Six (Im)Possible Things for 2017: A Resolutions Hack

In other words… How Alice and Audrey are going get me successfully through this year!

I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions. I’ve tried, but I’ve never seemed to be able to keep them. It could be something about that word RESOLUTION. It’s kind of like when I say the word DIET and I instantly want to consume an entire chocolate cake. It clearly has a reverse effect on me. More than that, I think I was just doing it wrong.

I spent a great deal of the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day reflecting on 2016. With all of the death and disappointment that drug us through the last quarter, it’s hard to enter the new year with overwhelming optimism. It’s like 2016 is this hope-devouring monster chasing you. You have to run through the door of 2017, slam it shut and put a chair under the knob…praying that no residual from this hideous year gets through.

That aside… I’m exploring what I want and need to accomplish in 2017. Big things need to happen! As I was writing it all down in my journal, I felt myself seizing up with anxiety which instantly reminded me of why I don’t ever make resolutions. Instead of being excited about the year ahead, I feel overwhelmed… panicked… riddled with fear.

“I must be out of my mind. There’s no way I’ll get any of this done… I don’t even know how to begin.”

What I needed more than a long laundry list of goals in a resolution costume, was a plan. And not just any plan, a plan that worked for me. A creative and clever plan that was flexible and kind of fun. One that gets my goals accomplished while simultaneously facing and destroying my fears.

Enter Alice and Audrey…

With absolutely nothing in common, these two have join forces to help me create the perfect Life Hack!

The quote from Alice in Wonderland: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” joins with Audrey Hepburn’s quote: “Nothing is impossible… the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” to create…

SIX (Im)POSSIBLE THINGS:

A New Year’s Resolutions hack designed to challenge you to face your fears, destroy them, and do epic shit!

Sounds fun, right? Okay… let’s get started…

CHOOSE A THEME:
I like working with “themes” to help me stay focused so I decided to assign a theme to each month based on what I’d like to accomplish this year. For example, January is definitely “Reset” because there’s no way I’m getting through this year without realigning myself and my priorities. June could be “Evaluate” because it is the 6th month, the half way mark and time to see if I’m still on track. October will probably be “Celebrate” because that’s my birthday month. Get it? But don’t use these (unless you want to), choose your own based on your goals.

THEME OBJECTIVES:
Don’t make this a “list” as it will only overwhelm you. Instead make it a summary of your theme and where you expect to be with it when the month is over.

THE SIX THINGS:
The Six Things can be daily, weekly, or monthly. Obviously, Daily or Weekly things you will do each day or each week. Monthly things you will commit to complete by the end of the month. You can do simultaneous Six Things if you want… that is six daily things and six weekly things (or any other combination that works). How you set them up is entirely up to you (more on that in a bit.)

The Six Things must be (Im)Possible. (Im)Possible Things are the “easy-hard” things… that is they are so easy but for some reason they are hard for you. The things you put off over and over… the things you come up with a thousand excuses for but if you would just do it you’d be one step closer to your awesomeness. (Im)Possible Things are also NEW things that you want to do and that you are capable of doing, but you just won’t take the leap… and it’s usually a small leap. There’s an inexplicable fear behind all of these things… but making a commitment to push past it is what takes them from being impossible to (Im)Possible… make sense? Of course this is just my definition of (Im)Possible Things… feel free to come up with your own.

The Six Things should be aligned with the theme and it’s objectives. Otherwise, there is really no point to all of this, right? Right.

If we are lucky, the Six Things will become life-long habits and we will be fear-free. Now… wouldn’t that be something?

So here’s my example…

My theme for January is “Reset.” In summary, I want to realign myself and my priorities by setting professional boundaries, making my health/self-care a priority, engaging more with my children, etc. I do everything I can to avoid drinking water and I can feel the affect on my health. On my list of Daily (Im)Possible Things is to drink two 24 oz bottles of water (minimum). I already know I need to drink more… but right now, I’m hardly drinking any so this is a great start!

Hopefully, you now get how this works. But if you are anything like me with stuff like this… it all looks good on paper and is fun for a few weeks until you get the overwhelming urge to accidentally take a nose dive off the wagon. Well… lucky for us, I’ve thought of all that! I am very committed to our success on this so…

HERE’S HOW WE MAKE THIS WORK

Don’t get too far ahead of yourself! I have not assigned a theme for each month yet. Right now, I have no idea what my themes will be for nine of the twelve months! I’m confident they will come to me as I go along. I’m not going to put pressure on myself to fill in the blanks. Having it all staring at me at once does much to overwhelm and scare me. Not to mention it makes time move way too fast. As ideas for themes and (Im)Possible Things come, I will write them down but not dwell on the future so much that I forget the present. I’m just going to write what I know, when I know it and let the rest evolve organically. You should too.

Review, revise, and reset… but never retreat! Generally people screw up resolutions because we believe that, once declared, they are carved in stone! Thankfully, our Six Things are not…so I highly recommend writing them in pencil. Know what should reasonably be a daily or weekly or monthly thing. Feel free to move something from daily to weekly and/or vice versa. You can even continue or revisit things in more than one month. Just don’t give up and remove it altogether. After all, you put it there for a reason.

Be risky but also realistic. I know myself… and because I know myself, I know I need to push myself. But not to the point of bullying myself into submission. I need to be flexible and patient… hence writing things in pencil. Life happens and it will not give a single damn about my (Im)Possible Things. Give myself a break… but don’t let myself off the hook.

AND SO THERE YOU HAVE IT…

What do you think? Personally, I am both excited and terrified about the whole thing. I’ve already pushed through one fear and that was sharing this idea with you. I am planning to keep you up to date with my progress… even if I have to reveal that it didn’t work. The (Im)Possible Thing is in that I gave this a try. I’m already glad I did!

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Thank you for reading and I hope you were enlightened as well as entertained. If you enjoyed this, please give it a little green heart and feel free to share with your friends. I hope you’ll also consider following as I have more creative, clever, candid, and heavily caffeinated tales to tell here on Medium and at My Single Serving Life.