We all know the tradition of creating New Year’s Resolutions and that frighteningly common phenomenon of watching them fade, fall apart or fizzle well before the desired outcome is achieved. So what starts out as a fun, inspiring activity to help us express how we’d like to create more joy, action, health and well-being in the New Year quickly becomes a disappointing, failed attempt. It often leaves us feeling down on ourselves, unmotivated and wanting to slink back into familiar habits that don’t lead us into inspiring new directions for our life or career, but it feels safer this way. Hence, many people have decided not to partake in the tradition any longer and I was one of them for awhile…until three years ago when I decided to examine tweaking my resolution-creating process to see if I could experience a different, more successful result.
After all, there is something tempting about crafting a personal statement that focuses on what we wish to create for ourselves to benefit our lives, reinvigorate our energy and refresh our outlook, right? It gives us hope, direction, a purpose and something interesting to pursue. So for anyone who’s been disappointed, disenchanted or disengaged by a negative experience with a New Year’s Resolution, I invite you to try a four step process I’ve used to keep the inspiring essence of resolutions intact and steer clear of common pitfalls that lead to failure, disappointment and getting stuck in the same old groove. My method is built on four ‘Be’ concepts – Be Clear, Be Honest, Be Realistic and Be Committed.
Let’s do this together! This weeks focus is Be Clear.
Be Clear: In my experience successful resolutions begin with being very clear about what I want to experience, achieve, learn or become in the next 12 months. So I start with a reflection on what I’ve learned this past year and what I want to learn next to keep building on that foundation for continued growth. This approach helps me take the next natural step based on my current learning curve versus getting distracted by numerous creative ideas that bubble up due to my enthusiastic approach to trying new things. For my 2012 resolution, I spent time journaling in December about what I’d learned in 2011. From that reflection I discovered I still wasn’t feeling completely confident about how I was going to keep building my business. So clearly my next step would be to create a resolution around understanding my lack of confidence and then building more confidence as a business owner so I could keep building a successful and fun business in 2012.
Now, what did YOU learn last year and what’s your next natural step? What is a clear and simple statement that reflects what you want to do next?
Coming up next: ‘Be Honest’.
Here’s wishing you all your best year yet!
Certified Professional Coach