We are now at the start of a New Year and I would guess that many of you will already have made some New Year’s resolutions. I used to do the same and am saddened to admit that rarely, if ever, did I stick to them for the year – some didn’t even make it to the end of January as life took over. Now I don’t make resolutions as such: because I realised that what I was actually doing was setting myself up to fail. Every year that I made a commitment and then didn’t stick to it I was reinforcing a message that ‘failure’ was acceptable – not a belief that I now wish to encourage!
So how do I approach the beginning of a new year? The answer: I spend some time thinking about what went really well for me in the current year and what the things are that went not so well and what could I learn from that. How might I have approached those things differently that would have given me a more valuable outcome? I then create a vision for how I would ideally like the coming year to pan out. For those of you reading this and who have completed the PLP you may remember doing the six months exercise – so this is a similar version. Having done this, I then put it somewhere where I can see it every day, making sure that I put it somewhere different on the first of every month so I continue to ‘see’ it and not have it become part of the furniture.
Having created this it now becomes fairly easy as I can ask myself pretty regularly some questions such as ‘how do I need to be for this to become a reality?’, ‘if I knew there is one thing I can choose to do today to enable me to move me closer to my vision what might it be?’ This unquestionably requires some commitment but I have not positioned it in a way that sets me up to fail – it sets me up for success as I don’t feel bad if a couple of weeks go by when ‘life has taken over’ as it surely does – I just realign myself once that busyness has passed.
Oh, and there is one other thing that I continue to do throughout the year as often as I can – I keep filling in my gratitude book! For me, this is the single most important thing that I do that helps keep my thinking on a great track. What you put your attention on expands and what you take your thinking away from withers and dies – so keeping my focus on the things that are going well in my life, no matter how small, definitely creates more good things happening. I even write down some things that I am grateful for that have not yet happened which appears to create even more of the joy and good things happening.
This is what works for me and I share it to give you an opportunity to perhaps enter the New Year with some fresh thinking about how you might approach it. So what might you do now if this makes sense to you and you have already made some resolutions that you are fearful you might not stick to? I suggest that you actively choose to dump them: stating that you realise they are no longer appropriate and you wish to align your thinking with total success!
May you each have a year filled with joy, fun and all that you can dream of for you and all your loved ones. Penny x