How To Reflect & Select a Meaningful New Year’s Resolution

With the New Year right around the corner, this is generally the time when people take stock of where they are, make the same resolution they made last year, and swear that this time things will be different. Sound familiar? 

"This is the year when I'll finally:

  • Get in shape/a raise/a husband
  • Give up smoking/gluten/FB stalking my ex
  • Gain more money/more followers/more success"

And while all those are desirable changes, they aren’t going to happen.

No, it’s not because there’s something wrong with you, your wishes, or your willpower.
It’s because it’s an amorphous dream and not a tangible plan. And while I'd love to jump to the part where I give you a strategy to achieve your goals (it's coming), it’s important to get clear on what you truly want.

Today, I’m sharing Part I. of the 2 step system I use with clients to help them choose and achieve a meaningful New Year’s Resolution.

But before we begin, I’ve got a disclaimer: While I’m one of those no-nonsense coaches who likes actionable plans, I'm also a spiritual, contemplative, “ask the Universe for the answer” type of gal. While these 2 parts are seemingly contradictory, I believe that action for action’s sake will only result in a long, un-scenic, detour. At the same time, I believe hippy intentions that aren’t grounded by a plan will leave you setting the same resolution next year. So, in an effort to honor both the intuitive and the achiever that exists in all of us, you first need to get super clear on which change will give you the most ‘bang for our buck.’ In other words, you need a goal that’s aligned with who you are and where you want to be.

And that’s why today is all about: How To Reflect & Select Your New Year’s Resolution

Get Honest. Get Focused.

Since most of us choose a resolution or goal based on what we’re trying to avoid (job loss, being single, poor health), we tend to focus on and attract more of what we don’t want. (For more on that see links to the right --->) 

Choosing a meaningful goal that addresses all of you requires that you take an honest look at ALL the parts of you and your life. And chances are, not everything in your life is crappy or broken. Some parts are likely going well. You simply don’t notice or value it because it isn’t causing you pain.

While it may seem counterproductive, the first step in choosing a New Year’s resolution is to look at what’s working. That’s because the answer to your problem might not be creating a new habit from scratch, it might be doing more of what you do well and translating it to a new area of your life. For example, if you are able to accomplish work tasks and maintain motivation in your career, but can’t seem to make it to the gym, you may want to look at how you can apply your career skill set to your workouts. (More on that here.)  To reflect and select a meaningful resolution, 

Start by asking yourself what’s working:

  1. When I feel like my best self, what am I doing? Where am I? Who am I with?
  2. What parts of myself do I love?
  3. What brings me joy?
  4. What would I like to be known for (characteristics, accomplishments, etc.)?

Then, consider what’s not working by asking yourself:

  1. In what areas of my life am I not being true to myself?
  2. In what areas am I not expressing myself fully?
  3. In what areas do I feel one way, but act another?
  4. What parts of me would I like to cultivate more of?
  5. How can I cultivate more of those through my actions?

Take a few minutes and write the answers to these questions in order (don’t cheat!)

If you want new results, you need to take new actions. Sometimes, those actions involve slowing down and writing down answers to things you think you already know or can skip. (Yes, I’m talking to you!)

Stay tuned. Part II., “Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work (and what to do instead), will help turn this hippy, soul-searching, journaling into some actionable, take-no-prisoners, achievable goals.