New Year’s Resolutions for a Better World

By Alekzandr Wray , Youth Leadership Manager

For many, the start of a new year marks an opportunity to make a change: from undoing bad habits to working towards becoming a better person for yourself, your family and the community at large. This fresh start is often accompanied by goals, aspirations, or resolutions. These are the most common resolutions for 2015 (from 


  • Improve health (lose weight, quit smoking, get fit, eat healthy, manage stress, drink less coffee)
  • Improve self (get a better education, get a better job, save money, manage debt) 
  • Improve the world (volunteer to help others, recycle)


The most popular resolutions, year after year, focus heavily on self-improvement. Sometimes, before we can focus on bigger goals, we have to be the best possible version of ourselves. This is why OneWorld Now! leadership curriculum progresses from personal leadership and social-identity development through a series of experiential workshops to culminate in sessions focused on our role in the world as global citizens. 

OneWorld Now! challenges students to always work towards the best version of themselves while taking into account the bigger picture. Do you want to improve yourself? Great! You can focus on personal goals while also pursuing goals that make a better community and world for all of us.

Step 1: Write a list of your personal goals. Try to keep your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound).

Example: In 2015, I want to be less critical of myself and focus more on my strengths. 

Step 2: Write a list of issues or current events that you feel passionate about.  

Example: I’m really bothered by the lack of access to arts based opportunities in my community. 

Step 3: Connect the dots by thinking outside the box. How does your goal tie into the bigger picture? 

Example: In order to be less critical of myself, I should find a creative outlet to explore and celebrate my strengths. Maybe my local community center has a writing program. Or, maybe, there’s a poetry night for teenagers where I could help youth find their voice! My goal for 2015 is to participate in a writing circle or open mic night once every two weeks and to volunteer for youth poetry workshops once a month.

We can reach our goals while simultaneously making a positive impact on our community. When the outcomes of our goals have a direct positive impact on others, we feel accountable. Unlike many new years resolutions that usually don’t make it past two months, when we’re accountable to others we are more motivated to see our goals through to fruition. 

Ready to get started? Your tenacity, passion, and dedication are needed. Share your world-changing resolutions with us in the comment section below. Or try the brief exercise below from the OneWorld Now! Leadership curriculum.

OneWorld Now! Workshop: Externalizing your Little Hater

OneWorld Now! facilitates a workshop called “Little Hater,” where our students learn to confront the negative voices in their heads. These are the voices that say “you can’t do it” or “you’re not worthy” etc. When we can recognize these voices and understand where they are coming from, we can take over and reshape them into the affirmative. 

Interested in exploring your Little Hater? Check out YouTube videos by Ill Doctrine, aka Jay Smooth, and follow the instructions below to begin working with your Little Hater.

Instructions: In this part of the Little Hater Workshop, students will externalize their own Little Haters using several different methods. Try each method out for yourself. The awareness of your own Little Hater will support you in moving forward confidently on your goals and resolutions.


  1. Visualization –> Imagine it.
  2. What does your Little Hater look like? –> Draw it.
  3. How does it act? –> Describe it.
  4. What does it say to you? –> Write it.
  5. What’s your relationship with your Little Hater? –> Act it. Reenact an experience with Little Hater.


Next time your Little Hater speaks out, shout back. Over time, the block to positive thinking will fade away. 

Further reading on resolutions:

  • “One of the Best Goal Setting Exercises” by LifeHack
  • “Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail” by Psychology Today
  • “Harvard Psychologist Explains the Major Reason New Year’s Resolutions Fail” by Huffington Post
  • “The Science of Setting Goals” by