Part One: How to Set New Year’s Resolutions and *Be Successful*! | Getting Clear on Your Resolution

Lighthouse with beacon of light shining across the sea
photo cred: dailyalts.com

New Year, New You! It’s that time again; a new year, a new beginning. A time of looking back and looking ahead. A time when we take stock of who we are today and what we hope to achieve, who we want to become in the coming year, then we set our resolutions to pave our way.

The process is energizing and motivating, full of promise, and opportunity! We have a clean slate! We feel inspired and activated and are confident we can achieve our goals! We can be this newer, better version of our already wonderful self! We can achieve these goals! …and then February or March hits, annnd we forget about that “old” Resolution because we’ve slipped into old, familiar patterns or found other outlets for our time and energy that seem a higher priority in that immediate moment. Before we know it, we have fallen off-track and vow to try again next year.

However… What if we don’t have to follow this pattern in 2017? What if we can be more successful? I believe we can.

In this two-part post, we’ll start with reframing how we set our Resolutions and then get into the How-To’s to stick with them for lasting results.

So, let’s get going!

First off, a new way of reframing resolutions.

Resolutions, first and foremost, are goals. Usually lofty goals that we set for ourselves in a variety of areas of our lives. Health, fitness, finance, family, career, spirituality. We sense a gap between who we are and who we want to be, that bourgeoning better version waiting to emerge, and we devise goals to help us bridge the gap.

Simply put, we:

  1. Feel like there’s something more (or something different) that we could be doing with our time, energy, skills and talents
  2. Believe the end result will be rewarding in some way (usually, at its core, we believe it will bring an emotional reward, a way to feel better)
  3. Set intentions to bring this end result to pass

While all of these are well and good to informing personal transformation and growth, a key step we often miss is a hearty and true understanding of why we want to pursue these goals (step 2). We must be deeply truthful with ourselves about our motivations. For instance, losing weight because your wife or doctor wants you to – as important as those factors are – won’t cut it when you bump up against years or decades of long-held habits and beliefs. Action and success are a result of desires and motivations that reside deep within you.

Naming these motivating factors is so important to personal growth and to sticking to your Resolution throughout the year and beyond to achieve lasting change. Naming these factors gives them meaning and signals to your brain and your being to align your choices and actions in an intentional way and to be purposeful with your time, energy, money, words, behaviors.

To honor your Resolution, your intention, for the next year – and beyond! – you must be intentional, and to do so, the motivation behind that intention has to be strong enough to catapult you through and beyond any challenge that might stand in your way, which is why the motivation has to come from deep within you.

This step of naming is the most important of all the How To’s, so take a pause and spend a moment with yourself to get clear on why you’re setting this Resolution for yourself. Write down your Resolution and the Why’s behind it. Studies show that simply writing down your goal gives you a 42% better chance of achieving them! If you take away nothing else from this post, just write down your goal! You don’t have to share it with anyone or post it online; it is for you. Simply write it down for yourself.

As you’ll see in Part Two, writing down your goal will play into other Tips and Tricks for staying on the wagon.

For now, take a pause on New Year’s Eve and write yourself a note. Include your Resolution and why it is important to you to stay on track and be successful. Why does it matter to you?

In Part Two, the six How To’s of sticking to your Resolution are laid out. Once you’re clear on your intention, the supporting structure of these six steps will keep you on track throughout 2017 and beyond!

As always, we love your feedback and thoughts, so leave us a comment below!

May 2017 be your best, brightest, healthiest, and most successful year yet!

Dancing Downward Doggy Style

I’ve recently realized a very unfortunate habit of mine: I think inside the box.

<GASP>

As a girl who has considered herself fairly creative and zany throughout my life, I was a little flabbergasted when I identified certain areas of my life where the thinking is very rigid, which brings me to today’s post: How to reframe how we think about certain things to better serve us. Case in point for me: Yoga.

I love yoga. I’ve considered becoming a yoga instructor. I go through bouts of practicing twice a day.

But then, well, then I just up and stop. I quit cold turkey because here’s the thing, after awhile, I begin feeling constrained by the class schedules of the various studios I visit or feel like the yogaglo.com offerings just aren’t quite doing it for me… Or… quite frankly, I just find something else I’d like to be doing. (We can always rationalize or excuse ourselves out of things we’re not really motivated to do, can’t we?)

So, how could I reframe how I think about yoga, leverage what I already do, relax into the time I can devote to practicing and just go with it?

In essence, what motivates me? Always a Big Question to ask ourselves on the road towards any goal or dream we wish for ourselves, isn’t it?

For some, it could be paying yourself every time you commit (and execute) on a step towards your goal, then using the money you’ve saved to splurge on yourself once you’ve hit a certain milestone. A woman I know goes for the legendary cheese dip at a local taco stand for every five pounds she loses. It’s enough to keep her going without feeling deprived, which would sabotage her new lifestyle changes (and honestly it doesn’t detour her weight loss progress).

Whatever it takes, identify what activates your sticktoitiveness and then DO IT. Treat yourself for doing something good for your body or your career or your community – whatever it may be!

For me, I found that the motivation to get on the mat is… music.

As a veteran dancer (ballet, hip hop and tap, not pole – just to be clear. No judgment, though, gals!), I LOVE to move fluidly to music that inspires me. I literally can’t sit still.

<Cue my AHA moment!>

I really do not have to be at the mercy of a studio’s schedule or online videos after all, do I?! With the right playlist, I can “choreograph” my own asanas. I can dance my way through Downward Dog and keep coming back for more. At the core, the important thing is that I show up, and the right tunes get me movin’ and groovin’!  (If you’d like to check out my playlist, check out the end of this post.)

So, Here’s The Main Take Away:
If you’re wishy washy about any goal that you feel in your bones is right for you, but you just can’t find the chutzpah, think through a few incentives that worked for you as a kid, or in college, or just what makes you feel good today, and DO IT!  Do it for yourself because you absolutely deserve it!

I’d love to hear what motivates you, so leave a comment below!

Happy Dancing, Twinkle Toes!

MY PLAYLIST FOR MOVIN’ & GROOVIN’
Hold My Heart, by Sara Bareilles
Ice Cream, by Sarah McLachlan
Low Road, by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Angel From Montgomery, by Susan Tedeschi
Heavy Love, by Serena Ryder
One And Only, by Adele
Maybe, by Ingrid Michaelson
Pioneer, by The Band Perry
Jetplane, by Nicki Bluhm
Cowboy Take Me Away, by Dixie Chicks
Sunshine, by Court Yard Hounds
Lie to Me, by Sara Bareilles
Sweet Forgiveness, by Susan Tedeschi
[You Make Me Feel Like] A Natural Woman, by Aretha Franklin
Heavenly Day, by Patty Griffin