The beginning of a new year is a chance to start over. Many of us create New Year’s resolutions but, according to a commonly quoted statistic, 80% of us fail at them by the end of February. Only 8% make it to the end of the year.
According to Getty, these were the top ten New Year’s resolutions in 2017:
1. Diet, exercise and lose weight
2. Read more
3. Learn something new
4. Save money
5. Be nicer, kinder and more patient
6. Get a new job
7. Volunteer and donate to charity
8. Drink less alcohol
9. Relax and get more sleep
10. Make new friends and be a better friend
Losing weight has been on my New Year’s resolution list for a number of years. And I have not succeeded yet. I intend for this year to be different. How will I improve the odds of reaching my desired goals for 2018?
Prepare to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet in Three Easy Steps
We all experience regret for things we have said, felt or done or left unsaid or undone. Perhaps we spoke unkind words to a spouse, a friend or a child. Maybe we don’t like how our body looks and judged ourselves for it. Or we turned away from loved one in bed because we were angry. Perhaps we didn’t say ‘I love you’ enough and time ran out. Maybe we promised ourselves to get a new job or relationship and nothing has changed.
Regrets are normal. We cannot turn back time and there’s nothing we can do differently about the past. All we can do is forgive ourselves for past mistakes, those regrets which still have teeth to them and trigger us in the present. If we don’t, the patterns we resist tend to repeat themselves. Look back at your regrets for the past year and notice those you have not forgiven yet.
Do this 3-step process to free yourself of them at last. 1) Simply forgive yourself (in my case, my husband has passed away so I can’t ask him to forgive me for mean things I said or did). 2) Ask for forgiveness (write a letter, reconnect, apologize and/or make reparations). 3) Release or recommit (and forgive yourself even if you choose to let it go – not a failure).
New Year’s resolutions fail because we make too many or are not specific enough about the outcome we desire to achieve. Sometimes, we are afraid to fail because it’s happened before so we set unreasonable goals (lose 30 lbs/mo.) or uninspiring goals (lose 4 lbs/mo.). Once we forgive ourselves, we can shake off the history. Next, we have to be clear about what we want and embody it. The more we can ground what we want to accomplish with our five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell), the more likely we are to make it happen. Losing weight is not usually an end goal. It’s losing weight to avoid a heart attack, be able to dance or have more energy to play with the kids.
* What do you want to accomplish this year? Choose no more than three goals.
* Write down all the reasons why making your goals happen will make a difference in any or all of the five areas I define in my affluence code consulting work as true affluence (money, health, relationships, time and money).
* How will you feel when you succeed? If you have ever succeeded at ANYTHING, you know how it feels. One of the great secrets is that you can apply that knowing to any goal, even if you have failed before. Embody your expected outcome by using a real past experience.
To accomplish any goal requires setting up and executing action steps. You have forgiven past regrets and failures. You are crystal clear on WHAT you want to accomplish this year. It’s time to break down how to do it specifically. Every person is an individual and we each know our own breaking points. Planning to succeed means anticipating and mapping in a net to catch ourselves when we would usually give up.
Looking back at the ten top 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, if #1 (diet) is one of yours, figure out what diet you are going to follow, what groceries to buy, what support systems you need, what routine works, if a cheat day is necessary. If #4 (save money), track expenses to see where the money is going, if there’s extra, reallocate to this goal, or figure out how to make additional income. If #6 (get a new job), clarify what kind, what industry, what responsibilities, connect with recruiters, ask your network and tweak your resume. If #9 (relax and get more sleep), schedule in more self-care, go to bed earlier and take all electronic devices out of the bedroom.
Forgive, Clarify and Plan to improve your odds of fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions. You know yourself better than anyone else, especially what could stop you. Trust yourself. Stay the course. Don’t be deterred by short-term setbacks. Don’t wait to start your bucket list. Book a 30-minute discovery call with me and find out how I can support you at http://bit.ly/BookDiscoveryCallWithAlison.
I invite you to have a brave and brilliant year! You’ve got this. Please share.