As you may have guessed by now, writing is my passion. I express my thoughts, dreams, and emotions best with the written word. So today I would like to share with you something I wrote that is not part of the novel itself, though the ideas shared below are the very essence of HOW I continue to create all that I want in my life. (I will return to MJWL on January 2nd.)
Today's post is all about New Year's Resolutions, or "NYRs". I recently read that only 8% of us will keep our NYRs, and I found that disturbing. At 8%, why bother?
Because for some reason the thought of a fresh, unblemished year has even the most jaded nay-sayers secretly pondering what they would like to tweak. Most of us want to succeed with our NYRs, we just don't know how. Well, what if I can offer you a way to virtually guarantee that your 2014 NYRs will work? Follow the 12 Steps listed below and collectively we can move the needle on that 8%.
12 Steps to Successful NYRs
Step 1. Find a quiet space where you can really think. "Quiet" is a relative term here. Your space could be on a peaceful mountain top or it could be the corner booth at your local Starbucks. Just find a space where you can really think, and grab a pocket of time where you will not be interrupted. Turn your cell phone off for an hour...you're worth it.
Step 2. Begin at the end, and think from there. When you're at the end of 2014, where do you want to be? What will be different? With unlimited time (one year) and infinite resources (your mind), you are capable of extraordinary things. I encourage you to create compelling goals that truly inspire you. You will need NYRs that move you spiritually to pull this off.
Step 3. KNOW, with all that you are, that you WILL accomplish your NYRs. There is a tremendous difference between hoping and knowing. A hope says "Hey, if it's not too much trouble, can you make this happen for me?" Knowing says "This IS going to happen. I know it with every ounce of my being." Knowing is a complete shift in energy, and is essential to the fulfillment of your NYRs.
Step 4. Choose NYRs that YOU truly want. YOU! This is critical. So often we set goals based on the well-meaning suggestions of people we like to please. If you allow others to choose your NYRs they are doomed to failure.
Step 5. Write it down. Yes, every goal setting article on the planet will tell you that you need to write down your NYRs. There's a reason for that. The action of writing it out adds a layer of commitment, and the list you create becomes a resource to guide you through the process. What would you like to manifest in your life? What will give your mind excitement and your soul peace? Figure it out, and write it down.
Step 6. Shhh...It's a secret! Most goal setting mantras will encourage you to share your NYRs with others so they can hold you accountable for your actions. I recommend the opposite. Commit your NYRs to your own heart, but keep them to yourself. When you discuss your NYRs people will line up to share stories about others who tried the same thing and failed. Trust me. The only one who needs to know at this point is you.
Step 7. Go there! Right now! How does it feel? Try this. Close your eyes and picture yourself achieving your NYRs. What does it look like? How does it feel? Picture as many details as you can. If your NYR is to be debt free, see yourself holding a credit card statement with a zero balance. If you want to be in excellent health see yourself smiling in the mirror at your reflection, finishing a 5K, or holding the perfect tree pose in a Bikram's Yoga class. It's important to really feel what achieving your NYRs will be like ahead of time.
Step 8. Start stacking up the little victories. Most NYRs are difficult to achieve. That's why the reported success rate is so disgusting. So how do you keep from getting discouraged? By stacking up the little victories. Achievements, even little ones, should be recognized and noted. Each time you make a decision that leads you towards your goal celebrate in a small way. Even making a mental note of the moment and smiling to yourself will suffice.
Step 9. Prepare for impact. Any time you make a major change in your life there is going to be a ripple effect that touches others. What if those closest to you don't want you to change? If you decide to give up beer how will your Sunday football buddies react? If you eliminate gossip and negative energy from your life, how will that impact your favorite cousin who loves to dish on the family drama? If you elevate your life in any way there will be some who are unwittingly threatened by the new you. Get ready for this and know how to react. It may just be that they need time to adjust to your new energy, along with reassurance that you still love THEM for who they are.
Step 10. Say no to never! Whatever your goal is, it is best to not expect perfection from the get go. It doesn't have to be about 100% denial. That's why most diets don't work. Diets are about denying what you want, and will power will only get you so far. That's why you have to say no to never! Make it a lifestyle change, not a temporary adjustment. And know that it's OK to say yes once in a while. One of my NYRs is to increase my energy, so I made the decision to make changes to what I ate. Food became fuel for my body, not a crutch for my emotions. When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm not hungry, I don't. Some days, though, I really crave that piece of cheesecake, so I have it, knowing that to keep my energy high I will need to make it the exception, not the rule. I simply enjoy the "yes" and move on.
Step 11. Review your NYRs often. Life is busy, so to keep my NYRs front of mind I read them every day. I keep them folded up and tucked into a book next to my bed. I read them when I wake up in the morning and they ignite my soul. I read them again before I fall asleep and they help my subconscious work out the details that will bring these NYRs into my life.
Step 12. Rinse and repeat. Once you have finally achieved your once elusive NYRs, and have proven to yourself just how powerful you can be at manifesting what you want, make new goals! It doesn't have to be January 1st to sit down with pen and paper and decide what you want to accomplish next.
I wish you all light, love, and tons of success on your path. Enjoy the process, and have a wonderful 2014 and beyond! And may this be the year that you...
Believe in forever.