I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.
They don’t pack a punch.
I mean think about it … how many New Year’s resolutions have you made in your life?
How many did you accomplish?
Like really accomplish.
If you are honest with yourself that # is probably zero … and you likely cannot even remember your 2017 “resolutions”.
The estimate is that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved (University of Scranton Psychology Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D.)
This is not surprising. We start the year off wanting to change ourselves instead of focusing on FEELING better and being better versions of who we already are.
You can find all kinds of advice/blogs/research online on how to “set resolutions that will last” … and there is definitely not one textbook way that works for everyone. It’s all about trial and error. Figuring out what works for you. Yet, there are some big ideas for you to understand first if you want to set yourself up for success.
First – there are two main lines of brain and behavior science that influence New Year’s resolutions: Habits and Self-stories.
That said, none of it matters if you talk to yourself like an absolute jerk.
I believe that whatever follows “I AM” will become your reality.
So, if the soundtrack in your head sounds like this: I am lonely. I am depressed. I am broke. I am annoyed. I am stuck. I am weak. I am afraid.
Then you will be. Period.
Yet, if you can change your soundtrack to sound like: I am healthy. I am brave. I am badass. I am strong. I am committed. I am loved. I am open.
Then you will be. Period.
That’s why creating habits and monitoring self-talk are the first two things you need to understand.
Once you have that down, here are a few more ideas to help you set some goals that you actually make happen:
Dedicate Time to the Process: Most people don’t take the time to really think about what they want to get done, what they want to do different, and how they want to feel in the new year. This is why you end up stuck, safe, and just the same year over year. Most high performers understand the importance of dedicating time to really sit down and set goals for the new year. So, block a couple hours out on your calendar to make this a priority. Get your spouse/partner/family on board. Share your goals and encourage each other. Make a day out of it. I know people who do this on New Year’s Day every year and I also know people who vacation over New Year’s with the entire goal being to set goals with their family for the new year. The bottom line: If you want to change. If you want to get stuff done. If you want to set goals and change your life. Make it a priority and schedule time to take this process seriously.
Chase Feelings, not Goals: I have found it’s much smarter to chase feelings, not goals. So, before you even put pen to paper on what you want to “do”… first spend some time thinking about how you want to feel in 2018. Because 9 times out of 10 what’s on the other side of any goal you set, is a feeling. Start there. How do you want to FEEL in 2018? More joy. At peace. Less stress. Healthier. Lighter. More alive. For example: Say feeling “less stressed” is what you want for 2018 (it’s def one of mine!) then you’d say to yourself, ok, how do I get there? So, I may make some of my goals things like: Say no more. Go on more walks in nature. Only check email once a day. Slow down. Be more strategic. Watch more funny movies. Etc Etc. The point is … chasing feelings is way more rewarding and productive than chasing the goal itself.
Break Your Goals Into 30-day chunks: This is a new idea I’m absolutely obsessed with. I believe that just like 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40 … the MONTH is the new year! There is a lot of research and science around this idea of breaking your yearly goals into 30-day time chunks. So, set some big goals and dreams and ideas for yourself in 2018 then break them down month by month. This is a HUGE secret weapon in setting goals that last. Smaller windows. You won’t get so overwhelmed, you’ll stay really flexible being able to pivot easily, and you’ll stay motivated!! The best part, with each month being a year … you get 12 New Year’s Eve celebrations to reflect and renew for the new month. So reward yourself each month … it’s so much fun, so motivating and will keep you moving forward!
Set a Mantra: Once you’ve figured out how you want to FEEL in 2018 and then put some goals around those feelings … it’s time to set a mantra for yourself. How can you take the big goal or big feeling your chasing and sum it up in a sentence or into a power word? Once you do that, take that mantra and type it up on a colorful piece of paper. Then, print 5-6 copies of it and literally slap that mantra on everything! Your laptop, your desktop, your bathroom mirror, your car dashboard, your iPhone screen saver … all of it! I believe so much in the power of visualization + when you feel stuck or get off track, the reminder will kick you back into action reminding you about why you started in the first place.
(Here is a photo of my 2018 mantra taped to the computer I’m typing this on right now!)
I wish you a happy, healthy, and badass 2018!
Made with Love.
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