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How To Create New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

How To Create New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

Year after year, millions of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions, but most of them do not stick. By setting ourselves up for failure, we create traditional goal-oriented resolutions that don’t help us get clear on who we want to be or shine light on how we want to show up for others in our life, our career, and for ourselves. By focusing on the person we want to be at the end of 2017 and achievable weekly steps, we can finally design New Year’s Resolutions with ease and embody them on a daily basis.

I found this out three years ago when I first started setting New Year’s Resolutions. I designed goals for multiple areas of my life including my career, my relationships, and my self-care. Despite my efforts, I quickly learned that goal-oriented resolutions set us up for failure, self-judgement, and frustration. My resolutions became obstacles to my growth and a regular source for my inner critic to feed off of.

Rather than starting at a goal of getting a certain raise at work, for example, successful resolutions come from being clear on who we want to be and how we want to show up in our everyday interactions. Once I got clear on who I wanted to be, I was able to uncover what I truly wanted to create in my life. Here’s how you can start designing New Year’s resolutions that will stick:

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1. Start With How You Want To Feel In 2017

The book The Desire Map, by author and inspirational speaker Danielle La Porte and based on the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, was a game-changer for me. She emphasizes the importance of understanding how you want to feel in your life. By focusing on how I want to feel each year, I get clear on what I really want.

To do this, take out a journal to write, or close your eyes and follow your imagination through meditation. Imagine that December 31, 2017 is going to be your best day of your best year to date. Reflect on the following question:

How do I want to feel on this best day? Energized? Inspired? Thoughtful?

Keep asking yourself the question for some time to connect with the feeling and listen to what you hear yourself say. Write down the first feelings that come up. Looking at your list, circle the ones that feel most true to you.

2. Imagine Who You Would Need To Be

One of the keys to completing resolutions is to understand the kind of person you need to be to follow through. This is more than not procrastinating or keeping good time management, for example. Traditional productivity practices fall short because they merely manage goals rather than bring them to life. In order to follow through on resolutions, we must know the experience of the achievement.

With your mind in December 31, 2017, again through writing in a journal or by closing your eyes in meditation, imagine who would you need to be if you felt these feelings? For example, if you want to feel energized, what qualities would you leave behind in a room if people were asked to describe you? Would you go running several times a week to stoke your energy? Eat differently? Pick up that childhood hobby you dropped 10 years ago? Who would you need to be to feel what you want to feel at the end of 2017? Write down a list of what comes to your mind.

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3. Choose 1-3 Goals To Create This Feeling

By focusing on just 1-3 annual goals, you will set yourself up for success. With goals connected to who you want to be at the end of 2017, you’ll feel motivated to follow through with a clear understanding of how your goals that will help you become the person you want to be. Taking what you wrote down from the first two steps, complete a brain-dump for the goals you would need to fulfill.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down every goal that comes to your mind. Take a five minute break and step away from your list. Return and set a timer for 10 minutes again. Ask yourself the question: what 1-3 goals are game-changers and would have the most impact to create the December 31, 2017 I imagined? Circle these goals.

4. Identify Small Steps To Take On A Weekly Basis

To ensure your goals do not become a someday in the future concept, identify small steps you can take now. Limit yourself to the span of the next seven days and then repeat this reflection each week. Small consistent steps build momentum for huge change. And because your resolutions are now oriented around who you want to be at the end of 2017, you will slowly modify your mindset and behavior.

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Looking at the goals that you circled, consider what 1-3 steps you can do in the next seven days that take less than 30 minutes to complete. It’s important to create realistic, achievable goals. Putting a limit on the number of steps to complete, and the time to complete them will set you up for success. Put the steps you identified in your weekly to-do list/calendar and schedule. Repeat this practice on a weekly basis to build incremental success.

5. Acknowledge Your Success

Our minds are trained to look for problems. While this problem-solving mindset can be helpful under certain circumstances, it often stops us from following through on our goals. This creates a scarcity mindset, as our minds focus on what we have yet to accomplish, or what went wrong in our follow-through.

By acknowledging what you have completed, you gather momentum to keep going. Acknowledgement fuels your ability to keep positive commitments. So take five minutes at the end of each day or week to acknowledge what you have done. What actions did you take? What feelings did you honor? You can reflect on these mentally or write them down.

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More by this author

Marci Moberg

Mindfulness and Transformation Expert

How to Love Yourself More How To Create New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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