New Year Tip #1: Affirm. Instead of resolutions, create affirmations. Resolutions are often made from a state of judgment, guilt, or regret. When you resolve to lose 40 pounds, for example, the unspoken message you send yourself is that you're overweight. While that may be true, it's ususally expressed as a judgment. Judging yourself "bad" does not inspire health and well-being.
Positive affirmation. Affirmations keep the result you desire firmly in mind. They're positive statements, spoken as the new truth. Affirmations inspire and motivate your success — they're the tools you need to make your desires "firm" in the world.
On a mission for health and fitness? Use these examples to create affirmations that suit your personal goals:
- I feel great in my new size 8 clothes. They fit perfectly!
- I enjoy eating healthy, low-fat foods whenever I'm truly hungry. They taste great!
- My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in the normal range without medication. My doctor is delighted.
The purpose of an affirmation is to get you thinking like a person who already has the things you want. You still have to take the real-world actions to bring them about, of course. As your thoughts change, affirmations can inspire you to manifest your wildest dreams!
Ask yourself: What results am I really looking for? How can I inspire myself to achieve them?
New Year Tip #2: Prioritize! Focus on just one task at a time. Ask yourself "what's the most important thing to do next?" and do that one thing. When you've finished — whether it's a single step or the whole project — ask the question again.
What should you do if you have a whole list of stuff to finish up?
Just start with one thing. Finish that, then move on to the next. You'll feel much better with one project really finished than you will leaving a whole bunch of "almost done" stuff lying around.
What should you do if creativity strikes while you're working on the first thing?
Write down your inspiration. Then ask some questions:
- Will it enhance or replace your current project without significantly impacting your finish time? Will it save you time and effort? If so, then by all means make the change.
- Will it distract you from your current project? Could you save it until after the current project is finished? If so, then finish your current project first. If the new idea still sounds promising, take it on next.
Ask yourself: What one action should I take next to move closer to my ultimate goal of ___ ?
New Year Tip #3: Rejuvenate. Hardly anyone does well on a tightly-packed schedule. And hardly anyone does well with all work and no play. Smart achievers schedule down-time into their day, week, month, and year.
As you block out your schedule, plan unstructured time for 3 separate purposes:
- Unexpected events. You get a flat tire, the refrigerator breaks, your cat gets sick. When are you going to deal with it? In the time you've set aside for unexpected events. If nothing unexpected happens, you get free time to do as you like. (You know the difference between unexpected events and failure to plan, right?)
- Creativity. Creativity serves as a "primer" for itself. Just pick something different from what you normally do for work. Build something, fix a special dinner, throw a party, tend the garden, turn up the radio and sing along, finger-paint with the kids. Once your creative juices are flowing, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the new energy you can bring to your daily routine.
- Pure relaxation. Sit outside and stare at the stars, put your feet up, take a nap, take a bath, take a picnic. Do nothing for the sake of doing nothing. Just relax!
Ask yourself: What adjustments can I make to allow for extra breathing space in my schedule?
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New Year Tip #4: Be Accountable. It's human nature, I guess. Just so easy to let things slip and slide.
- I didn't really mean I'd start exercising this week. Next week's soon enough. I'm under a lot of stress at work. Really.
- I was going to work on that business plan Saturday. Stuff came up. Oh well.
- Yeah, I know I should straighten up the house. And I'll do it. Soon.
Let's face it, if you were meeting a trainer (that you'd paid in advance), you'd probably show up for the work-out. If you were presenting your business plan to Martha Stewart next week, you'd work on it. If the Ms. Stewart meeting was at your house, you'd clean.
One of the real keys to success, no matter what your goal, is to create accountability for yourself. To find something or someone who will hold you to what you said you were going to do. To support and encourage you when things get tough and you want to quit. And to celebrate with you when you reach the top of the mountain!
Sure, life is easier (in the moment) if you give yourself permission to be a slacker. Yet if you really want what you want, do what the "big kids" do. Make yourself accountable.
One good way? Join a coaching group. The next WordCures Wellness Coaching section starts January 15th.
Ask yourself: How can I create accountability for the goals I'm really passionate about?