And so, January 2017 is upon us and we're amidst the annual "New Year, New You" wave that sweeps over us all at this time. Positive plans for revolutionary change are being thrown around like Lindt balls at Christmas and the future is looking FAB-U-LOUS!
The question is, this year are you and your resolutions going to sink or sail? Or more importantly, how do you control which?!
I, self confessed goal-addict, so love a good time-marker for a kick-start and refocus; 'Tomorrow is a new day!' and all that jazz. The New Year is of course the creme de la creme of these. The trouble is my friends, the only real change that the calendar dictates is getting older. Or more to the point;
The calendar doesn't dictate change, you do! - Christine Hassler
So whilst I wholeheartedly encourage you to seize the energy and positivity that surrounds this time of year; make resolutions, set themes, write your goals until your heart is content (I certainly am!), first I urge you to consider the following as a guide towards resolutions that sail!
(Otherwise that clean slate on which you've drawn up this visionary 'new you' may sadly only serve you up a mouthful of bitter short-fallings, regret and consequential self-loathing... none of which is quite as tasty.)
Grab a notebook or journal (hand-writing things supposedly taps more into the emotional centres of our brains), find a quiet space and grant yourself some time. A few moments of reflection and projection can create a lifetime of change.
FIRST, LOOK BACK...
"Learn from your history but don't live in it." ~Steve Maraboli
Which activities/experiences/people brought you the majority of your positive emotions/outcomes in 2016?
N.B. Usually, only a small percentage of your activities will account for a large majority of your positive outcomes. This is laid out in the 80/20 principle also know as Pareto's Law, which dictates that 80% of your desired outcomes are the result of 20% of your activities/inputs. I have to say I have found this to be pretty relevant!
Which activities/experiences/people brought you the majority of your negative emotions/outcomes?
Sure enough, a small percentage of my 'doings' seem to account for a large proportion of my struggles, stresses and woes!
How can you tip the balance to bring more of the positive and less of the negative into 2017?
'HOW' being the operative word - come up with solutions and find a way. What efforts would need to be made to plan/organise/facilitate more of the positive activities/experiences/people into 2017? What changes/awkward conversations/"NO's" would have to occur in 2017 to reduce the amount of time you spend on activities/people that stress you out, drain you or just plain bring you down?
Then, LOOK FORWARD...
"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable." ~Seneca
Where are you sailing?
What do I want to see happen this year? What do I want to feel more of this year?
Clarity brings direction, focus and motivation. So after considering your initial reflections get really clear on your projections!
What does sailing there bring me? What feelings/emotions/postive outcomes?
Deconstructing WHY we want to see these changes is one of the most influential factors in whether or not the behaviour sticks. If our resolutions are underpinned by unclear, superficial or meaningless reasons, they won't take long to buckle. Discipline and will-power as the sole driving force behind change will only last so long!
Particularly draw focus to the internal benefits the external changes will create. What good will the reality of seeing that change in your life bring to what you feel in life? Because what's a smoking hot bod without happiness? What's endless riches without fulfillment?
What are the achievable steps you need to take to make this resolution your reality and how can you make these happen?
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without a vision is a nightmare. ~ Japanese Proverb
Then in this present moment...
Too often resolutions come doused in a strong dose of criticism (read; self-loathing). We drive our desires from a place of currently being "not good enough" and "must be better" rather than a place of self-love and compassion.
"I resolve to exercise 4 days a week because I'm a fat, lazy moose and I hate my disgusting body."
is somewhat different to;
"I resolve to exercise 4 days a week because it makes me feel calmer, it helps me lose the weight that's not doing me any good emotionally or physically and it moves me towards the healthy, energetic, happy life I deserve. I want to feel good and look good and I am willing to put in the efforts to gift that to myself and my body."
Perhaps a little OTT but you get the picture!
BELIEVE YOU CAN!
"If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." ~ Henry Ford
And in the knowledge that five cheesy motivational quotes is pushing anyones vomit capacity, I will leave it there to bid you and your resolutions a very calm and happy sailing!
Happy New Year you lovely people!