Each New Year – we all feel goaded into making resolutions which we tend to promptly break. To me, resolve rhymes with dissolve – and that seems to be what happens to these great intentions. It doesn’t mean we are weak or inadequate. It may mean we are not really committed to the outcome we say we intend to make happen. Maybe the outcome isn’t the one we really want to make – maybe our heart really isn’t into it – or maybe we are going in the wrong direction – or maybe we are taking too big a step all at once. Maybe what we really need to do is to get clear on who we are and where we want to go.
Things change. New opportunities rise up. The global community that we live in produces so many new ideas and innovations that were not even thought of a few years ago. Jobs come and go. People come and go. Challenges come and go. The one constant is YOU. You will always have you – and that can be a great thing. Now, I’m not telling you that you have to go out into our big world all alone. I believe in connections and side-kicks. But these connections and side-kicks do not always have to be the same exact ones throughout your journey. They, too, may come and go. The wonderful thing – and yes, sometimes scary feeling – is that we are individuals who are responsible for our own happiness. Whether you prefer to rely on spiritual guidance or self-help gurus – you are still the person who is ultimately responsible for your life.
You are your own life builder or life entrepreneur. The great news is that once you accept the fact that you are the one with the reins in your hands, you can guide your own horse. You can establish who you are – your own personal brand – and decide what you want to do and choose In-Power-Meant. There may be challenges that need to be conquered or overcome – but you can do that. It is much easier to work through challenges when you know why you are doing so. Thus knowing your “why” or the real purpose or reason for taking a particular path on your ride helps toughen up your courage and strength. Creating the most productive and enjoyable journey can be enhanced by utilizing tools and systems – whether that be a compass or a map to follow or certain snacks to sustain your ride. Having a bit of structure with anticipated rewards or respite can help you stay on course.
So instead of continuing to be just another rat on a wheel like the majority of folks each New Year, I would like to make a suggestion. This New Year (or any time you find yourself facing a transition), try committing to yourself instead of resolving to try to do something.
- Take some time alone – just for yourself – to really think, meditate, daydream, or fantasize. What do you want to do with your life? What hopes and dreams do you have? What projects or ambitions do you really want to accomplish? Figure out what you stand for – what your Personal Life Brand is – who you really are? Make it positive and present tense. Aim for concise statements that can be rehearsed or repeated such as an affirmation or an elevator speech. That way you can retain it as a tool for future use.
- Choose ONE thing that you really want to do. Just one. You don’t have to try to do something colossal or ginormous. Just something that may have been hidden away – or tucked away until the right time or until some future time. Now can be that time if you choose so.
- Set up a success system – or set of tools, guide rails, structure to rely on. Maybe you print out your Success Planner and pop it into an inspiring new notebook – maybe you clear out old files to make room for new ones – or maybe you start a brand new journal.
- Create a list of your favorite rewards or moments of respite. Try to list as many as possible so you can always find something that will be workable into whatever situation you may find yourself. Maybe create a vision board to help remind yourself of things you love and things you want to have or create.
- Set small goals or baby steps you can take to help you overcome a challenge or to achieve a certain outcome. Along with the baby steps – specify the rewards or respite that will come along with attainment – but don’t make it counter-productive. In other words, don’t reward yourself with a big piece of chocolate cake for making it for one day without eating any junk food.
- Carve out a little bit of time for yourself regularly – whether it is you having to get up 10 minutes earlier, during a work break or just before retiring for the night. This time is to review, reward, and refocus your efforts. Do not beat yourself up for missteps or slip-ups. We all fall off our horses at times. The trick is to get back into the saddle to ride just a little farther.
Making a commitment to yourself – rather than making another resolution – will help you actually proceed forward on your journey. So much so that when you look back at your progress, you will likely amaze yourself!
See ya’ on down the Trail!