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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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