Do You Hate New Year's Resolutions?

Read on to try a new approach

Yes, I know.  It’s that time of year again.

New Year’s Resolutions.

So how do they make you feel?  

Do New Year’s Resolutions fill you with excitement and energy as you commit to some new and stretching goals for the year ahead?

If this is you – great! You know what to do and you know it works for you.  You are on a roll so go with it!

On the other hand does the thought of trying to set goals leave you feeling weary before you have even begun?  You’ve been round this one before and nothing has changed.  You can’t see the point because you know you will fail before you have even begun.

Oh dear. Does this sound familiar?  I think that is what’s known as a self fulfilling prophecy!  Is it a trap you find yourself falling into each January?



So what to do about it?

Well you could extend the Christmas ‘bah, humbug’ approach and ignore the whole thing…or you could stop for a moment and consider how you could make this review time work for you.


Part of the problem is the word ‘resolutions’. It sounds so earnest and heavy, don’t you think?  Something that has to be taken seriously.

How about using a different word.  New Year Choices immediately feels more exciting and inviting.  There is a sense of adventure in it and yes, you get to choose with a smile of anticipation!

Another mistake you may be making with your New Year’s Resolutions is to set up a long ‘to do’ list for yourself.  A list that looks and feels overwhelming before you have even started so instead of motivating you, it switches you off.



So here’s an idea...


How about instead of creating a long list of things to do in 2014, try thinking about what choices you will make about how you will be instead?

Go on, have think.  What kind of person would you like to be in the coming year and how would that make a difference?



Here are a few ideas.  Will you choose to be…

Curious
Happy
Inspired
Determined
Flourishing
Relaxed
Grateful
Playful

Energetic
Calm
Courageous
Successful
Fun to be around
Focused
Optimistic
Confident

If you adopted one or several of these ways of being for the New Year, what impact would it have for you and for the other people in your life?



Copying is allowed

If it makes it easier, think about someone you admire in some way. What qualities do they have that you would like to adopt?


I remember doing exactly this, let me think…it must have been 15 years ago at least.  I had a colleague at work who was one of those sunny, cheerful people who was always full of ideas and energy.  Whenever anything new came along, her approach would be ‘That sounds interesting.  What can we do with this new idea?  How can we make it fun to work with?’  Her positive energy was absolutely like a ray of sunshine.   

Now I will never have her extrovert personality, but it was her positive attitude that really resonated for me and I made a conscious decision to be as much like her as I could.  Even now, I regularly remind myself of her smiling face to keep me from slipping into a negative place.




Make it fun

What is important about this approach is not to take it too seriously.  If you start creating a long ‘to be’ list, it can quickly become a burden, something you have to be constantly checking and ticking things off to prove you are making progress. Remember these are just choices, not resolutions. Keep the light touch.

So my suggestion is to create a Mood Board as a way of reminding you who you will be in the year ahead.

A Mood Board is like a Vision Board only it is not about the stuff you want to have in your life.  It's not about collecting pictures of new cars, big houses and exotic vacation destinations.

A Mood Board is designed to create the feel of how you want your life to be, it symbolises the way of being you are choosing.

Collect images that represent to you how you would like to be.  They could simply be bright colours or positive words; things that represent energy or fun; pictures of children to remind you to be playful and curious; a candle to indicate quiet and calm; a plant or tree to show how you will be flourishing.

This is a unique and personal creation, so you get to put on the Mood Board whatever feels right for you.  Anything that will serve as a reminder of who you choose to be in 2014.

Enjoy creating your Mood Board and I can guarantee that it will be much more fun to look at over the coming months than a long to do list!




So who will you be in the year ahead?

  • Do share the word or words that represent how you choose to be in 2014.
  • And tell us about the images you will collect to go on your Vision Board to help remind you of your intention.
  • How will this make a difference to the way your year unfolds?


Over to you

I'd love to hear your thoughts about what you just read! Do share in the comment box below.



Something to think about


"We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity.
And its first chapter is New Year's Day."


~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce ~



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From the 5 Minute Career Coach January 2014




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