The beginning of each New Year is a chance for us to make a fresh start in renewing ourselves, our passions, and our dreams. We can embrace life anew as we await for that breath of Spring and it’s ever growing life force to swell in us and nourish the seeds we’ve planted, to bring forth a budding and fruitful tree. But it’s been a couple months and do you feel like you’ve already let yourself down on your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you not sticking to them like you thought you would? Not to worry dear friend, let’s examine what really is a New Year Resolution and why are you giving yourself such a hard time meeting it?
New Year Resolutions are usually statements about ourselves in how we want to improve or actions we no longer want to continue, in the hopes of improving. We may make them due to mounting peer pressure, under the influence of alcohol or bravado, we may have a list of 20 or more, and then we wonder why we never get passed the top three and begin to feel worse.
First – find compassion for yourself and just sit with that for a moment. You are an amazing self-aware person who has identified something you want to improve upon, and that awareness alone is good enough. Change is a gradual process and allowing yourself the grace of doing so over time will also allow yourself to find your natural pace. By learning how to be gentle with ourselves, we remember to be so with others.
Second – only set a few goals, say less than 5. You may want to have some personal and professional ones, and that is wonderful. But try to limit the number to 5 or less per each of the 2 categories. Your brain and energy can only focus on so much every day/week/month, and if you jump into a huge list, it tends to become overwhelming to many folks. However, when we start with smaller, more manageable lists, and even items that may help us gain skills to get to the next item, these baby steps become crucial to our personal and professional development plan and we begin to prioritize them. Make one or two columns on a piece of paper, and write down these goals.
Third – So, how will you know when you get there? Silly question, you may ask? I think not. I ask this of every client that comes to me with a complaint of not knowing how to move forward. And every single one of them has not yet thought about where they want to go, and what it will be like when they get there. They just know they don’t like right now. So let’s pretend for a moment you just achieved Goal #1 on your list. What does that feel like to you? Who is with you when you accomplish this? What sounds do you hear? What else do you see, feel, hear? Do you even like this new place and feeling? Is this a good goal for you? What else do you want? Is there a picture or symbol you can identify this sense of achievement with? Find that and place it on a pegboard or wall that you see every day, and write next to it the name that you want to call this “goal”, whatever it may be for yourself, and the date that is your deadline.
Fourth – Make it Real! By trying on this sensory technique for your remaining goals on the list, you will begin to realize what is or is not a good goal, and how it fits within your life. Once you have created a visual board to look at daily, this will create a powerful re-enforcement of the emotional reasons that motivate you. When you see the pictures and symbols you selected, you will remember how good it felt to be there already.
You are powerful, all-knowing and very capable. You can achieve everything you set your mind to!
In Love and Light,
Elizabeth Garland (Betsey)
Copyright 2012 by Elizabeth Garland