Raise Your Resolutions to a Higher Plane: 5 Do’s & Don’ts for New Year Planning

I love the fresh start each new year brings.

Like many people,  I certainly spent years making resolutions, only to find that I failed at keeping them. Sometimes I’d even make (and fail at) the same resolution over multiple years!

I no longer make resolutions the same way. The changes I made to how I think about this time of year helps me stay connected to my desires all year long: and that translates into acting in ways that help me achieve what I dream of!

Here are 5 do’s and don’ts for your New Year planning:

#Don’t . . .Instead . . .
1Notice all the things that had gone wrong in the prior year, thinking “good riddance!”.

This is presently in-fashion, and it’s not productive or useful.

If you faced challenges last year, consider what lessons you learned, who you met, what positive outcomes came as a result, and be grateful for them.

Say goodbye to the prior year with respect. Ask (and express readiness for) experiences that will take you to the next level as a person.

2Make a laundry list of goals or resolutions you can easily turn into obligations, tasks or “must not’s”.

E.g. “I want to lose 30 pounds, so I will not eat out more than 3x per week and I will hit the company gym every weekday before going home.”

Ask yourself what it is you most wish or desire for yourself: what is the outcome you truly want?

E.g. “I want to feel beautiful in my body.” or “I want to move all the energy I currently place on thinking about food, weight, my and my body to contributing my highest gifts to the world”.”

3Take action on your intention and schedule your activitiesimmediately.

E.g. Sign up for a gym membership on January 1 because you intend to move more (and there’s that special deal!).

Find some quiet time to be with your intention, so you can discover more (potentially better) options.

E.g. Perhaps learning to dance, trying Tai Chi, finding a hiking group, or learning to swim would be more enjoyable.

4Commit to doing everything all at once.

You may have multiple intentions that are fantastic! You may be a great multi-tasker. You may be highly motivated: right now.

Commit to doing ONE thing, for less time than you think you can.

E.g. I’d like to stay grounded, focused, and courageous as I face some challenges I know are coming. I’d really like to practice yoga at home every single day because I know it would help me. I commit to practicing 3x/week.

5Meticulously track yourself and beat yourself up if you don’t do exactly what you’d planned.

Does telling your colleague, your pet, your SO, etc. they suck because they neglected to do something make them want to do it next time?

By all means track–I use a simple check-mark on a wall calendar–so you have an idea of what you’re actually doing.

At the end of the week, gently remind yourself of your intention and why you want the outcome. If you notice you’re not doing what you want, try again. If after a few weeks you don’t feel internally motivated, perhaps what you really want is something else (and that’s ok!).

So, what are YOUR intentions for the new year?

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