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  • Drop the Resolutions and Create Success in the New Year

    It is that time of year again when many people make New Year’s Resolutions. Did you know that only 8% of people keep their new year’s resolutions?* That means that 92% of people are failing! That is a staggering number and I think speaks to just how self-defeating it is to make New Year’s resolutions. They set you up for failure, instead of success.
    Now, I think goals are super important and I am not saying to throw out the idea of improving yourself or life. I think there is a better way to go about it then making resolutions.
    Instead of making resolutions, create a word or theme for yourself for the year. Choose one word or theme that helps you focus on what you want to be, do and have for the year. Several years ago a dear friend let me borrow a copy of a book called, One Word That Will Change Your Life, by Gordon, Britton & Page. It inspired me to think differently about my goals. The concept of the book is that you find and focus on one word that will be the driving force in your year. You don’t need endless goals, you need only one word to remind you what to strive for. When you choose the right word, that will help everything else fall into the place.
    It is not just a wonderful concept, but a tool that will help you succeed because it simplifies things for you. If you veer off track, you can easily come back to that one word. This notion of one word or one theme will impact your life on so many levels, emotional, mental, physical, financial, spiritual and relational. This one word or theme can literally help you transform your life when you apply it to all areas of your life.
    So how do you start creating your transformational theme for the year? Well, I highly recommend you get your hands on the book the book I mentioned above. You should be able to find it at your local library. It is short and sweet. You can literally read it in 20 minutes. You also can take a look at the suggestions I have outlined below on creating a theme for the year.
    drop-the-resolutionsandcreate-success-inthe-new-year-1Take a look at your values. Understanding your values are important. They are the key to unlocking who it is you want to become. Write down everything you value in your life. After you do this look for themes and ask yourself, “Who do I really want to be?” Who you want to be goes beyond just how much money you want to make. You should answer this question using the six levels mentioned above. Who do you want to be on an emotional, mental, physical, financial, spiritual and relational level? See that person in your mind’s eye. See yourself being that person. Think about who you WANT to be, not who you DON’T WANT to be. Always focus on the positives.
    Think about the qualities of the person you want to be. When you imagine yourself living your values, what traits do you aspire to? What are the strengths of the person who embodies your values and who you want to be?
    Think about what might have been holding you back from being this person in the past. For e.g., did you decide to lose weight last year and stopped going to the gym? Maybe that was hard to keep up with because you never set yourself as a priority in your life. If your word was “Self-Care,” then that word would always help you come back to what you needed to do. Anytime you “fall off the wagon” you move toward your theme and focus on that. Maybe last year you stopped and started lots of projects and never really made any gains in your career. Perhaps what was missing was “Focus.” You can see how that one word or theme can impact each area of your life. It transforms you when you apply it to all the dimensions of your life. I truly believe coming up with a word or a theme is far better than a resolution.
    It keeps you focused on what you need to do to be the person you want to be. Now here’s the fun part, you can make posters, or create art or surround yourself with other reminders of your theme to help you each and every day. These reminders will pull you back toward your theme.
    You don’t have to just do this when the year changes. You can do this anytime you want to or need to in your life.
    This year my word and theme is SHARE. I hope to continue to share my expertise with you, as well as share a bit of myself in all that I do. What is your word or theme for 2017?

    *Norcross, J.C. & Vangarelli, D.J. (1988). The resolution solution: longitudinal examination of New Year’s change attempts. Journal of Substance Abuse 1(2):127-34.

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