9 (Totally Doable) Life-Changing New Year’s Resolutions

Hello! It’s a brand new year for a fresh new start and we’ve been seeing many New Year resolutions all over social media already.

But let’s be real, how many of us actually achieve our resolutions? The problem with resolutions is that they often fail because:

#1: Too hard
#2: We don’t stick with it

However if you set goals that are totally doable and you stick to it, your life can be changed!

We asked 9 Picha Heroes of different backgrounds — from CEOs to entrepreneurs to storytellers — to share their (totally doable) resolutions which have changed their lives.

#1 - Choose the ROAD less travelled
Alan Cheah - CEO, GoCar Malaysia

This is one of the resolutions I did long time ago that put me on the path today. It was during the later days of my business failures, I found out that a lot of my decisions conformed to the pressure of the society. And I wasn’t growing out of my comfort zone, so during that year, I made a decision to choose the road less travelled.

It was pain in the ass doing that, but it smoothen out the rough edges allowing me to be more efficient and effective, gave me various perspectives to every issues that came my way, imbued in me a courage to face any consequences due to my decisions, and best of all, the ability to identify the differences between an inconvenience and a problem.

You can start small - anytime someone ask you where do you want to eat, tell them exactly what you want to eat. Stop saying, “I don’t know.” Worse case scenario, you will end up eating alone. But we are all good with that, for now we have the courage to face the consequences of our decision.

#2 - Never Stop Learning
Kim Lim - CEO & Co-Founder, The Picha Project

I’ve always loved learning new things, culture or experiences. In the beginning of, I told myself that I have to travel once a month so that I’m either out of my comfort zone or I’m learning new things. Since then, I’ve travelled extensively. Even if I travelled to places I’ve been to before, there were still new learnings because the world is so big and there’s so much to experience.

Travelling has helped me to understand how people from the other side of the world live and communicate. It has definitely widen up my perspective in life and the way we do things in Picha. We have so much more to improve and accelerate.

I’m looking forward to learn more — not just through travelling but also reading! It’s very very important to never stop learning and applying things we learn in life onto the work we do. That way, we can continue the passion in our work.

#3 - Be Better Everyday
Roshan Thiran - Founder, Leaderonomics

New Year’s resolutions never seem to get fulfilled. We always have a ton of them every year (I know I always had a list of many things jotted down that needed to be accomplished but never saw the light of day after a few months). Instead, I decided that I would only have 1 resolution per year and that would be all encompassing.

It started a couple years ago, when I made just one simple resolution. I said that at the end of every day, I would just spend a few minutes reflecting:

  • What I did well that day..
  • And how I could have improved my performance & tasks done that day.

So, the goal was to become better the next day. Since then, every year, I have the same resolution that each day, I would be better (at everything I did) than I was the day before. I needed to be better at health, leadership, running my business, relationships tomorrow than i am today.

Just that one little change in my life has resulted in not having to need many, many resolutions but rather just focused on making my performance today better than yesterday. That has kept me going.

#4 - Say Yes!
Amy Zheng - Co-Founder, Amazin’Graze & Glow Smoothie Bar

My new year resolution that changed my life - Say Yes!  Even when you are tempted to say no to invites or opportunities because you are shy, tired or scared, try to say yes when people invite you to join them in something.  

As we get older, we retreat more and more into ourselves and like to hang out with people that we know. This can drastically close our circle and our world. I find that when I say “Yes” , I end up meeting new people, learning new things and become a better person as a result.

#5 - Make Time for Sports
Joseph Gross - CEO, AllianzLife

I used to live the typical stressed life of an executive — work, travel, always online etc. and had the typical excuse when asked to do more sports, relax etc. “No time”.

But a couple of years ago, I had a friend executive who was equally busy — came back from his daily yoga routine. I asked him how he managed to squeeze that in — and his answer changed me. “If you cannot find 1 hour for yourself each day, what kind of a miserable life are you living?”

Since then, I have made time for sports. Three or four times a week. It can be done. The result? Less stressed, more productive and much much fitter.”

#6 - Embrace Your Perfectly, Imperfect Body
Laura Wong - Storyteller, The Picha Project

Having scoliosis made me very conscious of my odd curves — the way my back sticks out and how the hips are not aligned. I’ve never dared to wear a bikini in my life. I always thought “if only my back gets straighter, then I will wear a bikini.”

Some of you may be thinking “What’s the big deal? It’s just a bikini.” But it has taken me years to finally wear one out.

I got tired of allowing scoliosis to dictate the clothes I can or cannot wear. So I wore a bikini for the first time in!

Was it difficult? Heck, yes! As I was walking out in the bikini, I kept thinking about what others might think or say. In fact when this picture was being taken, I was telling my friend to shoot it at an angle which makes which makes my back look less crooked. After like 50 shots, I think she got pretty annoyed and she said, “Girl, nobody can even tell! And so what if they did?”

Then it hits me — the most cruel and judgemental person around is no one but myself. At that point, I stopped overthinking and start enjoying the moment instead. Wearing that bikini has taught me to embrace my body and that made me feel I had accomplished something I had waited years to do.

I still have scoliosis and a back that is crooked. But the difference is that I’ve learned to embrace my perfectly, imperfect body. It’s taken me a long time, but I’m slowly learning to love my body where it’s at. I may be bent, but I am not broken.

#7 - Work less, love yourself more!
Loredana Padurean - Associate Dean, Asia School of Business

We live in a society that glorifies stress and extreme work hours at the cost of quality of life. And just like everyone else, I work too much and I don’t play enough.

Because of technology, my work hours are blurred and they insinuate into my evenings, weekends, vacations days, personal time. So this combination makes it hard for someone like me for example to justify time off. Especially when my time off doesn’t include any cool activities such as soul cycling, climbing or hiking, volunteering, or anything else that you see on Instagram that makes you feel inadequate.

My favorite time off activities are very uncool: I am the absolute couch potato! When I can, I binge watch countless Netflix shows, I trail social media, I take long baths. Things that one could call “wasting time”.

But last year I decided that my “wasted time” is valuable for me, because is my recharging time. And just like a phone that needs to be plugged in to work, I need to recharge in my way and stop feeling bad about it. It may not be “instagenic” but it doesn’t mean is less valuable.

So my advice is, if it makes you happy (and healthy) it can’t be that bad! So, walk into less self- critical and love yourself more!

#8 - Complete a Full / Half Marathon
Jan Wong - Founder, OpenMinds resources

Regular exercise is probably something most of us have in our resolutions anyway but without a goal, that’s likely to fail — simply because there’s just too many reasons (or excuses).

What I have done is to commit to something in advance like a paid race! The monetary investment, the unavoidable deadline and the clear reward is pretty much what is needed to get me moving. Plus, the process builds discipline and focus which will in turn become a habit over time.

#9 - Prioritise Health Above All Else
Rocyie Wong - PSORIASIS Fighter & Founder, Project Naked & Safe Space

Sometimes a life-changing resolution can be as simple as just being consistent with ONE action. In, I decided to prioritise my health above all else. Instead of rushing myself to get a full time job, I took the year off just focusing on my body and its recovery.

Not going to hide the truth, It has been a roller coaster ride since, even until this day. Nevertheless, the act of setting my daily goals — which includes working out & drinking one glass of green juice everyday — had made all the difference. My body felt incredible on most days!

Having struggled with an autoimmune disease for half of my life kind of put things into perspective — enabling me to focus on things that truly matter in the long run. Of course, I am sharing this because it is a totally achievable new year resolution that can change your life, so give it a shot!

These 9 amazing Picha Heroes have shown us the power of setting a resolution that really matter — whether it’s for your self-growth, health or self-growth — and sticking to it.

The results? It changed their lives, and it can change yours too!

So as we march into a new year, here’s one question that will get our to a more impactful start:

“What is the ONE CHANGE I need to make in my life this year?”

Whatever you decided on, find a way to make it work and stick to it. If you do this, we’re sure that by this time next year — your life will be changed.

May be a of growth and breakthrough for all of us. Happy New Year, Picha Heroes!