The beginning of a new year is an extraordinary opportunity to make positive change and achieve the goals that mean the most to us.
Yet setting New Year’s Resolutions has a bad reputation for a reason. We really mean to make changes, to mention just a few ~
- Join a gym and get fit
- Reduce debt
- More family time
- Practice mindfulness
However, most of us have a string of broken promises that get lost in this crazy busyness. Several years ago Patrick Heij said in the New Yorker magazine that “ . . it’s human nature. Fact: breaking promises is in our DNA.”
We try to laugh it off, but breaking our New Year’s Resolutions is the source of unhappiness, stress, anxiety, and suffering because turning our back on what matters is the stupidest thing we can do. Why? Because doing so weakens our inner confidence as we procrastinate about health, money worries, missed time with loved ones, and pausing to be mindful . . . and so much more.
Many years ago I awoke on New Year’s Day and realized life was whizzing by at an ever-increasing speed and decided once and for all to take my life seriously. If I wanted to make better use of my gifts to make a positive impact on our world, the time was now . . . not tomorrow, next week, or next year.
I needed to change my approach and make a plan for the coming year. I intuitively worked my way through five steps that made sense to me. The year was a happy breakthrough for me. I not only achieved more of what mattered, but I learned helpful lessons along the way. This day was the beginning of our Best Year Yet business.
Five steps achieve your New Year’s Resolutions . . . and so much more
Our resolutions are always nagging at us, yet most important to us. Taking these five steps will guide you not only to achieve your resolutions, but also experience learning and growing as a person.
- Appreciate your successes. We tend to be critical, finding it easier to dwell on what we didn’t do rather than what we did. By recalling your successes you build authentic confidence. I know many people who are no longer devoted to becoming good enough, but focused on how to use their gifts for good. To find your successes ask yourself this question and capture your responses: What did I accomplish?
- Learn your lessons. Consider your accomplishments. What advice would you give yourself to do better? I also find that listing my disappointments is also illuminating and an emotional release. Pretend the failures belong to someone else ~ what advice would you have for him or her? Once you’ve captured your lessons, choose three that would help to achieve your resolutions. Finally shorten each to a memorable piece of advice. For example, one of mine for last year was just one word: Simplify. Everywhere I turned from our money to giving away things I no longer need ~ my life felt transformed. As Henry David Thoreau said: “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe appear less complex.”
- Shift your limiting beliefs and assumptions. Unless we realize our self-limiting negative beliefs we have , we live in a small box that limits what’s possible. Too old? Too stupid? Not good enough to achieve what you want? Ask yourself, What do I say to myself to explain my failures? Trust your wisdom and write down whatever occurs to you. Last year my limiting belief was If I don’t finish my book, I’m not doing what I should to help others. My New Paradigm was This is the perfect moment for me to make a difference. Letting go of the guilt about my book freed me up for a framework of helpfulness to many more people.
- Live your values. Given the events of last year, we saw people who weren’t living their values. What pain they caused! But a better use of our energy is to examine how we’re doing. Ask yourself, What are my personal values? Make a list and score each value on a scale of 1 to 10 on how you’re living each value. Awareness brings its own reward ~ and then you can set your goals in a way that doesn’t conflict with your values.
Set and focus on your top ten goals or resolutions. Having taken these steps you have a fertile environment in which to create the ten goals that matter most to you. For each role you play in your life write a goal that leads to a year that would matter. Last year I didn’t finish writing my new book, but we took our first ever driving holiday. I’ve only met one person who achieved all ten of their annual goals, but whatever you accomplish, you’re way ahead of the days when you let your New Year’s Resolutions diminish and disappear.
I know these five steps make a big difference. If you want to get more serious about your life, I recommend making a Best Year Yet plan for your business or yourself. When you answer its 10 questions, your answers come from the essence of who you are and meanwhile you’ll break through your fears. You will experience a powerful transformation while creating a one-page plan for your life or your business. Your plan, your lessons, your new outlook, and your top 10 goals for 2018. You’re on the way to a year that matters!
To find out more about executive coaching and integrating Best Year Yet into your business, contact [email protected].
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com