The very phrase “Making Resolutions” or “New Year’s Resolutions” seem to be loaded with GUILT for most of us who try (and then fail) to do what we set out to do. I believe it’s time to drop this expression from our vocabulary! …Oh and by all means don’t tell people what “resolutions” you’re planning for yourself, because apparently it works against us psychologically!
It’s been a few years since I’ve done the traditional New Year’s Resolutions… I had been recognizing that in my own life they simply weren’t working!
I swapped out the word “changes”, as in “what changes do I need to work on?” and that has turned out to be a much less stressful way of working on change!
See a few related articles: A new you! Is this possible? and Making a change… How do I take that first step? or Let’s Get Everything in Place to Kick Start the New Year!
Lately I’ve been hearing about “Setting Goals for the Next Year”, which I think is perfect! This gives us a whole year to work on the things on our list, instead of trying to force change as rapidly as possible, as soon as possible!
I know when I set my goals for the following year that they don’t have to be set in stone! *GASP!* Why? (Or rather Why Not?)
When I’m finishing up a year I find it natural to look back on my year, to see what I’ve accomplished and see if I can pull out some goals from that… which seems to be a natural progression.
Recently I had read that creating an “End of Year Report” is a very useful exercise, since it not only shows an employer or prospective employer how we’ve effectively utilized out time, it also helps us see for ourselves all the things we’ve managed to do! I did that for the first time this year, and wrote about it: “My Sabbatical Year is Ending! What’s Next? …and a reply to a previous article I wrote!”
I went through the trouble of creating an info-graphic to show in a more visual way my major accomplishments… and when I saw it shaping up I sure felt a warm glow inside of myself! I was happy! I was proud! It felt good to see my accomplishments in front of me!
I called it What My Year Looked Like in 2015!
Once I wrote out my points it became so much easier to extrapolate from those to set some goals or challenges for 2016! I felt so good about writing those goals, so stress-free, so unpressured! I knew I’d have a whole year to work on these challenges.
One important point I brought up is: our goals or challenges aren’t set in stone! Does this mean that if we lose interest that we can just change our list? Does it mean that if something proves too difficult that we can just drop it?
Not really! You see, sometimes when we set a goal, we find out that there’s a lot of prep work we need to do before we can tackle the actual task itself!
When we find out we need to complete steps “A-M” before we can do step “N”, this is a point at which many will become discouraged and perhaps give up… but fear not! If we alter our plans a little to include the prep work, we’ll be able to meet our goals… if not this year, then the next!
Once those prep steps are completed, they become part of our list of accomplishments! Pretty neat, huh?
Don’t you think this is a much more stress-free approach, and becomes something alive and workable in our lives? What are some of the goals you’re working towards this year?
A final thought:
If your GOALS seem large, overwhelming and maybe a little scary…
Baby steps! Take baby steps!
Instead of trying to do it all at once…
Baby steps! Start somewhere small…
Then build from there!
Even if you start small, you’re still starting!
One step will lead to another…
and before you know it, well,
you’ll have done it!
If you’re trying to figure out the steps, would it be easier to try to list them in the comments… just as though we’re sitting and talking… then perhaps if you see them there it’ll become a little easier? Hey, maybe I might have an idea or two to throw in!
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