5 Steps to Setting New Year’s Resolutions
For many of us, New Year’s Day represents a fresh start to ambitiously create the changes we hope to see in our life. With the previous year behind you, you may be feeling unstoppable in all that you desire to create.
In honing in on your heart song to decipher all that it is calling for this year to come, how can you best move forward to honor all it yearns for?
Sadly, most people who make resolutions, despite their initial determination and larger-than-life drive, abandon them well before the arrival of spring.
Your dreams and resolutions are far too important to watch them fizzle out without being actualized.
Follow these steps to create the positive habits necessary to see real changes in your life that stick!
Get Clear on Your Vision
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins
Of course, the first step in advancing towards our goals is getting clear on our aim.
What is it that you want to create and foster in your life?
To support you in visualizing the goals you wish to achieve, consider what it is you hope to manifest in regards to these areas of your life:
What does abundance look like in each area of your life?
I want you to daydream here. Imagine relevant, attainable goals that you can bring into fruition these coming months.
Instead of approaching your goals setting with a mindset of what you’re trying to eliminate from your life, focus on what good you want to ADD to your life. This approach supports us in combating potential feelings of lack, scarcity, and deprivation on the road of achieving our greatness.
Allow yourself to visualize your greatest dreams without bounds or limitations.
As you paint a mental picture of your aspirations write them down in your journal, sketch it out, share it with a loved one who will support you in your process or create a dream board.
First Things First
Instead of pursuing resolutions with the mindset of achieving them cold turkey, understand that the positive changes you are striving to make in your life will be achieved as a gradual process.
Working against ingrained habits is a work in progress.
So eliminate the expectation for things to change overnight or immediately. Instead, tackle your resolutions through stages and steps, by first achieving baby steps that will better prepare you for the greater difficulties that come with the change.
For example, let’s say you set a goal to go to the gym every day beginning New Year’s Day. However, if you weren’t going to the gym at all previously, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
While I certainly will not stand in your way if your determination is driving you to such great heights, know that we are more likely to achieve our goals if we begin with feasible and palpable first steps.
For each goal category, write one tangible and achievable first step you can take towards your goal. Set realistic first steps knowing that each one you take brings you higher and higher up the mountain of habitual change.
How can you start today?
Assess Your Patterns
Despite our purest intentions and motivations, often, we find ourselves in patterns, environments, and situations that don’t support us in achieving our greatness.
Just like a seed planted into soil, we have infinite potential in our ability to grow and evolve.
However, if the circumstances aren’t ideal, just like a seed in poor soil, deprived of adequate water or sunlight, we’ll be limited in our capacity to blossom and flourish.
So ask yourself, do the people, places, and things you choose to surround yourself with support your goals?
If you’re striving to live a more aligned, balanced and healthy lifestyle, do the people you choose, the activities you share and the places you gather in reflect your visions of your optimal life?
If not, it may be prime time to reassess who and what you surround yourself with.
Have faith and trust that when your own words, actions, and choices align with and support your desired destination, you will attract and only accept the relationships, environment and past times that support you too.
“The people you surround yourself with are excellent mirrors for who you are and how much, or how little, you love yourself.” -Jen Sincero
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” –Confucius
If you are fluid versus rigid in your pursuit towards your greatness, you grant yourself the flexibility to adapt the path in which you actualize your resolutions. When being too rigid in our goals, if we fail to reach our initial expectations we are more likely to feel burdened with a sense of failure and quit before we truly ever begin.
For example, if your initial goal was to eat healthier by replacing one meal a day with a salad, but you find that you just can’t stand salad, instead of chucking out your resolution, find an alternative route to achieve it. There are many ways to actualize the goal of a healthier lifestyle, even if it's not achieved the way you originally intended.
If you approach your desired changes through broad adjustments versus specific behaviors you’ll be able to experiment and adapt in the means in which you achieve your goals.
Give yourself permission to accommodate the path towards your objective as you go. Each step brings you closer to understanding what lasting change looks like for your unique life, desires, and ambitions.
Celebrate Your Progress
“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved- and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses – you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgement and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” Jack Canfield
In the pursuit of our greatness, many of us fall prey to the critiques and heavy-handed judgments of our inner critics. While it’s more than acceptable to set our expectations and goals for ourselves as high bars to reach, it's counterproductive and down-right unkind to beat ourselves up when we don’t reach our far-reaching destinations.
Put down the bat and pick up a feather.
There’s no joy on our journeys towards our highest selves if we can’t find room to celebrate our efforts along the way.
If you find yourself stuck in a spiral of self-criticism, take a glimpse in your rearview mirror, reflect on all that you’ve lived and all that you’ve conquered, and allow the sheer wonder of how far you’ve come to remind you of your capabilities.
Celebrate the small victories. Be gentle and encouraging to yourself. Be your number one fan and cheerleader.
On Your Way to Greatness
While creating the changes we wish to see in our lives can at times feel daunting, a skillful understanding of how we achieve it creates room for it to be an awe-provoking unraveling towards the highest version of ourselves.
Keep yourself anchored in the knowing that you are leading and living a life of growth and evolution. Contrary to what others may say or think, your life is not a sprint, but more like a marathon.
Can you pace yourself throughout the ebbs and flows of striving towards your ambitions? Can you love and embrace yourself through all the transitions and change? Can you cultivate earnest efforts, firmly built upon the confidence that the merit of your actions can and will bring results?
“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.” Les Brown
What is possible is only as infinite and expansive as you’re willing to allow yourself to dream.
Dream and vision without bounds. Surround yourself with the right conditions, people and practices to expedite your growth. Wrap yourself with your own words, thoughts, and actions of encouragement, appreciation, and love.
You are on your way, blossoming and unraveling into all you’ve always been designed to become.
Let’s make 2019 our best year yet!