Ah, dear friends, here we are. It’s the eve of a new year – 2015! How did that happen? I remember when Prince came out with the song “1999” and, not long after, we all thought the world could quite possibly end in Y2K. Wasn’t that all just, like, last week?
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word “resolution” over the past month, I would finally be able to pay off the debt I have been resolving to eliminate every year on New Year’s Eve for the past 5 years. Yep – for me at least, resolutions tend to last until the ball in Times Square makes its way down to street level. And I happen to be an optimist, even though it doesn’t sound like it at the moment – so I am guessing that most people may be having similar experiences when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.
So, with that said, I am ready to revolutionize the way we approach the tradition of the new year’s resolution. See? Here's where my optimism kicks in. It's not that I don't believe that we can achieve every goal - I do - but I think we need to approach that to-do list of goals differently.
Maybe….just maybe….we need to go a little deeper than the classic resolution. Maybe if we had a little more substance behind our resolutions, or put them into context of VISION, we would enjoy greater success with them.
Let’s take a look at 3 of the most popular resolutions I hear from clients in my life coaching practice, and examine ways to revolutionize these resolutions by exploring them as part of a bigger vision for ourselves.
Resolution Revolution #1: Losing Weight.
No matter what your shape or size, I bet most of you have had this one on your list at some point. Sometime after we polish off the last of the gazillion holiday treats, we vow to “lose ten pounds in the new year”. It’s a noble goal of course – but how many of us actually make that happen? Do you think it is because we have focused on the quantifiable “ten pounds”, which leaves us feeling a little, well, uninspired?
What if we looked at it differently?
Instead of, “I want to lose 10 pounds”, how about this? “I value my health and I want to feel more energetic this year so that I can better enjoy my family, my friends, and my work. I am going to choose healthy every day. I am going to wake up in the morning, take three cleansing breaths, and envision myself as a healthier human being. Then, I am going to look at every option during the day as a chance to choose healthy – nourishing my body with nutrient-rich foods, and feeding my soul by surrounding myself with awesome individuals.”
Don’t you agree that by looking at a goal in terms of broader vision, we just might have a better shot at achieving it? I do. I bet those ten pounds would fall off without much effort if we were focused on a purposeful vision rather than the pounds themselves.
Resolution Revolution #2: Paying Down Debt.
Whether it is medical bills, living above our means, or running into periods of utter cash flow hell, most of us have tapped into credit lines at some point. And, sometimes we do it a few times over – and we wake up one day and say, “I’m done! That’s it! No more credit – everything gets paid in cash from this day forward.”
And, then the holidays come around and, well, enough said. The debt climbs and we wake up on the eve of a new year ready for change. So we resolve to pay it down. Until an opportunity comes up for an awesome vacation or some cool new furniture – oops, forgot about that resolution! Oh well, maybe next year.
So how do we stick to this goal? Once again, it’s about building some real substance around the resolution – revolutionizing it in such a way that it sticks!
Instead of, “I am going to pay off my credit card this year”, how about, “I want to control my money, instead of letting my money control me this year, because I feel healthier and happier when I am not burdened with debt – and ultimately, I will be a more joyful person who has more to share with the world.”
It’s not that we don’t already KNOW all that, but by virtue of developing a real VISION of ourselves debt-free, and just how awesome that will feel, we have something more meaningful to consider when the temptation to spend keeps rearing its head throughout the year.
Resolution Revolution #3 – Be a Better Person.
This is a wonderful resolution, to be a better person – but again, what is the VISION here? What does it mean to you to be “better”? Get specific, dear visionaries!
Do you want to be better for your family? Spend more time with them? How will you make that time? Where will you carve it out in your schedule, and how will you maximize it?
Do you want to be better in the workplace? Maybe stay clear of the office politics and mini-dramas this year? Produce more? Be more present to those who report to you? How will you do so? Specificity is your friend – think about how you define “better”, where you wish to carry out “being better”, and how you will go about doing it.
Do you want to be a better member of society? Contribute more to causes that matter to you? Get involved in a not-for-profit? Coach local youth sports? What does it mean to you to be a better person when you think of it in terms of community?
Perhaps you have said, “I want to be a better person” and you have had your neighborhood in your mind, knowing that there are others who are less fortunate all around you.
Well, in that case, in lieu of “I want to be a better person”, which, while lovely, almost sounds a little superficial, what about,
“This year, I will give more to my community by volunteering at the food pantry once a month. I will put it on my calendar, all year long, and will not bag on my commitment unless I am ill. I will be a better person if I do this, because I will be doing what I can to ensure the well-being of other human beings.”
You get the picture. Resolutions are fun, and they certainly give us a little “bucket list” of items we want to focus on in the new year. But, by revolutionizing the way we look at them, giving them real depth and considering them as action steps that should be done in context of our broader vision for our lives, we just might find that we will actually achieve them before the next new year’s eve of our journey.
Cheers to a vision that is all your own in the coming year – one that is well-thought-out and will keep you inspired every step of the way. Happy, happy new year, dear friends!
Would you like to figure out your vision, mission and purpose this year, in all components of your life? Call 845.876.2220 to schedule your first coaching session with life coach Marybeth Cale, and get ready to live a more fulfilling journey.
Copyright Marybeth Cale, 2014. All Rights Reserved.