2 Tips to making New Years Resolutions that actually stick

So here we are again at the start of another year. Fresh starts abound and ready to really make this YOUR year!

So why is it that so often New Years Resolutions don’t last out the first week or two of the first month?

Resolutions in concept are a great idea. Time to reflect and think through the year that has just passed. Analyse what has worked well and what didn’t work so well. Time to set a new framework for how you would like to see the new year go – so that you can finally have one of those illusive SUCCESSFUL years that you have always dreamed of.

But very quickly the process of setting your resolutions turns and there is a heaviness that seeps in. A slap in your face of the outrageous failure you are and how you never stick with anything and a little hint of that “here we go again” merry-go-round.

So you regress a little and set the same-old-same-old resolutions that everyone else is setting

·      I’m going to eat clean this year – no more junk food

·      I’m going to exercise more – maybe join a gym and actually go at least 3 times a week this time.

·      I’m going to be so much better with my finances – I’m actually going to save money EVERY week, so that this Christmas I won’t be relying on my credit cards again

·      I’m going to take better care of myself

You know how it goes. And then before January 30th you are already admitting defeat and moving to the MONDAY savior.

 

You know… I will start again on Monday…. How many MONDAY’s have you put all of your success pressures on????

Well MAYBE, just maybe there is another way to kick off the ‘New Year – New You’. Without the heaviness of passed failed resolutions!!

Now to be very clear – I KNOW that everything I’ve written so far sounds a tad “judge’y”. And I would like to assure you that these comments do not come from Judgement – NO, they come from MY personal experiences with this topic.

I am willing to admit it. I’ve been there and done that too many times to count.  50 Mondays out of every year for lots of years!!! And then I stumbled upon a whole new way of looking at things and working through things with a much lighter and more positive result. And THIS is what I am very generously (just kidding –really, no need to send me letters of gratitude or flowers, REALLY!!) about to share with you. So buckle yourself in…..

Here are my 2 top tips for getting things moving in the right direction.


FIRST – Get rid of Resolutions all together.

They are just too heavy and laced with disappointment and failure.

Instead – I invite you to bring in the notion of setting INTENTIONS.

Yes, intentions.

I like intentions because they are so much lighter and care free. They are the Resolutions happier, more popular cousin, the ones everyone enjoys inviting to parties!!

What I love about intentions is

A)  you can set daily, weekly, monthly or even annual intentions

AAANNNNDDD

B)  There is no failure. If you fall off the wagon one day, it’s easy to just re-commit to your intention and try better for the rest of today and onwards.

Aaahhhh – doesn’t that just FEEL better?!

Some of my recent and favoured Intentions have been:

1.        I set an intention to be more aware of how I react in difficult situations!

(nice and relaxed, no pressure, no judgement, just intending to be aware. And when you go through a day and realize you have not been aware at all, Well that’s ok. You can just start NOW! Awareness ON. Until it switches off, and that’s OK, just pop it back on again when you notice!!)

 

Fail Proof really!

 

2.        I intend to tune in to my intuition (or my gut feelings, little voice, spiritual connection….. whatever you want to call it!) daily.

(again what’s lovely about this intention is that it is set up as a work in progress, something to just keep coming back to and tuning in to.)

And what is awesome, (if this is an intention you want to run with) is that the more you NOTICE that little voice or knowing, and you notice how you react to it, you can better prepare yourself for next time. And in no time at all, you will have built a really firm and strong intuition muscle that you can really trust and rely on!

What do I mean??

Example

Have you ever been going out, and it’s a lovely sunny summery day and JUST as you go to lock the door to leave you get this FEELING or VOICE saying “Take your Coat”, followed quickly by an onslaught of rational voices saying

“don’t be ridiculous, it’s the middle of summer and its scorching hot outside” and then BOOM BAM WHAM in an hours time some freak rain storm blows into town and you are suddenly soaking wet and thinking

‘Darn, I KNEW I should have grabbed my coat’

Or something similar. These little ‘coincidences’ happen ALL the TIME. Really! Once you set an intention to be more aware of them – you will see!!

 

3.        I intend to be more conscious of how and /or where I spend my money.

Now initially this one can FEEL like its going to take work.

But it can be simple and painless.

One sneaky little JEDI trick is to pop a wee Post it Note

on the inside of your wallet with a wee message

“Heeeyyy, what’re ya buying”

or

“I’m Noticing!”

Something that just reminds you to be a little more consciously

Aware!!


SECOND – Get in touch with your Core Values

Now THIS right here is the nugget that I believe is MISSING from so many goals lessons.

So often, you are given a handy little acronym to help you have some success with your goal setting process. Like SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound)

Quick time out!

Now – I want to be clear here – I'm absolutely NOT dissing Goal Setting, these acronyms are great and these goal setting processes are great

HOWEVER, I think for a lot of us, they are lacking an extremely important FIRST step.

And THAT, is to connect with your core values, and to then and ONLY then, attach your goals to those values. When you do this you are WAY more likely to stick at it when the going gets tough.

(which leads me to another quick point:

– just because you set a goal and work through a process or formula, does NOT mean that the process of achieving your goal is somehow now going to be EASY!  You are likely going to have to WORK at it, and WORK through pitfalls, and obstacles and dramas and issues. Goal setting does not remove those things – No! Goal setting creates a Finish Line Vision for you, so that when obstacles and problems rear their invariably ugly heads, you can STAY the course. You don’t get completely blown off track. You can merely COURSE CORRECT and keep heading for that thing you have in mind.

So please, please, stop right now if you are looking for the quick fix, the easy out, the magic pill. Just stop!

There is no Instant Gratification for living a fulfilling life!!

Yes it takes work and actually helps make your life something you are proud of. Make your life something of value – because YOU worked for and CREATED it, rather than trickled your way through it, on autopilot, getting bumped from shore to shore by stray winds!

So with that said - you may just need this right now:

YOU are of VALUE, YOU are WORTHY – Right NOW!!!!

Nothing you achieve will make you more valuable, that is NOT the point of goal setting, resolution setting or even intention setting!!

No – the point of all these things is to make your value and worth YOUR OWN CREATION, something YOU design, rather than some default setting.

So – if you are sitting somewhere, right here and now, feeling Ho-Hum about your life and where you are and where you want to be, I want you to understand that you are not lacking in VALUE or WORTH, you just haven’t created the right PLAN for yourself!

That is the point, my friend. That is where success comes, not from achieving a certain pay packet, or owning a certain type of car or house or STUFF!

NO!! Success comes from putting a plan into action, and then seeing that plan through – no matter what obstacles come smashing your way. Success comes from NEVER giving up. And it's probably going to require Patience and Grit!

But I digress!!

So – Core Values!

You may think you know your core values or you may have no idea what I mean by core values, that's OK. Read on!

YOUR core, inherent values are the things that ‘make you tick’.

And here are a couple of ways to Get in Touch With what YOUR core values might be.

You can start by thinking about what Goals you would set for this year – IF you were a goal setter!

What sort of things would you LOVE to see come in to fruition in your life.

Next you can reverse engineer from what goals you have – figure out your core values and then tie your goals to your Core Values (because if Intentions/Goals or whatever you want to work with, are linked to some inherent core value, then you are WAY more likely to keep getting up when things get hard.)

So here is a step by step guide to how this would look!

 (It is now pen and paper time!!)

*      1st – What is a BIG goal /dream you have

*      2nd – Ask yourself ‘Why is that so important to me?

*      3rd – Then take your answer and ask

*      Why is THAT so important, or what’s so important about THAT

*      4th – Keep asking questions about the importance of each answer you get, until you get down to something EMOTIONAL

*      This will be an indication that THIS is a CORE VALUE

Some other questions you could work with:

*    What is truly significant to you?

*      What do you value and appreciate most?

*      What do you BELIEVE in?

*      What are you fully committed to?

*      Connecting THIS to your intentions will help FUEL your desire to work towards your intentions.

Here are some examples of values.

Read the list and see if there are 3-4 that seem to spark a PANG of interest for you.

You may have some judgements of some of these words and these judgements may be due to messages you have heard growing up. I invite you to read the following list with an open mind and be willing to NOTICE which words jump out at you – even if they SEEM like words that you think have negative connotations!

Try not to judge them as good or bad.

*          Family

*          Freedom

*          Success

*          Truth

*          Power

*          Relationships

*          Wealth

*          Authenticity

*          Justice

*          Contribution

*          Excellence

*          Persistence

*          Abundance

*          Community

*          Hard Work

*          Kindness

*          Security

*          Love

*          Achievement

*          Health

*          Education

*          Integrity

*          Trust

*          Harmony

*          Pleasure

*          Peace

*          Knowledge

*          Creativity

*          Adventure

Hopefully you can find a small bunch of these words to work with. Have fun with the process and remember to have FUN with it, go easy on yourself.

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