I love the fresh start each new year brings.
Like many people, I certainly spent years making New Year’s Resolutions, only to find that I failed to keep them. Sometimes I’d even make (and fail at) the same resolution over multiple years! Sound familiar?
Today, 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. This 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 . . .|
|1||Notice 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 this past 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.
|2||Make a laundry list of goals or resolutions you can easily turn into obligations, tasks or “must not’s”.|
E.g. “I need to fall asleep faster, so I have to do 30-minutes of yoga every night before going to bed.”
|Ask yourself what it is you most wish or desire for yourself: what is the outcome you truly want?|
E.g. “I’d like to wake feeling refreshed in the morning and have consistent energy throughout the day.”
|3||Take action on your intention and schedule your activities immediately.|
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, or trying yoga would be a more enjoyable way to move more.
|4||Commit to doing everything all at once or for a really long period of time.|
You may have multiple intentions that are fantastic! Maybe you’re a great multi-tasker. You may be highly motivated: for NOW.
|Commit to doing ONE thing, for less time than you think you can and for a short period of time.|
E.g. I’ll be starting on a new project this year at work, which requires a different schedule. For the first week I’ll pay attention to how the new hours affect my morning routine. Then I’ll play with some adjustments to keep what I really need to feel ready for the day.
|5||Meticulously track yourself and beat yourself up if you don’t do exactly what you’d planned.|
Does telling your colleague, your pet, your significant other, 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!).
What are YOUR intentions for the new year?