"Do it or don't do it, but get on with it." ~ Krishnamurti
Happy New Year!
I think it is important when one begins the "New Year's resolutions process" to stop and look back at what resolutions they have made in past years...are they the same ones you're making for 2006? If this is the case, what is the reason you didn't reach those goals in previous years? What's not working about your process?
Perhaps they were not really your goals, but rather something you thought you should do, ought to do, needed to do. If so, these resolutions don't belong to you, they belong to your spouse, your boss or society. Your goals, in order to be meaningful AND easy to achieve, must be tied to your values. What's important to you and more importantly... why is it important…what difference will they make both now and in the future?
But before we go there, let’s take a look at the year you just finished. My experience tells me it’s always best to ‘really get’ and then celebrate what has been before we move on…. So here are some questions to ‘reflect on:
*What are the 25 things I’m most proud of accomplishing in 2005?
*What were my disappointments and what did I turn over to God to handle?
*What was the most significant area of personal growth for me?
*What would I have done differently, and what is the lesson I got from it?
*What 5 things am I most grateful for and how have I shown this gratefulness in 2005?
Now, moving on to 2006:
*What are the areas I want to deepen and strengthen in my life? For what reason do I want to do this (the bottom-line reason)?
*What do I need to do or change in order to address these areas?
*What do I want to be different about my work? I want this because…..
*Where do I want my business/career to be in 10 years?
*What changes, systems or structures do I need to put into place for this to happen?
With each individual answer from above, you’ll need to go deeper, search out the ‘why and what’ of that goal or intention. If you don’t; you won’t really have any commitment to it. It’ll be like every other past year; by the end of January, all the ‘resolutions’ will be history.
As an example, let’s take an easy one that most people ‘resolve’ over and over again — losing weight. Ask what is the bottom line, real reason I want to lose 20 pounds? What is the benefit? Then what is the benefit of that benefit? What will that benefit be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? Take yourself to that 'place' 10 years from now and feel and see what it 'looks like' to be 20 pounds lighter. What are you able to do that you couldn't have done before? How will it affect the remainder of your life, your work, your family? Now bringing yourself back to today, what if you had stuck with your plan last year at this time. What would be different today? Feel it and see it. Another biggie is ‘spend more time with my family’ and still another is ‘work less hours’. For what reason would you want these enough to make them happen?
I’ve been doing the ‘sugar dance’ for so many years I can’t even count. It has definitely been my drug of choice and don’t kid yourself, we all have one. This year in mid December I made the commitment to be more responsible in 2006 when it comes to sugar and processed foods. Of course this means getting totally off processed sugar and white flour at least initially to break the addiction. When I made this decision, I watched what began to happen to me physically and emotionally. I actually began to grieve the loss of this old friend even before I began the process. So the letting go process had begun with my decision. I went through this grieving process for about 10 days and then the day after Christmas began the actual healthy eating of only raw or lightly steamed foods. It has been far easier than I had expected because I know that I want to live to be healthy, active, alert, and enthusiastic into my ‘senior years’. My grandmother is 101, so I’m planning a long life and I want to remain independent, very independent with all my mental capabilities.
I have also come to realize that in the past, when I have given in to the sugar friend, it is because I have felt a void, an anxiety or else there is something I have wanted to avoid. There’s nothing like sugar, eating, shopping, drinking or television to mask feelings. So rather than reaching for the desert or the glass of wine in the future, I plan on asking myself, “What am I afraid of and how will I feel about myself if I give in to the fear?” The answer to that is most likely ‘guilty’ and the guilt is even more damaging and more lethal than the sugar, which is a crutch. Come to think of it, guilt is a crutch as well. I’m not saying I will never have another desert or glass of wine, but it won't be as frequent and I will stop and think before I do. Then I will do it or not do it, but get on with it and stop making it a big deal!
Do you have something you ‘fall back on’ when you feel anxious, scared, or tired? Does it serve you? Does it serve your life’s work? Does it serve you for where you want to go or who you want to be?
I ask my coaching clients to choose a theme for the coming year, something that will represent who they want to be, what they want their focus to be, something that will inspire or represent their intention. So I will suggest that you do the same along with the following to bring your intentions for next year closer reality.
My theme for 2006 is:
I have chosen this theme because:
My 1, 5 and 10 year goals are:
The specific steps I will take to get there are:
I want to focus on ____in the first quarter of 2006:
How will I remain ‘intentional’ in 2006?
Who am I the most happy to have in my life and how will I show it in 2006?
I will enroll the following persons in my plan so that I will have support in reaching my intentions:
As Krishnamurti said "Do it or don't do it, but get on with it." And stop making it a big deal.