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By Bea Lanzi
So, how are those New Year resolutions going? Yeah… just as I thought.
Every year as we approach January 1st, we jump into resolution mode. We start with the best intentions. We dig deep, contemplate, maybe even meditate a bit before we muster up our resolve and firmly proclaim, in ink even, what we are going to do differently this coming year.
We think about all the bad things we are doing and resolve to stop doing them once and for all. We think about all the good things we should be doing and resolve to do them right now. We feel strong, bold, sure of our ability to maintain this resolve and meet these challenges head on.
We put that list where we can see it every day to remind us of these resolutions that will make us new, improved and better. We feel excited. We feel strong. We feel satisfaction in our ability to get it done.
Then something happens. Within days, or even a few hours, we look at that list and no longer feel that sense of bold intent. We don’t feel inspired, we feel exhausted. We feel a sense of looming dread. Even the slightest glance, if we catch that list in the corner of our eye, it provokes anxiety.
The list of resolutions becomes our enemy. So, we start to ignore it. We cover it with other papers or move it to a less visible location. We accidently lose it. And, we lose our sense of accomplishment too. It’s soon replaced with a feeling of failure.
That’s why I stopped making resolutions. I just couldn’t stand how they made me feel.
But I didn’t like giving up. It bothered me. I’m someone who actually likes to make lists and plans. I’ve been an avid list maker since my teen years when I discovered Zig Ziglar and his teachings about goal setting. So, I was really stumped and depressed. What could I do differently?
I thought about it and realized I needed to get back to my goal setting roots. Just thinking about it made me feel better. Even writing the word goals on paper had a different feel to me. Resolutions made me feel pressured, like I had another job to do. Goals made me feel inspired, excited that I was working toward something.
I banished resolutions and embraced goals. And I haven’t looked back.
When the cold month of January approaches, I sit with a steaming café mocha and think about where I am, where I want to be and what goals can help me shape my life accordingly. I ask myself if I am being authentic in what I’m currently doing. What am I grateful for? What do I really love about my current life? How do I see my future?
As I sip on my café mocha, I brainstorm personal and professional goals that help me see the full picture of my life. I think about the picture they paint and make sure they motivate and inspire me. I write them in pen, but also give myself permission to revisit my goals regularly and make adjustments as my priorities change.
I’ve found this little tradition to be something I look forward to after the rush of the holiday season. It’s my opportunity to sit quietly and get the creative ideas flowing. I have fun picturing the new adventures and accomplishments I’ll work toward. I have finally found a winning formula that I plan to stick with. Well, except for the café mocha, sometimes I swap it for a peppermint mocha… I wish you all a wonderful and happy New Year!