A typical “water cooler” conversation around this time of the year is the New Year’s resolution. Of course, my standard answer used to be “be more organized,” which hardly happened! I was not lying though, I felt I needed better control my life, but honestly, I didn’t know how to do it. So I forgot about it even before I finished that cup of coffee I had brought from the kitchen.
I know many of you are in the same boat as I was. A Resolution sometimes gives us more anxiety and guilt than any meaningful outcome. Here are a few creative ways you may try this year:
1. Start With a Gratitude List
These days I use year-end/beginning time as an opportunity to reflect and learn from the past year and to choose my intention for the next 12 months. This holiday season, I wrote down what I focused on and accomplished during the year. I call it a gratitude list. A big part of this exercise is noticing the overall experience and seeing all the sides, not only the outcome. This process naturally helps me close the year and make room for a new one.
2. Use A Theme for The Year
Over the years, I realized that the word “resolution” (a firm decision to do or not to do something) doesn’t fit my style. It sounds too rigid and formal. So I have chosen the word “theme” instead – it aligns well with my core values of flow and creativity. A year is a block of time, and my activities for that time will be around a consistent theme.
My frequently used themes have been self-care, connection, courage, presence, etc. For a particular year, I choose 2-3 words. A few years ago, my words were self-care and connection – I focused on self-care and connecting with the kind of people, ideas, and opportunities that makes me better. One of my clients set her’s as 3M- morning intention, meditate and move.
3. Focus On Intrinsic Motivation
Renowned author Daniel Pink posted a video blog where he suggested using the words carefully to come from intrinsic motivation. Instead of “I have to exercise,” he suggested using “I get to exercise.” The advice is very significant. Seeing exercise as an act of self-love rather than a chore requires a fundamental mindset shift. Finding creative and enjoyable ways of moving our bodies could help us be more successful in exercising. A client of mine took dancing instead of running on the treadmill. It helped her in several ways – she did it more regularly, enjoyed it, elevated her mood, and eventually increased her overall life quality.
If you are a high performer, you might think you should have done all these already. New year’s intention, theme, or goals doesn’t have to be set in stone on new year’s eve. Give yourself an “offsite” for “strategic planning,” you will have much better success following through over the next 12 (or 11) months.
How are you preparing for the year? Check out these goal-setting coaching offers.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay