jar is currently stashed in storage, my jar has its own place atop my desk, its bright colors reminding me to look out for the positive peeking out from behind the negative.
Making your own rememberlutions jar is as simple as obtaining a mason jar, decorating it and putting it in an easily accessible space, so that you remember to add slips every day. They don’t need to be about general acheivements either — a jar about travel, food or bucket-list items can be just as motivating. It can also be started at any time during the year — after all, why wait for a new year to start recording achievements that happen all the time?
Three years later, my rememberlutions jar is still filled with old slips — memories of scenic road trips and beautiful hikes, delicious meals, good company and important milestones. All of these slips have changed the way I view life’s ups and downs, and helped me recognize the positive things I never would have paid attention to otherwise.
You have so many more achievements than can be described in a few resolutions. No matter how big or small, write them down, fold them up, and when you need a reminder of how far you’ve come, your rememberlutions jar will be there for you.