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The ONE Resolution You Need to Set for This Coming Year ….

I bet you’re thinking you’re going to have to read this entire article to get the answer. You may be wondering how much you’re going to have to sift through to get the answer. Well, I’m going to tell you in the fourth line of this article! The one resolution you need is to resolve to not have a resolution in the new year. Why? Read on …

Resolutions give us another reason to punish ourselves, be disappointed in ourselves and feel failure feeding into a perpetual cycle of unhappiness. Setting resolutions is living in the mindset of “I’ll be happy when ….”, which cannot and does not serve any of us.

Here are 5 thoughts where I believe we should focus on in the upcoming year ….

Number 1: Stop the insanity.

I see so many people year after year posting “F*** 20XX” (whatever year is current and about to pass) and “Bring on 20XX” (whatever year is to come). If you are that person year over year, you are missing out! Learn to enjoy the ride and embrace each day of each year.

Pause and take a look back on your past year, go through month by month and try to remember all of your accomplishments. I bet there are more than you think. Don’t forget the smallest of accomplishments--they all matter. And, the fact that you’re still here on this earth is an accomplishment.

If you’re the person who looks back with hate on every year that is gone and embraces every year that is new because of what it symbolizes, it’s time to dig deeper as maybe it’s not the years that are the problem, but your inability to make change and embrace life. Sure, life has its hardships, I’m not discounting that, but these hardships often deliver growth and evolution.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.

Number 2: Set Goals, not Resolutions.

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Goal: the end toward which effort is directed.

By definition, a Resolution involves willpower. Willpower drives the ability to do or not do something. I don’t believe in willpower. Willpower is merely the ability to delay gratification, which means at some point, we give in. Your habits (especially those that are long-term) far outweigh the strength of willpower.

Try something new. Set goals (I work with clients to set 1, 3 and 6-month goals) and then break them down into steps toward achieving these goals. If the steps seem too big, then break those steps down into smaller steps. The idea here to create achievable goals, direct your effort toward those steps to achieve the goals and create forward momentum. We all feel better when we are accomplishing, achieving and feeling successful. So, creating momentum with small steps will keep you going, rather than setting a HUGE goal that cannot be achieved and it seems like a mountain that cannot be scaled. Rather, consider your goal like a giant boulder that must be moved; once you get it moving, it’s unstoppable!

The difference between achieving goals and not achieving goals is about having a plan. Those who have a plan will achieve their goals more efficiently than those who do not or those who take it as it comes and try to react in the moment. Set goals, have a plan, achieve your goals and build your dreams rather than those of others.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr

Number 3: Every day is clean slate.

We embrace the symbolism of a “new” year, when in the reality of its simplest form, all we did was turn the calendar another day. The new year IS symbolic of a new start, but so is the beginning of each and every day. Each and every day is a clean slate to decide what will (or won’t) happen. We all have the same 24 hours in each day – use them fully! Make it a point to wipe that slate clean and start fresh. But don’t wait until the turn of a calendar or the beginning of the week. These delays are contagious and merely excuses.

Ask yourself what you can learn from yesterday (both failures and successes) to apply today. Will you take all your life’s experience and make today your best yet? Don’t get caught up waiting on the “when” (i.e., “my life will be better when ….”) -- or you’ll never get there! Live happy now.

“Don’t start your day with broken pieces of yesterday, every day is a fresh start, every day is a new beginning, every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life.” -- Unknown

Number 4: Get support

Health coaches are the bridge that takes you from wanting something to actually achieving it. However, I find that most people can’t get started. Why? Fear! But it’s often an unrecognized fear.

The book Changing to Thrive, details three primary reasons that people get stuck; perhaps you can recognize one of these reasons in yourself:

  1. You don’t know how to make the change you’d like to make.

  2. You’re feeling demoralized by previous attempts to make similar changes and don’t want to fail again.

  3. You’re in denial — you tend to defend yourself or rationalize your behavior when others suggest you make a change.

We all need to make change. We all need to continue to grow and evolve. That’s what life is about. A health coach is a partner in your corner to help you thrive. A health coach is someone who is unbiased and unaffected by your past trials and errors. No great athlete becomes who they are without a coach.

Fear will keep you small. Fear will not allow change. One of our most basic human needs is safety and fear makes us believe something is unsafe, even if the reasonable person in us realizes it’s not, our inner human instinct will always protect us from situations that seem dangerous or likely to cause pain or are a threat. Embracing our fear is like wearing leaden boots in quick sand.

The reality is we’re changing every single day, we’re growing older, our hair is different, our cells are changing and adapting, the weather changes every day. One of my favorite sayings is: “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” Our ability to adapt to ongoing changes and the unexpected directly impacts the quality of our lives. As Mastin Kipp says, “your quality of life is directly related to your relationship with uncertainty”.

“Unless you’re in mortal danger, fear is a compass showing you where to go” – Mastin Kipp

Number 5: Kick out the negative roommate that lives in your head.

Even if we live alone, we live with someone -- the self-proclaimed important, all-knowing roommate that lives in our head. No matter what we do, we have that roommate. The truth is, if we actually lived with someone who spoke to us the way our in-head roommate does, we’d throw them out in a hot minute. Instead, we let that negative person live on and thrive in ways that are unimaginable and sadly often not recognized.

All self-talk is driven by important beliefs you hold about yourself. Self-talk plays an understated but powerful role in success because it can either propel you forward to achieve your goals or hold you back.

Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. Getting out of the habit of talking badly to yourself is tough because we are so used to doing it, it is often the worst habit we have. As Brene Brown says, we must “talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”

Negative self-talk is born out of several factors, including, but not limited to: something someone once told us, a conclusion we drew from something that occurred at some point in our past, a story we told ourselves about a past situation as a rationale or reason it occurred. Sometimes, we are carrying baggage that is not even ours. We are carrying someone else’s baggage, that they handed to us and we opted to pick up and carry for no valid reason. Sometimes we carry around others’ baggage for years and do not even know it!

When you allow yourself to make peace with and set down baggage, this act of letting go is freeing and oftentimes a literal weight is lifted. You might find you stand up straighter, your back hurts less, you feel lighter, maybe even lose weight or even poop better (yes, I said it). You have to literally and proverbially put down that sh** and let it go.

“If you wanna fly, you gotta give up the shit that weighs you down – Toni Morrison

Above all, nothing works if you don’t believe in yourself. Alternately, if you believe something long enough it will be true (whether it’s real or false; good or bad). What you tell yourself you are or will be is exactly what will be true.

Our goals need to involve taking steps, whether big or small, to create forward momentum.

Remember to look at the flip side of things – a lesson might not be a lesson; a bad thing might actually be a good thing.

Stop listening to others who bring you down. Stop comparing yourself to the version of others they want you to see.

Celebrate your successes. Love yourself and learn to trust yourself no matter what. Set those goals and achieve them.

I can’t wait to see what you do with the upcoming 365 days and beyond.

“He who believes he can and he who believes he cannot are both correct.” -Henry Ford

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