I’m doing my New Year’s Resolution a little differently this year. I want to tell you how. But, first I need to give you a little framework and explain the two prior methods I have tried and why they failed.
The intentions we have in creating our New Year’s Resolutions, year after year, are certainly admirable. We want to begin doing something we AREN’T doing, that we know we really SHOULD be doing. The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they rarely stick. It’s common to hear someone saying, “This year I’m going to start eating healthier and avoid fast food.” It’s January 2nd. Come January 7th, you spot them in line at McDonald’s down the road reaching out to grab their paper sack complete with big mac, fries and maybe even one of those pies. (Not sure WHO eats those. But, I assume someone does because they are still selling them.)
Why do you think that is that so many of us give up on making resolutions? We aren’t being realistic? We don’t really want to change/improve? We lose focus or quit caring a few weeks in? I’m sure there are many reasons and they are as unique as the individual.
I am the youngest of six children. I am a mom of five children, from nearly 21 to nearly 6. I have been a small business owner, a stay at home mom, a corporate cubical resident, a local artisan, all of which have all lead me to my happy place and current career – REAL ESTATE. I LOVE what I do. I truly do. My point is I’m like many women and men across the globe. My struggles maintaining a New Year’s Resolution throughout the year aren’t unique to me – trying to achieve more in the time we are given each day/year, that is a universal struggle of mankind.
My lifestyle and workload is as such that 1) there never seems to be enough time in the day to do all the things I need to do 2) the things I WANT to do get pushed to the bottom of my list 3) my quality of life suffers and I start stewing on what I’m missing instead of counting the blessings of what I do have and enjoying my life as it is WHILE it’s in progress and lastly 4) at the end of each year I think geez, I got nowhere and 5) my goals tend to be singularly focus – stretched out across a very broad and lengthy three hundred and sixty-five day stretch in which I tend to lose steam, motivation, money but most importantly FOCUS. So, the traditional one resolution method just never seemed to work for me.
Then a few years back, some of the bloggers I follow introduced a new concept for new year’s resolutions. Instead of having a resolution of something specific, they simply chose a single word to represent their dreams and hopes for the coming year….a theme, if you will. I thought that was great. How Freeing?! No more beating myself up for what I didn’t do that I had so courageously set out to do and then lost interest or motivation to actually do.
I immediately thought this was a great concept. And I selected a word for my upcoming year. The problem with THIS method of using a single word such as FINANCES or STRENGTH or CALM or SELF-LOVE (hyphenated words are apparently ok for this purpose), is that instead of being too SPECIFIC and or unrealistic, it’s too vague and open. While freeing in theory, compared to the previous concept, I felt more lost and misdirected than if I’d stuck with the original I’m going to eat healthy this year – and of course blow that plan by Jan 31st. So this method was not working either. What now?
I am constantly trying to improve, grow, learn, develop new skills or start a new hobby – not because I’m not accepting of myself, but because the world is a big place filled with all kinds of wonderful things, places and people. I want to spend my life expanding my circle and exposing myself to new things, new methods, etc. I don’t consider myself an ultra-positive person or someone who’s always happy. On the contrary, I’ve suffered from major depression on and off for most of my adult life. Add to that A.D.D. and then New Year’s Resolutions. Consistency has been my nemesis for years and YEARS. I strive for it each year. And each year I’m disappointed.
This is where the revamp comes in for my 2016 New Year’s Resolution. How do you think your perception of a New Year’s Resolution would change if instead of focusing on a particular goal or word for 365 days, your focus only need last for 28-31 days? Do you think you could stick with it for that amount of time?
Now, what if trying to think of only ONE AREA of your life, or ONE WORD/THEME you wanted to spend an ENTIRE year focusing on was absolutely debilitating because there are so many things you want to do: learn photography, travel, save more, stop drinking soda, take up yoga or kayaking. What if you focused on not ONE word or ONE area of your life, but 12 – yes, TWELVE in a year? Do you think that would be your best year yet?
Think of how much you can change in a year with this approach. Imagine how empowered you’ll feel at the end of the 12 months knowing that you didn’t make and break another New Year’s Resolution – but you conquered/achieved 12 resolutions and made serious strides in 12 areas of your life. This was a huge Ah-HA! moment for me.
There are so many applications – even when it comes to Real Estate. First time homebuyers could utilize each of their 12 months exploring an area of the home buying process and or home ownership. Sellers who planned on selling in the next year could use the 12 months focusing on different areas of the home that needed to be addressed or repaired so that when the time comes to list – they are prepared. Investors could use the year to break down researching with their agent the different methods of real estate investments and how to be sure that they are making a sound financial decision. These are just quick examples.
I know I’ll be doing separate monthly resolutions for my personal development and my business development. You can probably think of how you can use this to grow your business, develop new habits and hobbies, etc. I can’t wait to hear what you chose to focus on. Don’t be afraid to post in the comments.
Why not make 2016 a significant year? Get started on those 12 resolutions today. We can do ANYTHING for a month. Let’s use this year to say goodbye to our caterpillar life and HELLO to our wings!!
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