How do you feel about them? Do they feel exciting because of a fresh start, or kind of sad because you know you will fail pretty soon?
Well, what about this? What if you could stomp into the new year with confidence? Just like a 2-yr old happily stomps into the day?
Here are suggestions for REAL SUCCESS!
ONE: Make a list.
What’s on your mind?
What do you wish you could change?
What do you WANT to change?
What seems to always get run over by the traffic in your life?
And what exactly are the benefits of making a list anyway? Glad you asked!
It’s a “blurt” or a “barf” of all those churning thoughts that inspire, excite, depress, overwhelm, and all together drive you crazy – all out on paper, where you can see them for what they are!
They’re out of your head, you’ve acknowledged them, and now you can choose what is really important to you.
TWO: Quick glance – which are the harder ones, and which are just nice to have, be, or do.
We think of resolutions as things that are hard to do, like “losing weight” (super common after festive eating). But resolutions are also the things that you really like and want to do such as…seeing your best friend more often or taking up ________ (fill in the blank).
Back to your list:
Draw squares around the hard-to-do stuff and
circles around the fun/hope/wish-list stuff.
THREE: Pick TWO things, one from the serious, “I really need to make a change” list, and one from the “I would love to do this!” list.
What are your top contenders? What makes you feel excited?
Here’s a TIP: Pick the EASIEST one from both lists!
Seriously! We tend to set goals that are so vague, challenging, or hard that they are not actually achievable, kind of like most of our food resolutions: never eating sugar again; losing 20 lbs really fast, always eating “healthy”.
For most of us, these are guaranteed failures waiting to happen.
What about simplifying with a different approach?
One sugary treat a day. That’s definitely less that most of us consume! Already a gain!
Losing one pound every week or two. Much more within reach than however many pounds to our perceived ideal weight (which btw, is usually less than a healthy weight!)
Try switching out one unhealthy food item for one that is good, and you really like.
This more moderate approach won’t have the drama of a cold-turkey change but your chances of long-term success are higher.
And guess what?
Success leads to more success,
because when we feel encouraged, we want to do even more and, remember, all the little bits add up.
FOUR: Give yourself a manageable timeline and recognize your successes!
New year’s resolutions feel hard because January 1st only comes once a year, expectations are high, and a year can feel like a self-imposed life sentence that you can opt out of whenever you feel like giving up.
So, what about a goal just for January? You can look at it again around Feb 1st.
If a month feels like its too long, make it two weeks, or one.
The point is that you can choose what you would like to change and on a timeline that suits you and helps you experience success.
“No sugar ever” is a killer. Sugar once a day for a week is do-able and you might like to do it again for another week. A few more of those, and you have a new and happy habit.
So, what is it? What would you like to do?
Here are some thoughts from my “resolution lists”:
I have a new business that is now full time, and when I’m not careful, this feels totally overwhelming, with thoughts like, “What if I’m an absolute failure?” This change in my life means learning to deal with fear, and that is a one-day-at-a time goal. I can’t even think about making it through to next New Years, and quite frankly, not even to the end of the first month of this year. But one day at a time, I can manage.
I want to spend more time with the friends and family that I love. I have been too busy, overworked, and flat-out exhausted to do that for over four years and I want to make a change. This is a one week or month at a time goal – I have a list of things that I want to do with my family, and of people that I would like to see. I can refer to it to plan what I can do and when, and gradually accomplish my list.
Year-long/lifetime goals: The top and over-riding goal for me is to be patient with the process of my life. I can’t know, do, or act upon knowledge, wisdom, and gains that I will have in the future. I can only do what is within reach today. Which leads me to the rest of my list, and this is number five:
FIVE: The Underwear Drawer List:
“Be more kind, don’t make the bed everyday, be patient, thoughtful, wise, floss my teeth everyday, drive more patiently, eat more veggies, cut my hair more often, learn to play better with the youngest people in my life, keep the car clean, go to bed earlier, exercise regularly, shop less, get rid of unnecessary stuff, drink more water etc.”
For me, these are all a journey. Not things that I will rigidly hold myself to in a current idea of perfection today. That’s just a waste of time, energy, and self-esteem.
But they’re in the back of my mind, blurted out on a scrap of paper, and, here is my suggestion to you:
Put that piece of paper in your underwear drawer – if you have one. (I don’t – it’s an underwear box!)
The thoughts are out of your system, letting you concentrate on your top choices, but they are still present in your life.
Every now and again – and on a good day – pull the list out and look it over, and smile at the day-to-day growth that you probably didn’t notice. Just having it there and occasionally looking at it will do more than you can know, and I’ll bet that you will subconsciously put the things on that list into practice – bit-by-bit – all towards one glorious, thriving whole! This might, in the end, be the best list of all!
Go for success! HAVE FUN! Confidently stomp into your new year, new month, new week, or your new day! You can do this!
- Make a quick list.
- Mark the items with a square or circle, or highlight, so you can see easily the hard stuff and the fun/hope/wish-list stuff.
- Pick one thing from each list, the ones that will bring the quickest success.
- Set a reasonable time-line, one that makes sense to you, and most importantly, is achievable.
- Store the rest in your underwear drawer/box for occasional review and ongoing growth.