You want to make changes. You want to start the New Year with a fresh slate. A clean start. You are fired up and ready to make it happen.
Let me help. The most important tip I have is
DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION!
Make an Intention.
Feel the difference in these definitions:
Intention: aim or purpose
Resolutions: firm decision, determination.
Which one will be flexible?
Which one will let you have a fresh start when the going gets tough?
If you look in Webster’s Dictionary you’ll find that resolution means a firm decision to do or not to do something. This makes me feel squeezed. What happens when you start to fall short? The first time you don’t get to the gym/eat that cookie/take a puff on that cigarette the odds are you will call it failure and quit. Usually before January 31st. Intention, which is defined as an aim or a plan, feels like you have a good heart and you mean well. When you set an intention, you’re saying that every day you will give it a go again. It lets you keep trying. That is how change really happens. With a daily re-commitment to the goal.
The First Three Steps
You have to answer these three questions. Write down your answers.
- What do you intend to create this year?
- To hold this intention, what will you have to let go of?
- To hold this intention, what will you step into or claim?
I intend to create better health
To hold this intention I will be letting go of:
- Negative self-talk about my ability to change this
- The habit of eating cookies as a reward after work
- My need to sleep in every morning
What am I stepping into:
- Being proud every time I make a better food/exercise choice
- Telling people about my successes in this
- Running three mornings a week
Once you are clear on what you have to get rid of to make this change and what you need to claim, you will create your own ritual to symbolize your decision. Make sure you have some room to work with and get ready to make a line to step over. On one side, you today and on the other, the life you want to step into.
Five Steps to take you into the New Year and the New You
1.You will need objects of some sort that indicate what you are letting go of, and what you are stepping into.
For health I might make a line up of the junk food and my ‘fat’ pants. That is what I’m leaving behind. Beside that, I make a second line up and it has my healthy food and my exercise clothes and maybe a picture of me when I’ve been healthy before.
2.Stand on the side with the things you need to let go of. Read loudly and with pride, your list of what you are saying goodbye to. Destroy that list after reading.
3. Step up to the line, read what you are excited to claim- feeling great, pride, excitement, better health, being funnier, smarter, whatever it is. Then with complete knowing, take this symbolic step over the line. You are on the other side; there is no going back.
4.Celebrate this declaration of your intention. Rejoice in the awareness you brought to this ritual. Toast yourself, play your new theme song, and do a victory dance. Keep your list of what you are stepping into and post it somewhere you can see it often (fridge, bathroom mirror)
5.Commit every day to this and recognize that every moment is a fresh chance to make a choice that honors your intentions.