I love this week – the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is such a sweet and magical time filled with movie marathons, naps and tons of leftovers. There’s less pressure and the hectic frenzy of December is finally calming down.
It’s also a time when people reflect back on the past year and starting thinking of plans and resolutions for the next. And that can bring up a lot of anxiety in some people. That’s a lot of pressure to come up with all of the ways that you can improve yourself and finding just the right word or intention for the year.
That’s why I wanted to talk to you about two pieces of the new year’s resolution/intention/vision puzzle that I think may help.
As a life coach, I know I should be all about the resolutions, but in many ways, I’m not. You see, I think we’re pretty great the way we are. Sure, there is always room to be more active, more present, more creative or loving. But for the most part, I think we’re good.
The best place to start if you truly want to see some change in your life – accepting and loving who you are right now.
One of the truest things I ever heard (and I can’t remember where I heard it, sorry!) is that you don’t take care of something you hate. If you truly want to lose 20 pounds, get out of debt or find the perfect mate, then love yourself first and those other things will come about because you will be treating yourself kindly.
I’m not saying that acceptance and self-love are easy, especially if you’ve spent your life torturing yourself with hate talk, but I do believe it is the best place to start if you want to see lasting change in your life. I highly recommend the book “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” by Kristin Neff as a great place to start. Her website is pretty awesome too, selfcompassion.org.
The second piece of advice I’ll offer is to ask yourself a really important question each time a resolution or desire to change something comes to mind.
Ask yourself “why?”
Pretty radical, eh?
Why is <insert new year goal> important to you? Why do you want to achieve it?
And then ask yourself why again.
I’ll give you an example, say Jenny wants to find a better job in 2017.
Why is finding a new job important to Jenny? Because Jenny can’t stand her boss.
Why does Jenny dislike her boss? He doesn’t respect her opinions.
Why doesn’t he respect her opinions? Ugh, Jenny doesn’t know. Maybe because she doesn’t back up her opinions with evidence, she’s more about instinct and he should just trust her!
So now we are getting to another issue with this job thing, and the truth is if Jenny doesn’t learn to work with people with different communication styles from her, she may run into the same scenario in the next job and the next.
You can also follow up with, what will achieving this thing do for me? What in my life will change? How will I feel when I achieve it? Being clear on why you want this thing will help to keep you going when the obstacles come up.
Truly knowing why you want to accomplish something and addressing any hidden issues (like Jenny’s) will go a long way towards actually being happier and more fulfilled in the new year.
I hope that you’ll be kind to yourself in the new year (and always) and that you’ll be truly inquisitive about why you want the things you think you want. You may surprise yourself and achieve those goals for real.
Want a little extra help on wrapping up 2016 and planning for 2017? Check out my free workbook Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017.