You are going to like this one. I am going to give you permission to let go of your New Year’s resolutions! Isn’t that fantastic!? All that pressure gone…poof! People have been asking me over the last week or so if I have written my New Year’s Resolutions yet and I realized it put a bad taste in my mouth and instantly gave me this weird anxiety feeling. So I am doing what anyone would do who wants to rid themselves of any uncomfortable feeling; I am banishing it from my life.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am ALL about goal setting. You must have a goals in your life to move forward in anything. If you are out there floundering with no plan, it does not work. I just feel that the word “resolution” is not the correct word to use anymore and because it has been the chosen term for this huge undertaking that we start each new year off with, it is like a giant weight on our shoulders. No wonder they don’t last through January.
You hear a lot these days about “paradigm shifts” and “reframing”. I will get into that more later this year, but for now let’s just say we are going to look at the idea of resolutions with new eyes….fresh 2016 eyes! Are you ready?
- Start a New Year’s tradition: I will begin by telling you what my family and I do each New Year’s Day. I really look forward to it and it lights me up. Every year, we write 4-5 things we want to get rid of from our lives that were not serving us over the last year. For example, your list could be procrastination, unhealthy eating, negative self talk and inactivity. (Keep in mind it might not be a good idea to put a person on your list no matter how much you want them out of your life. You don’t want any bad karma to start your year off with!). After we write these down, we tie them to a rock with biodegradable twine. We love to start our New Year’s day off with a walk in nature so we take our rock on our walk with us. When we come upon the most perfect spot (usually up on a high cliff), we say a little prayer and good riddance and we chuck the rock and all its negativity out into the ocean. And then just let it go…don’t give it another thought. Trust that it is gone from your life. Done! (If you don’t live near the ocean you could burn the piece of paper in a fireplace instead).
- Set an intention for how you want to BE and FEEL this year: Sadly, we have become “human doings” instead of human beings. We go, go, go and do, do, do, never slowing down to even consider if what we are doing is really what we want to be doing. I suggest sitting outside in nature today with a pen and notebook and give some deep thought as to who you want to BE this year. Do you want to BE a writer? Do you want to BE love and kindness? Do you want to BE someone who serves? Then think about how you can go about being that person and write down everything you can think of that will help you to become that person. In another column, write down how you want to FEEL this year as you are becoming this human being. If you want to FEEL happy think about what actually makes you happy. What were your happiest moments and how can you recreate those? Dig deep.
- Think of three words for the year: What are three words that at the end of 2016 will define your year? Use those words as your marker (or mantra) for everything you do throughout the year. Look at what you are doing with your time and ask yourself if it is getting you closer to your chosen words or farther away? If the answer is not closer, then redirect yourself to actions that serve you better. My words last year were ACTION, SELF LOVE and COURAGE. Reflecting back on my year now, I see that I did pretty well keeping those at the forefront of my mind, however, ACTION will have to go on this year’s list again as I need another year to get that one right. Post your words as your screen saver on your computer, phone and anywhere you will see them on a daily basis.
- Use this year to get to know yourself: Maybe as I am saying all this you are thinking that you have no idea who you want to be, how you want to feel or what you want to do with your life. If that rings true for you then use this year as the year to explore inside yourself. A great way to do this is with personality tests such as The Myers Briggs Test or DISC Test. This can really help you look at your strengths and weaknesses to get you closer to what might make you thrive in life. Another great tool for self exploration is your Birth Chart. You must keep an open mind with this one. This is the map of where the planets were aligned on the day you came into this world, giving you a very unique personality that no one else has. I find this fascinating. This will explain to you why you are the way you are, what your interests are and also where conflicts can come up in your life because of the hand you were dealt when you were born. Another way to check in with yourself is through journaling or Morning Pages. Just jot down whatever comes up and let it free flow out of you with no end result in mind. You can learn so much about yourself with this method.
- Tackle the hardest thing first: Do you have an unfinished project that weighs you down every year as you can never quite seem to finish it? I DO!!! It never seems to go away and you wake up on New Year’s Day with it staring you in the face mocking you. UGH! I know you know what I mean. Let me tell you, this one thing is holding you up from getting so much more accomplished in your life. It is a road block for you and you have to face it head on. Make it your one goal for the year and just push through it. Set a deadline and tell someone or put it all over Facebook. I promise once you get it out of the way, your creativity will revitalize and you will be able to move on to other projects and ideas that would not come before because of this one speed bump.
- On the other hand: That being said, that same project I mentioned above….do you even want to finish it anymore? Think about it. Maybe it has been hanging around so long that you really have no interest in it any longer but you feel like you can’t leave it unfinished. Ummm…BS! That is the old school thinking of your pre 2016 self. Give yourself permission to let it go and move on. You will feel so much freer for doing so.
- Start a Happiness Project: Instead of doing resolutions this year, start a Happiness Project. You choose one concept a month you want to work on and focus on that one thing for the entire month. The months build upon each other so that at the end of the year you have 12 new habits you have created. This is a really fun idea to do with a group of people.
- #365Grateful: A few years ago I did a 365 Grateful project on Instagram. Every day you post a picture of something you are grateful for. I have to say, this is one of the best things I ever did in my life. No joke! Being grateful puts you in such a different mind-set and it attracts more things in your life to be grateful for. It really works! It trains your brain to see the world through gratitude and you find yourself looking for things you are grateful for. As a result, it makes you happier and opens you up to all kinds of possibilities. If you are feeling blocked at all, I highly recommend this.
- Learn something new: We are a media hungry world. There is so much out there that it is very overwhelming. You can, however, use media to your advantage. If you are not sure which way to head this year, take an online course. There are a gazillion out there. I have participated in several by the Oprah Network, currently Brendon Burchard’s, Your Next Bold Move. Think of something that maybe you have wanted to explore or work on and look for an online class that fills that need. I also highly recommend podcasts. You can stay motivated and learn so much by listening to daily podcasts. I listen in the car as I drive into town and now I actually look forward to my drive. You can also throw them on your phone and listen to them while working out, killing two birds with one stone! There are so many other apps and websites you can take advantage of to keep yourself on task with working out, eating right, and any other goals you might have this year.
- Get a coach: Accountability is the number one driving force to reaching your goals. Holding ourselves accountable doesn’t always work as we know how to rationalize our way out of a paper bag. This is where a coach can be invaluable to you. As I was taking my coaching course last year, we were required to check in with an accountability coach throughout the entire process and it really helped me stay on task. You are not a failure if you can not do it alone. We all need help. Having a “guide on the side” as your own personal cheerleader is such a comfort and has been proven to work. If you are interested in finding out more about coaching and my programs, CONTACT me here.
I hope this has been helpful. I will be referring back to these myself as I need constant reminders as well. May your year be filled with a sense of serenity, accomplishment and self-worth. My intention for this year is to stay right here with you where we can continue the conversation and help each other through this next adventure that is 2016!
“Show up, tune in, be real, enjoy the ride”