New Year’s resolution tips, because we all know the wheels fall off in about a month
First, let me say that I’m not a big fan of the whole New Year’s resolutions thing. I think we should have resolutions every morning. Like Valentine’s Day, the commercialization of this annual ritual makes me a bit nauseous. It’s like how we’re all super kind during Christmas, opening doors and saying hellos with eye contact. But then the rest of the year we’re dicks. Anyway, instead of resisting it, I say let’s ride the wave. There is no such thing as bad motivation. If it’s there, let’s use it to our advantage no matter how short lived it can be.
Okay, it’s a brand new year. Time to lean into it. Fully. Let’s quickly talk about your mindset. It’s really simple. I don’t know how you want to get there but you have to believe that this year will be an act break year. Not just another chapter. There are chapters and there are act breaks. Chapters build. Act breaks change the direction of the story. Act breaks come in many forms. But they are all life changing. This year is an act break. Know it. Feel it. Believe it. This mindset will position yourself for greater things.
Okay, now time to turn your dreams into goals. Because there is a difference, you know. Dreams are distant and elusive. Goals are obtainable. You can touch them, as long as your intentions are followed by hard work. Goals become the building blocks of whatever you want to build. So let’s replace “resolutions” with “goals”. It’s feels more concrete, doesn’t it?
Here are some tips on accomplishing your goals for ’17, in no particular order.
TIP. Know your hows. So many have a list of what they want to change or accomplish but rarely do they actually think about how they’re going to do it. Without the how, you’re just crossing fingers and change quickly turns into fairy dust. How will you accomplish your goal(s)? Not only the logistics but what kind of mindset do you need to execute? In what ways do you need to change the way you think? First, make sure your hows are realistic. Many get too ambitious and set themselves up for failure. Start modest and micro. The first goal is to actually start and thread the execution piece into your daily life. That’s how people get traction. The key would is sustainable. If your how isn’t sustainable, you will fall short because life will prevent you from the climb. Always. Or growth and change would be easy. Once you have the right mindset and you’ve integrated a sustainable execution plan into your everyday life, you can kick in the nitrous. Add more weight. Most tasks. More pages. Whatever your goals are.
TIP. We also tend to have the same resolutions every year. Get that body you’ve always wanted. Land the corner office. Lock in the raise. Work on your relationship. Meet someone. Etc. And these become less and less powerful over the years as each year they slip from our hands. Soon, we’re just buying pre made costumes. Putting something on just because everyone else is doing it instead of making something we’re proud of. Maybe this year, it’s time to make your own costume. This means think of new goals you haven’t pursued before. Break the pattern of wanting the same thing. Fresh new goals can equal fresh new fuel (motivation).
TIP. Ask people you trust what you should do more and less of. Sometimes, people who know and love us have more insight than we do because we only see the world through our own eyes. Sometimes it’s helpful to see your story through other people’s eyes. This fresh take can give you lots of new information you may not have seen before. Don’t take their suggestions personally. If you want honest answers, make sure you’re able to handle them. This means have an open mind and thank them for their suggestions. And just because they give you their opinions doesn’t mean you have to agree or actually do them. It’s just a great way to get a different perspective and more information.
TIP. If it’s not in your calendar, it’s not real. Scheduling something pulls it out of your head and into real life. Put everything into a schedule, even if it’s a workout or a run or making dinner for your wife because that’s an action step toward working on your relationship. Turn on your notification so you are pounded with reminders. For most of my twenties and thirties I never scheduled anything and so much got lost in the shuffle. Yeah, little things but little things add up to big things. Then the year ends and everything you wanted to accomplish never left your head. Use apps, trackers, whatever works for you. You HAVE to create a system. Using a calendar is the most basic fundamental system.
TIP. Thread it into your life. If you take anything away from this article, it’s this. Whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish, you must thread it into your daily life. Many start strong and burn out because they take on too much. Remember, this isn’t a race. The way to make your execution sustainable is to turn it into a lifestyle. For example, say your goal for ’17 is to write a book. You don’t try to write the entire book in one month. You break it down into pieces. Maybe the first month is not about writing but rather research or exploring chapters. Then you commit to say one hour a day to birthing your book. Maybe it’s in the morning or late in the evening. Or maybe it’s every other day. But thread it in so it’s a ritual. That’s how you get traction.
One of my goals was to read more. I know I won’t read because I have a short attention span and I don’t enjoy the act of reading, so I choose to listen to audio books. But if I only do it when I have time, it will never happen. So I thread it into my life by going on a daily night walk for about thirty minutes after dinner. During this walk, I listen to an audio book. By threading this ritual into my daily life, I can knock out a couple books a month. In six months, I will have read at least twelve books.
It doesn’t matter what the activity is. Thread it into your life. Once it becomes a ritual and you start to get traction, you will have more motivation to do more, go harder, and expand.
BONUS. If you can’t think of any resolutions, here’s one new New Year’s resolution that I believe will radically change your life.
This means to get out of your two dimensional thinking. Focus less on what you see and know and more on what you feel and don’t know. I’ve always been a very logical person. If things didn’t make sense, I didn’t allow myself to explore or go down that road. But the truth is, most things in life don’t make sense. We don’t know everything. And since we all have distorted thinking based on our story, we actually don’t know much. But I do know that the greatest things that have ever happened to me have come unexpected. Logic has rarely delivered anything good to my door steps. Only lots of stress. So step over logic and live higher.
First, you have to be connected. Connected with your authentic yourself, the true you, your solid self, which for many can take a lifetime. You will never be at your potential or “happy” if there is a disconnect within yourself. Make a choice to pull from your truth no matter what your friends, family, society, think. Listen to your inner voice. Be honest with yourself and where you’re at. Look inward first. This doesn’t mean to be impulsive and reckless. It just means to live honest.
Higher living also means to connect to something greater than yourself, whatever that may be. It’s only when we believe in nothing bigger than ourselves that our world becomes very small and our lives extremely flat. A relationship with something greater than you will allow you to live on a whole new plane where things like gossip, worrying, jealousy, resentment, obsessing about the future, dwelling on the past, all the things that create anxiety and turmoil, that we walk with daily as if they’re stones in our shoes, crumble and turn into sand, slipping through our fingers.
Higher living is where your potential lives. Where miracles happen. Where life can feel effortless.
How do you live higher? Here’s are some hows.
Turn your dial from to-me to through-me. Imagine that you are a vessel and a power greater than yourself, whatever that means to you, God, spirit, source, aliens, or maybe it’s your purpose, is flowing through you and projecting your true self and gifts to the world. Imagine that you are a prism, and by letting go of ego, resistance, the old you, you are allowing your unique gifts to shine.
Hint: Ego and fear is what blocks this process so live a through you life means to live with less ego and lean into your fears.
Powerful tools can be meditation, visualization, and prayer.
Listen to your intuition.
Do what feels honest.
Stop living the in past or obsessing about the future.
Lean into your age.
Let go of what was.
Trust your story.
And know that this is going to be an the act break year.