I smiled as I took down our 2016 calendar and replaced it with 2017’s this morning. A new year seems like a blank canvas: a big open space to start fresh and create something new!
The dictionary defines a resolution as “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. For me, making the resolution is the easy part. Keeping my commitment to it as the year goes on is more challenging. As I sit here drinking my morning cup of decaf coffee (ditching caffeine was a 2014 resolution I have kept so far!), I wonder:
How can I replace the glowy January idealism of a resolution with a commitment I’m capable of sustaining throughout the year?
Want to workshop this with me? You’re in? Okay! Let’s roll…
Step One: In 2017 How Do You Want to Feel?
Have a resolution in mind? What would would the lasting impact of your resolution be on your body, heart and soul? Is your resolution fueled by the opinions of others? Or would making and keeping this resolution positively impact your life and others around you?
I think it all boils down to this one BIG question: How do you want to feel?
Example: For me in 2017 I want to feel more grounded in the face of change and unnecessary drama….I want to be mentally un-messable with.
Go ahead and journal this: How do you want to feel?
2) How Can You Take Action?
Let’s take that broad sense of a feeling you want to create and boil it down into some specific actions.
What actions can you take on a regular basis to support how you want to feel?
First, identify areas in your life where you are stuck. They’re likely obvious places where something is blocking your way to creating that feeling you seek.
Example: For me, those areas are Diet, sleep, and exercise.
Journal: What are your three areas?
From those three areas, identify actions you can take to support that feeling you want to create:
Example: If I want to feel more grounded in my life….
Diet: Add more life-giving foods, subtract energy-draining foods. More water, less wine.
Sleep: Looking at my phone right before sleep gets the wheels in my head turning at an unfortunate hour. And it’s also been clinically proven to mess with melatonin levels. I will put my phone away before bedtime.
Exercise: More movement. More walking the dogs and yoga practice will leave me feeling energized and grounded.
Okay, now you journal! What actions can you take?
3) Do the Work
It’s one thing to say to yourself, your journal or others that you’ll take action (I’ve been there!), but it’s another thing to do the work.
Create SPECIFIC actions to support the change you seek and stay the course. This is what will propel you into lasting change.
Diet: MORE: Fruit everyday with breakfast in the a.m. and 1x daily as a snack. Salad 1x day. 1.5 liters water 1x day. LESS: Limit wine to 1 glass/night on weekends or while watching football games. Chips as occasional snacks. Bread only 1x a day.
Sleep: Put Iphone away by 8pm every night away from my bed. Since I use it as an alarm clock, I’ll need to dig out my alarm clock or buy a new one.
Exercise: 30-minute walks with the dogs 5x a week. 60 minutes of yoga 3x week. Demonstrating poses while teaching does not count!
Go ahead and journal: what specific actions can you take?
4) Do Your Best
Stuff comes up. It always will! But can you do the work even when life gives you an excuse pathway out? For me, recognizing my excuses for exactly what they are is the only way I come back to doing the work. Do your very best and all will follow!