New Year, New Start
As we say good bye to 2008 and hello to 2009, what are you going to do to make this year even better than the last? What resolutions will you set and more importantly, which ones will you keep? Here is a process to help you make 2009 your best year yet!
With a new year approaching, we start to reflect on the past year, set goals for the new one and get excited about the opportunities we have to make 2009 even better than last year.
Well lets be honest. That is how we feel New Years Eve when we are toasting and celebrating with friends and enjoying the first week of the new year. As the weeks go on we fall right back into the old habits we hold near and dear to our hearts. It is not until December 31st of 2009 where start think again about how we are going to create a better year.
Here is a process to help you better plan out your resolution and keep it in 2009. I want 2009 to be the best year ever for you and I have no doubt you can make it happen!
Reflect - Start out by taking the time to think about 2008. You just had a great year and we want to think about what made it great. Was it the travel? The new job? New friends? Old friends? Take the time to really see what the highlights were and what points made you happier.
I know your instincts will be to look at all the things that didn't work or were lacking. Is that the best way to look back on your year? NO! We want to remember the happy times, why? Because we want to create more of those! When thinking about the bad times, it reminds us what went wrong. You already were there and you already know what to do to handle the situation in the future because you planned that out when it happened. How do you make your life better in 2009? By thinking of all the things you have to be prepared for that may go wrong? Or by planning how to create even more happy times than you did in 2008?
We can not plan our lives on "what ifs". If we do, we end up not living life but waiting for the bad things to happen. Instead we want to think about all the moments we can control, such as our fun times, happy times and exciting times. We want to figure out how we can get more ups in our lives to balance the normal downs that will occur.
Take Action - When we start making resolutions for the new year, our first instinct is figure out what we are going to stop doing. We want to stop eating junk food. We want to stop smoking. We want to stop going out every weekend. We want to stop eating bad. We want to stop being a bitch. STOP!!
It is hard to stop doing something because all you think about is how much you want to do it. You are taking something away which leaves you sitting, waiting and bored. When you take something away, you want to fill the space with something else. What ends up happening is you take away the junk food but all you can think of to replace it with is....JUNK FOOD! It is on your mind and you want it back!
This year, I don't want you to stop anything. I want you to add something. Instead of stopping something and leaving a void, I want you to choose the resolution that creates action! Decide you are going to be healthier and go after it. Do not limit yourself on how you do it, just make it the goal to be healthier. Decide you are going to find new social outlets. Doesn't mean you stop going out, just means you are going to add new activities as well. Make sure your resolution is about something you can more into action and not something that requires you to stop. Life is not about stopping, it is all about forward movement.
Test Your Commitment - There are so many resolutions you should do but the question is really do you want to do it? Your resolution for the new year needs to be based on what YOU want. Not what others think you should do with your life, but what you WANT to do with your life.
Take the time when setting your resolution to determine are you doing it for yourself or because others want you to. Check to make sure that you are committed to actually making it happen. If you are not committed but only "trying" then you will never achieve success. You need to be fully committed to making it happen and truly WANTING it to happen as well.
Just Do it - A lot of us will wait for motivation to come to get us moving on creating the best year ever. Unfortunately, it will never come. Motivation does not come to us like a magically nymph who pours her sparkly pixie dust on our head while we sleep. We will not wake up from our visit with the nymph and decide today will be the day when we are excited to start our resolution and it is so much easier than ever before.
Motivation comes from action. You want to get motivated then start doing it! Like I mention to my clients, there is a point in time when you have to put down the self help books and actually starting doing what you read. Same thing with your resolution, you set it and now it is time to do it. Make it happen!
It is like exercising. No one wants to do it but it is good for us. When we start, it is hard and takes awhile to make it a habit. As we keep "doing it" each day, it becomes easier and easier. We start feeling good about ourselves because we keep up with our promise. We start feeling excited to go each day because of the results we start seeing. Before we know it, it is a habit and we are motivated to keep the process going. From putting it into action, we build on our success, create a habit and in the end, stay motivated with the goal.
Keep It Simple - Lastly, you will want to keep it simple. I have TONS of goals I want to work on. I have a list of everything I want to do. Does it get done, NO! The list will take time. It is not going to happen overnight. Sometimes when I look at it, I get overwhelmed and end up not doing a thing from it.
I had to learn to keep it simple. One goal at a time. I may have a lot of want to do, but I will only commit to working on one at a time. When I complete one, I will then start the next. I want my focus and all my attention to be on achieving the goal.
Don't overdo and stress yourself out. You will achieve all your goals but you do not have to do them all at once. Commit to one and work on it. You will achieve it and this will motivate you to achieve the next one. We have a lifetime to complete our goals and we need to make sure we take out time to do them right and get them to stick with us along the way.
As you work this process, I would love to hear what resolution you are going to commit to this new year to make it even better than the last. Please share them in the comments section below. This way we can support each other in achieving our great years together!
Michael Moniz is a life coach focusing on the LGBT community. His practice helps others
with self-image, communication skills, self-leadership and setting and achieving goals. Check Michael's website for more information and to schedule private consultations.
Do you have a question about how to improve your life? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org