5 Changes That Make A Resolution Stick In 2015
Yeah, here we go again.
I think the overwhelming feeling from everyone I know as we leave 2014 is a deep and profound relief. This year sucked. I mean, big time. My loved ones and community have battled all manner of illness and death, loss of jobs and end of marriages, bankruptcy of bank accounts and spirits both. There’s a lot of hope looking into 2015 that we can enter into a more positive, healthy and productive time.
But hoping isn’t enough. So I’ve been working on concrete ideas and steps to help us all set resolutions that stick. You with me?
5 Changes That Make A Resolution Stick:
1. Let go of the past: you are not your past. It doesn’t define you. We all made mistakes. We all showed weakness. But you are something finer and stronger than everything that has happened to you. The quickest way to abandon a perfectly good resolution is to let one of the old scripts start playing in your head; “of course the house is a mess, I’m a messy, lazy person and that will never change.” Start creating new scripts now and repeat them over and over.
- “I have enough time to create order in my life and my home.”
- “I value myself enough to eat well and exercise.”
- “No matter how I was raised, I’m smart enough to change and raise my children with love and patience.”
2. Create a “Vision Board”: this works. Pick a place you’ll see it every day–by your bathroom mirror, your bedside table, your closet door. I have one in my bathroom to look at while brushing my teeth and one by my computer. Cut pictures out of magazines, print them off your favorite sites–(God bless Pinterest!) and put them up. This is not like the journals we all kept as teenager that have one three page entry, one two line entry and then 300 blank pages. A Vision Board is meant to be dynamic and fluid. Use quote that are important to you, pictures that inspire you, images and thoughts that make you smile and reinforce the new resolutions you’re trying to create. (Editor’s note: everyone’s choices are subjective and personal. I shouldn’t admit this, but at one point this year my favorite quote on my Vision Board was from the irreverent Buster Guru and said “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade Spiked With Hydrochloric Acid And Throw It In Life’s F—-g Face.” Yeah, I know. Not the picture of big-eyed kittens you were expecting but it made me laugh and feel sort of awesomely mean at the same time.)
3. Don’t try to eat the elephant all at once: most changes are big and life-impacting. That’s why they’re resolutions. So break them down into small, measurable chunks. There’s wonderful new apps designed to help you lay out the entire year. Nothing screams “failure!” to me more than my hopeful January One list of 3,006 things that must be changed…and discarded by January 10th. But, when you see a cheerful “you did it!” on your one week, one month, and one year checklist, then you know you’re on your way. My favorite app is free from iTunes: it helps you lay your resolutions out for the year and sends you goal reminders.
4. Be accountable: now, this one gets tricky. I totally don’t agree with the articles that urge us to “tell everyone you know you’re trying to lose weight, or find a boyfriend!” The right support system is crucial. I learned so much from Lisa Nichols’ book “No Matter What!” this year, and her system to find your core support system. She walks you through the steps carefully, and you may be surprised that it’s not necessarily who you expect. Your mom, husband or best friend are human, too. Their motivations are different. She can help you find the right people for the job. My sister Jenne is the one I go to when I need clear and decisive support: she doesn’t allow self-pity to mar my thinking. My girlfriend Pammy is the support who helps me re-focus after a mistake and create a new path. You can download Lisa’s book from Audible for free–(it’s a free 30 day trial, so just remember to cancel after the month if you don’t want to continue. I love Audible because it gives me everything I could ask for while I’m running or on long drives.)
5. Begin With The End In Mind: powerful words, they’ll change how you structure your resolutions. I learned a lot from listening to “The Secret” and “The Power” from Rhonda Byrne about re-training my throught process to visualise success and not doubt. Picture how weighing your perfect weight will feel. Feel the smooth wood of the desk you get in your job promotion under your hands. Feel the excitement bubble in you as you walk up to receive your diploma. Really take the time to see, feel, hear, taste and experience how amazing the moment is. Write it down. Now, work backwards in those managable chunks we talked about to make it happen.