New Year’s Resolutions: it’s a loaded phrase. This is such a tricky time of year. I wonder if you can relate.
In the past, I have easily fallen into the Resolution Trap of buying all the planners and making all the goal posters and journaling all the new routines and changes etc. etc. No matter how I spun it, these exercises have not been a healthy practice for me because the focus on how I want things to change never ends well. Couple the shame I feel after focusing on my flaws, with the fact that the dark and cold days of winter on the east coast knock me back every year and often January can be dark days for me.
The problem is, in the past I have tended to only focus on what I think I’ve done “wrong” all year or to hone in on the areas of my life where I “should” have been doing more. Then, my practice would be to remedy all my wrongs and set up some unrealistic schedule that felt unmanageable at best and punitive at worst. It always lasted maybe 4 weeks before it ended with me wrapped in a blanket on my couch full of guilt at my defeat and hiding from the world until about the time the first flowers bloom in April.
I put the words wrong and should in quotes above because I have no idea who set those standards but I do know they aren’t really helpful for me. Instead, this year I wanted to try something new.
I have a really smart friend who does financial coaching and one of her tools is a more this/less that list. Basically, for her purposes, you list the things you want more of or less of in your life to then help you direct your spending and saving accordingly. I thought the simplicity of that was brilliant, so I added it to some exercises I’ve used before when helping women decide how they want to feel and I came up with a new way to determine goals for 2020.
I have found that for something to really stick with a person, she must determine the motivation behind it and often that motivation has to come from how the person wants to feel. For instance, if I want more travel but less stuff that is because I want to feel more of the freedom I get from being in a new place and less of the feeling stuck and overwhelmed I get when under the weight of clutter and debt.
Knowing how you want to feel at the goal often makes it easier to determine the steps necessary to reach the goal.
For instance, if a person wants to feel more valuable and strong, less lazy and useless, then it would benefit them to start with not just diet and exercise, but really self-compassion and love. I’m not telling any tales on myself, but let’s just say that after some time spent tuning in, my resolution includes a whole lot of moving through 2020 with compassion and love.
I would love to hear what you want more of less of in 2020. Please comment and let me know. I love hearing from you!
Remember, if no one has told you today, you are loved.
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