Resolutions fail unless you do these 5 things!
New Year's: An opportunity to start fresh, a whole year stretching out before us, bare of mistakes and failures; a blank page on which to write the next chapter of our lives.
Yet many of us feel a sense of foreboding, of doom or resistance because of New Year's past, because we've made resolutions before and failed to stick to them. We've wanted something so long and not received it that it feels scary to want, scary to hope.
Don't let the past or your imagination of future failure keep you from this rich opportunity to bring intentional change into your life. Now is the time to be true to your commitment this year!
Follow these 5 steps to make your resolutions work for you:
1. Year In Review: Release 2014
A major contributor to failed resolutions and goals is skipping closing the book on the ending year. We barell ahead, dragging our feelings, accomplishments and disappointments forward, like a ball and chain weighing us down.
Instead, make time for reviewing your year and releasing it so you can have the fresh start that will energize and inspire you.
Sit down with pen and paper and write out the following lists for the past year:
- Your accomplishments and successes
- Lessons learned
- What you are ready to release
- People and experiences for which you are grateful
Many of my clients and I find it helpful to start all these lists and then circle back to them over a few days, to let new insights and memories come up. (No you don't have to have this all done by 12/31! I usually start around then and work into the first couple weeks of January)
Once you feel your lists are complete, place your hand on them, take a deep breath and say, "I give thanks for all that transpired this past year. I see and release all the good and bad of this past year. I cut the cord to the past to make space for my present and future."
Some years I save my lists, tuck them away for future review. Other years I burn them, bury them, tear them to shreds. Choose an action that feels right to you.
2. Welcome 2015: What do you want?
With the past out of the way, the new year stretches ahead like virgin snow. Where do you want to go? What change do you want for yourself in this new cycle?
On a fresh page, write out your wants, your goals, your aspirations. Don't edit yet. Let them flow.
Sometimes contemplating what we really want gets our inner critic shouting us down, "Stop! Who do you think you are?" or quietly whispering, "Honey, don't get too excited, keep your feet on the ground." If this happens to you, try approaching your wants with, "I wonder what it would be like to ... " or "What if I could ... " or "Wouldn't it be nice to ... "
Remind yourself that you deserve to connect to and pursue what you want.
3. What do you REALLY want?
- From your brainstorm of wants, circle no more than 4 that are really exciting and important to you.
- Now circle 1 or 2.
- On a fresh page, write out the 1-2 'wants' that you'll commit to for this coming year.
4. Why do you want it?
Contemplate these questions:
- Why do these particular goals matter to you?
- For those that you really want to pursue, what will it mean to accomplish them?
- How will you FEEL when you get there?
For your 1-2 goals, write out why they are imporant to you and the feelings you imagine you'll have on accomplishing them.
Sometimes we find out we have a goal that isn't authentic to us, isn't something we personally want but rather something we feel we 'should' do. Delete the shoulds and choose a goal that is thrilling to you. How you feel about the goal is going to determine it's 'stickiness'—good feeling, good stick.
Pain is said to push us into action and vision is what keeps us there and pulls us forward. Have a clear vision of what it means to accomplish these goals. Place your hand on your goals, take a deep breath and say, "I commit to pursuing these exciting and important goals for myself. I deserve and am worthy to have these wants met in my life."
5. What you gonna do about it? Action!
You've written them down, you know how they'll feel, you've committed. Now take a look at your goal and break it down into actionable steps. Break big goals into small action steps: Writing a novel means writing every week; Losing weight means getting into motion.
Take a look at your daily, weekly schedule and start carving out the time you need to move toward that goal. Be realistic about what it will take and what you can give. Over committing in the beginning can lead to burnout and frustration.
Calendar your commitments: 20 minutes of writing 5 days a week; 3 cardio classes a week.
6. Bonus Step: Get Support
Enlist a friend as an accountability partner and schedule a weekly call to celebrate successes, explore resistances and re-commit.
Hire a professional: Find a personal trainer, nutritionist, or coach, someone who will help you reach your important goal, keep you motivated and encouraged.
Reading this is nice but it won't help you unless you stop and do it. Write down your goals, explore why they matter, commit, make a plan and celebrate! May you look back on 2015 as the year that you reached your thrilling, important goals creating a life you are honored to be living.
Cara Cordoni supports high-achieving women in overcoming the inner-critic, reaching their unique and meaningful goals and creating lives they're thrilled to be living. Sign up for her Stop Blocking Your Own F***ing Power! Kit.
This is also the perfect time to schedule a complimentary Discovery session with Cara.