27 March 2023

New Year Resolutions Don’t Work: Make One Bold Move Instead for 2022

Year after year we consistently see New Year’s resolutions that do not stand the test of time provide positive outcomes or even be enjoyable for the resolutionist. Depending on the study conducted we find that:

“80-90% of New Year’s resolutions do not work”

The reasons behind this are generally simple:

  • Lack of planning – is the outcome realistic or achievable?
  • No accountability – Does anyone else care if you fail?
  • Change feels like a burden – Do you really want to make this resolution work are you doing it for someone else or simply because you ‘feel like you should’
New years resolutions rarely work

So even if we know that these resolutions are unlikely to be successful why do we keep doing them?

Is there a better alternative?
  • It allows us to convince ourselves that we ‘tried our best’ even after failing catastrophically time after time.
  • We can tell others and boast about how good we are by ‘giving up sugar’ or ‘running every day’… Even if we love a bit of chocolate or hate running and have bad knees.
  • There’s no better alternative

Well it turns out that there is an alternative and one which will be achievable and incredibly valuable… but also challenging, scary and way outside of your comfort zone.

This alternative is:

“Instead of a NY Resolution make a commitment to achieving ‘one bold move’ in the upcoming year” – Dominick Quartuccio

Simple? Yes. Difficult? Let’s find out…

In this blog post we will be covering the following:

What is a Bold Move?

The power of a one bold move is in it’s simplicity:

It is the commitment to achieve one thing in the calendar year which brings your excitement, enjoyment and development.

What you choose is completely personal to you, your situation and you stage of life so therefore it is critically important that this goal is for the benefit of yourself first and foremost (if it happens to secondhandedly benefit others then great).

The idea of completing ‘One Bold Move’ originated with Dominick Quartuccio and I first heard of it in Choose FIs podcast (EP 355) which I highly recommend checking it out here. This post will be based around his mastermind session so credit to the ideas and method should go to him and not myself. The Choose FI link will also have access to a recorded copy of the mastermind session if you prefer

A bold move should be something which:

  • Provides you with a spark of excitement
  • Scares you or at least makes you nervous
  • Is outside of your comfort zone
  • Feels like an adventure
  • Is not something you feel you ‘should do’. If it is then throw it out and start again – You’re better than that.
  • Is impossible to achieve unless you change the direction of your life (E.g. Your bold move shouldn’t be: ‘complete year 2 of my degree’ – The bold move would have been committing to and undertaking year 1’)

Some examples of bold move ideas are:

  • Achieve a physical goal – Climb Everest, cycle across a country, trek the Amazon
  • Start and launch your own website
  • Sell your first product
  • Create your first YouTube Video
  • Take a sabbatical year and backpack the world
  • Write a book
  • Begin an online degree
  • Complete an adventure – Drive 10,000 miles from the UK to Mongolia without support in The Mongol Rally

The most interesting example of a bold move idea is my friend Danny from Not Today Blog who is planning to row across the Atlantic with a friend in 2023 for charity. If that’s not a bold move then I don’t know what is. Read more about the row here and if you’re feeling generous then I’m sure he would appreciate a donation.

During the mastermind session Dominic Quartuccio gave a list of his bold moves from the last 10 years:

Why a Bold Move Will Change Your Life

I know what you’re thinking… “Is doing just one thing in an entire year really likely to change your life?”

Well the answer is yes if you choose the right idea

Think about some of the best experiences in your life; how many of them happened because you made one commitment? Maybe you:

Backpacking tours are amazing and so worth it

Unlike New Years Resolutions (which are a drag), one bold move will be an adventure which should light you up with excitement and joy. This alone will make you so much more likely to complete the experience.

By choosing, working towards and achieving a bold move your life will likely become drastically different. Let’s talk through some common examples and their potential outcomes:

Launch Your Own Website

  • Learn computer skills which will benefit you in many walks of life and career
  • Begin to help and benefit others
  • Build a network of people around you
  • Eventually work towards monetising the website and creating a new stream of income
  • Turn the website into a business
  • Quit your dull day job and focus full time on your new business/website

Take a Sabbatical Year and Travel – 5 Steps to Taking a Career Break

  • Meet amazing friends
  • Meet your new and future partner
  • Unlock a passion you never knew existed within you
  • See the beauty of this world
  • Remove prejudices from your life
  • Learn and personally develop
  • Be in the right place for new opportunities –possibly a new businesses idea/partner
  • Recharge and come back with a drive and passion to succeed

Physical Challenge – Rowing the Atlantic

  • Confidence – If you can achieve this is there any challenge that you won’t attempt?
  • Increase in fitness and health – If maintained then a higher quality of life and improved life expectancy
  • Talking point and interest of others
  • Make friends preparing for journey, with partner and other competitors
  • Impress potential future employers

By completing whatever excites you most in a year your life’s path will be altered slightly and further towards what you want to achieve and experience. It will also hopefully be the most enjoyable, satisfying and fulfilling part of your year.

Now if that’s what one bold move can do just imagine how huge the impact of completing a bold move every year for the rest of your life will be. Start early enough and you can achieve 30-40 bold moves and experience, obtain and enjoy everything (and more) that you’ve ever wanted.

Rowing the Atlantic Challenge

How to Find Your Bold Move

Finding the best and most suitable bold move for your year can be difficult and frustrating if no method is applied. Therefore follow the below steps and you will have a small number of great ideas to choose from in no time.

Step 1 – Identify areas in your life which are ready for a ‘level up’

Before choosing a bold move which will allow you to develop, improve and have fun you need to first identify which areas in your life are ready for this and which areas you have a desire to ‘level up’.

In order to achieve this you must first break your life down into areas. These could be (feel free to add additional):

  • Health and fitness
  • Partner
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Workplace/job
  • Personal Development
  • Travelling
  • Hobby
  • Sport

Go through this list and determine whether these are areas that you feel are ready to be improved and ‘levelled up’, or if you are comfortable with how they currently exist.

To help know whether the next level is calling consider whether:

  • You start to feel a pull towards something more E.g. Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. For the last 10 years I’ve wanted to take a break from work and explore SE Asia. Do I have it in me to complete a physical challenge.
  • What once lit your fire… no longer interests you
  • You feel restless and unsatisfied with a part of your life (even if it is ‘going well’)
  • You feel a burning desire to realise more of your potential
  • You have recurring dreams about something that will not subside

In order to reach through and ‘level up’ it is likely that you will need to smash through your comfort ceiling.

“Everything you want in life is outside of your comfort zone – otherwise you would already have it” – Alan Donegan

Find ways to push through the restraints of your comfort ceiling and your next level will begin to come within reach. By knowing what makes you feel comfortable you can go out and deliberately bust these:

  • Attachments – What you enjoy (friends, food, feeling of safety, job security etc.)
  • Aversions – temporary failure, criticisms, short term sacrifice for term gains.
  • Drifting – habits, insecurities, status quo
  • Lone wolfing – When you try to do something alone it is a slow and incomplete journey. As well as this you often do not have the skills and drive to do it without help.

You don’t need to do what makes your unhappy – you just need to do what makes you feel uncomfortable.

From here hopefully you will have determined 1 to 3 areas of your life which you feel are ready to ‘level up’.

Step 2 – Identify standout moments from the previous year which light you up

To help you find what you want to achieve in the future it is best to look into the recent past for inspiration. By identifying your previous years highlights you will begin to get a picture of what you love, enjoy and want more of whilst gaining bold move ideas as these highlights produce a spark of excitement.

The quickest, easiest and most effective way to find your personal yearly highlights is to simply review all of the photos on your phone for the year (taken and received) and when a picture gives you a spark of excitement or a moment of enjoyment either screenshot it or move it to a separate folder.

These moments can be either ‘macro’ or ‘micro’; all that’s important is that they produce a spark within you.

  • Macro – Holiday, completing degree, wedding, running a marathon, hiking trip, football match, learning to sail etc.
  • Micro – Special meal with significant other, day with parent/grandparent, watching your son play rugby, book you read, party you attended etc.

All that matters is that you look at a picture and think “I want more of that”.

From the list of photos which produce a spark you now have to become ruthless and remove more until you are left with between 5-10 images. Personally I brought my list down to 5 and the easiest way I found to achieve this was to eliminate one if there was another similar photo. E.g. I didn’t need two photos of me and my girlfriend from our trip to Italy as they both brought back similar memories.

Once completed try to answer these personal questions:

  1. What were your standout macro moments?
  2. What were your standout micro moments?
  3. What lit you up?
  4. What themes were there?
  5. Where were the places you went?
  6. Who were the people in your photos?
  7. What do you want more of?
  8. What/who/where was missing?

Answer these questions after looking at your previous years highlights and you should have bold move ideas jumping out all over the place.

Step 3 – Use identified areas and standout moments to determine your next bold move

Assuming you have followed the above steps you will now be aware of:

  • Areas in your life that you want to ‘level up’
  • What brought you the most joy in the previous year

From here write down each area of your life which needs to be levelled up and 5 to 10 bold ideas that would help you to smash through your comfort ceiling.

You should end up with something similar to the below example:

FamilyFitness/ChallengePersonal DevelopmentBusiness/Workplace
#1Spend a week together in a campervanCanoe the Colarado River (Grand Canyon)Complete a in person course on public speakingStart a side hustle
#2Spend every Sunday with my childrenRow the AtlanticJoin a mastermindCreate a website
#3Spend two weeks alone with my partner – no WIFI, no phoneSki a black diamond runStart an online degreeApply for a career break
#4Spend a month sailing the Mediterranean togetherComplete a 10km run and raise £1000 for charitySign up for and attend ToastmastersCreate my first blog post
#5Visit somewhere new together every monthCycle a section of the Tour de France (when open to amateurs)Read one new book every weekFind a business partner
#6Learn photography togetherComplete 100 consecutive pushupsSpend 3 months backpacking aloneInvest in a buy to let property
#7Teach my children how to campHike to Everest base campBecome debt freeQuit my job
#8Take a relationship and intimacy courseTravel to the Arctic and enter a dog sled raceWrite a bookStart a job in another country
#9Complete the Mongol RallyStart a podcastSell a product
#10Hire someone for my business
You do not need to come up with as many as ideas as this…

From the list you have created you now need to choose your ONE bold move. This is the bold move on the list which most lights you up, most fills you with excitement and most makes you want to start straight away. It is however imperative that you only choose one idea. These two quotes from Gary Keller will give you an idea why:

“Can only be one ‘most important’ thing”

“The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do”

Don’t be afraid of the bold move which is most attracting you, fear is likely indicating that the move is bold enough to be suitable.

It may take time to choose or it may be obvious but do not pick your bold move for the benefit of somebody else. New Year resolutions fail because they are ‘I should do this’ – don’t make the same mistake with your bold move.

How to Hold Yourself Accountable

Assuming you have made it this far you should now be in possession of your bold move idea for the coming year. However all of this is mostly pointless and a waste of time if no action is ever taken to achieve the desired outcome.

In order to ensure this doesn’t happen it is essential that measures are put in place to hold yourself accountable. Some techniques you can use to help are:

Declare it publicly

Get out there and tell people

Whether we pretend otherwise or not we all hate to fail… and worse than that is failing in front of other people. Unfortunately this is one of the biggest reasons for not trying something new and outside of your comfort zone.

To turn this into a benefit for yourself you need to declare your bold move publicly to either those around you that you care about… or everyone (if suitable).

Once your bold move is declared those around you will be engaged, interested and more importantly… expecting you to complete or at least attempt to complete. Give up and you will no longer just be letting yourself down.

Find an accountability partner

Too many of us feel like it is important to ‘lone wolf’ our life, do everything ourselves and either succeed or fail in solitude. Personally this is something I am guilty of and I know I need to try harder to find people who are undertaking similar tasks (such as beginning a blog).

With an accountability partner you will have someone there who:

  • Can discuss ideas and problems
  • Will encourage you when you encounter bumps in the road
  • You do not want to let down
  • Can give advice
  • Potentially has more experience in what you are trying to complete

If you ever want to do something (perhaps go for a 5km run) make a promise with a friend and give her/him a time to meet (8am). The chance of you completing that run will be far higher as you won’t want to let your friend down.

Raise money for charity

I raised around £700 and it helped me to commit to a challenge

Raising money for charity makes you highly accountable and is one of the best strategies for seeing something through. Of course this only works for certain bold move ideas (unlikely to get many charitable donations for spending two weeks alone with your partner) but if suitable then it is a great avenue to explore.

Once you have people’s donations in your pockets you also have their expectations to succeed. To this day I’ve not known a person return donations because ‘they didn’t want to do it anymore’ or ‘it’s too hard’.

Commit monetarily

A simple way to make yourself more likely to complete a bold move is to make yourself monetarily culpable if you do not. This could be in the form of:

  • Sign up for a course and pay upfront
  • Hire a personal trainer and pay upfront
  • Give X amount of money to someone you trust and each time you don’t complete the next step (training session, Sunday with children etc.) they donate part of it to a charity of your choosing.

How to Stack Bold Moves

Like investing in the stock market the truly incredible power of bold moves comes from compounding. One solitary bold move may have a small effect on the outcome and direction of your life but completing one every year will improve your existence by orders of magnitude.

Even better each bold move you complete will give you the confidence to complete an even bolder move the following year. Do this enough and you’ll be attempting and achieving things that you never thought possible in all walks of your life.

Just because you are unable to walk 2km now doesn’t mean you can’t trek the entire Andes mountain range within a few years.

Stacking bold moves is simple – just repeat the process you just did at the start of each and every year and make sure to focus on what gives you a spark at that particular time.

What you want to avoid

If you’ve read the entirety of this post you probably have a good idea of how not to complete this exercise… but to recap:

Avoid lone wolfing – find an accountability partner
  • Do it for yourself – Your bold move is YOUR bold move. If you choose something because it will benefit somebody else then the chance of completing it and it being worthwhile drops dramatically. Everyone deserves adventure and enjoyment. Be selfish.
  • Don’t limit yourself – If you choose a bold move that isn’t a challenge then what you get out of it will be of little value. If you easily complete 10k runs twice a week then signing up for a half marathon probably isn’t a worthwhile choice. Smash that comfort ceiling!
  • Don’t be afraid to fail – Bold moves are supposed to scare you, they’re supposed to make you question how you will achieve them and they’re supposed to make you adjust your life to suit.
  • Doing it all alone – Find an accountability partner who will help you, guide you and support you. This will work even better if they attempt their own bold move so you can return the favour.

My bold move idea

It would be a little hypocritical of me to write this blog post without attempting the exercise first so that is exactly what I have done as well as watching the recording of the live mastermind session.

The action of reviewing my year’s photos was by far my most enjoyable part and even if you go no further you will find just that action beneficial.

The photos I ended with were:

  • Myself and my girlfriend walking through the streets around Lake Como in Italy
  • Myself and my brother at Wembley watching England in the Euro 2021 Semi Final
  • My Nan and Grandma together
  • All my friends together at a wedding
  • The view from the back of my ‘borrowed’ parents campervan a night on the English coast

Some of these photos are not particularly well taken or interesting to others but to myself they brought back memories and a spark of excitement.

One other photo that helped me during this exercise was a picture my brother took of me in hospital. I had had an ‘episode’ with my heart and the picture brought back memories of myself in hospital and ambulance as well as the worry of those around me. Thankfully it seems I won’t be dying anytime soon but the picture gave me the confidence to push for a challenging bold move.

So the bold move I chose:

Area to ‘level up’ – Business and Career

7 Options I created to choose from:

  1. Make a commitment to leave my employment and spend at least a year backpacking

My Bold Move:

“Make a commitment to leave my employment and spend at least a year backpacking”

Currently my place of work is exploring the option of redundancy for some (but also needs to maintain certain employment levels) and this is something I will try to take advantage of. If I am not guaranteed redundancy within a reasonable time period then I will leave in 2023.

It’s time for me to leap into the unknown


Completing this exercise is hugely interesting, valuable and worthwhile. It will leave you feeling a sense of purpose, adventure and knowing what you need to achieve in the next 12 months. It has given me something to work towards and look forward to which I know will benefit me in the long run…. But up until now I had been two afraid to commit to.

Take the time to sit down and complete the exercise to the best of your ability and surprise yourself with the bold move you discover within yourself.

A quick summary of the exercise is:

  • Identify areas of your life that are ready for a ‘level-up’ – These will likely be areas of your life in which you have great interest or gave you enjoyment in life but have turned stale. You can choose one area or multiple
  • Review your year in pictures – Go through all of the pictures in your phone (or elsewhere) and screenshot/save to folder all of those which give you a spark of excitement
  • Reduce the photos to 5-10 – Be ruthless and honest and cut those which do not pull their weight
  • Answer the personal questions in Step 2
  • Find your bold move ideas – For each area of life you identified as ready to ‘level-up’ determine 5-10 bold move ideas
  • Choose your bold move idea – Take your time and review all the ideas you have written down. Choose whichever fills you with the most excitement and ignore any fears.
  • Make yourself accountable – Use the strategies outlined here to make your chances of success much higher
  • Understand what to avoid – Use these tips to avoid pitfalls and difficulties
  • My bold move – If you’re interested in the outcome I gained from this exercise it can be seen here

Do the exercise yourself, encourage somebody around you to do the same and become each other’s accountability partner.

I would love know what your bold move for this year is in the comments below 🙂


A 28 year old project engineer with a passion for travelling, financial literacy and learning new skills. I'm hoping that by running this blog I can track my path from corporate worker to backpacking adventurer.

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3 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions Don’t Work: Make One Bold Move Instead for 2022

  1. This blog post!!! Thanks for the shoutout! I 100% agree that new years resolutions don’t work. I quit doing them a few years ago. I usually have these moments throughout the year where it is suddenly clear to me what big thing I am going to attempt next. So, I have my bold move for 2023, but that doesn’t mean that there is no space to have one for this year too haha. I already have something in mind, but let’s see if it is big enough. Yours is huge!! I’m sure you’ll make it happen. I’ll be back in this comment section with my move for this year.

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