We make um and we break um, right? Usually, resolutions are far too tough to stick to because they're usually rather lofty or because we have some fundamental shifts to make before we can allow ourselves to really achieve those goals. Here are my tips on how to set resolutions and goals; allowing them to be a source of joy and fuel, versus a list of failures.
1. Don't just set goals for the year: That can be too big picture for most of us. Create a pathway to success by also setting 3 and 6 months goals for you to achieve along the way. When you tackle the smaller, more attainable goal, the next step much more within reach.
2. Have someone hold you accountable: Accountability is really key to everything. Some of us can hold ourselves accountable by making promises to ourselves and offering consequences when those promises are broken. For the rest of us, we need another person to keep us engaged and delivering week after week. I fall into the latter camp. When I started writing my book earlier this year, I knew I needed someone else to hold me accountable. So I started chatting with friends and colleagues and soon realized they also needed the same thing. So, I created a weekly accountability group where we all share our goals, what we're working on and hope to achieve in the next week. It helps us get even more micro with goal setting—drilling down into the week by week. But, it also holds a safe space for us to honor our feelings and what we're working against. Which is a great segue into my next point.
3. If you're out of integrity with your actions, look at your emotions: Let's say one of your resolutions was to workout more and eat healthier. But 8pm rolls around every night and you reach for the box of cookies and devour the whole thing. What's up with that?! Your heart might be in the right place with the goal, but there is probably more to it. What is the emotion that's behind the self-sabotage? Are you afraid to step into your own power? Are you punishing yourself because you don't think you're worthy of success? Whatever it is, get a pen and paper and start free writing. Write it out until it's clear to you what the emotion behind the action is. Then set some promises around that. If you realize that you're reaching for cookies at night to sabotage your diet because you're afraid what it might feel like to love yourself and step into your own greatness, start by just realizing what you're doing. That awareness is the biggest and best step you could take. Instead of punishing yourself or beating yourself up, be kind to yourself and make a promise to do better next time. And just keep at it. The more you catch yourself and clear our the emotions behind the self-sabbotage, the easier it will become to stay in integrity with your resolutions.
4. Write them down: When we take then out of our heads and put them on the page, they become real. Jot your weekly goals down and share with your accountability group. Put your annual goals down too—but don't look at them everyday if it causes anxiety and you feel too disconnected from them. I write mine on a small note card and place them in my wallet. I come across them once a month and it makes me smile knowing I'm working towards the bigger picture.
5. Don't just make a list: A list can be completely devoid of feeling. When we feel things, truly and deeply, they become real to us. So, instead of a love-less list, write your dreams out in paragraph form and focus on how they FEEL to you. When I write my career dream every year I focus on how the environment feels, the amazing people I want to work with and the joy I get from doing what I love day in and day out. That feeling is what keeps me connected to the goals day in and day out.
How do you go about your resolutions? We'd love to hear!