Every New Year, people make resolutions dependant upon habits they had the previous year. Statistically every year, those same resolutions last approximately until February 1. Making resolutions for New Years is a tradition passed down through our culture. The issue is that the ability to keep those resolutions has not be passed down as well. Personally, I don’t believe in making resolutions of any kind. I believe in making changes, making money and making a difference. As a result, every year instead of making temporary resolutions for my life, I make permanent improvements. I refer to it as my New Year, New You Personal Campaign©.
How do I do this? I self assess myself, my situation, my finances, my life and then I make firm decisions on how to correct the things I do not like and know that I have control of. I make changing things a realistic goal. Then I put an effective, realistic plan in place to achieve my goals. Sounds easy. It can be, once it is put into practice repeatedly. That’s the first key – putting it into practice. Being a person who talks about what you’re going to do is easy. Being a person of action is a little more difficult because it actually requires action on your part.
Many of my goals are related to each other or have other goals dependant upon their achievement. One of my permanent improvement goals include getting into better shape. Not that I’m overweight, but I know that I have to maintain my health and that the better I look, the better I will feel and vice versa. Plus clothes cost too much to replace them if I gain weight. I’ve been there, done that and refuse to do it again. Therefore, my regimen begins immediately. Not tomorrow, not next week – IMMEDIATELY. That is the next key – NOT procrastinating and making excuses for putting off making those changes because you’re too busy. I know all about being busy. After all, I am Super Woman.
I’m a goal setter and go-getter. Two things that work well together. Living purpose driven is a lifestyle for me. It’s what I do and it’s something I want to pass on to others. Everyone’s purpose is going to be different, I don’t expect everyone to aspire to be me or anyone else. I expect everyone to be their best self. It’s finding your purpose that is most important and making changes in yourself is necessary to do this. As with anything new, it has to be introduced in stages. So if you’re willing to learn, I’m willing to teach. These are the steps to begin journey to a New Year, New You.
Step 1 – Self Assess:
Step 1 is the root of the tree. What things about yourself do you know you need to work on? This is often the hardest part for anyone because it requires that you be completely honest with yourself about yourself. It’s the only way to be successful on this journey. Are you overweight? Do you smoke or drink too much? Are you depressed or lack self-esteem? Are you in an abusive or unhealthy relationship? Do you have a poor attitude? Are you difficult to get along with?
Once you have clearly self assessed yourself, write down the things you recognized about yourself and acknowledge they exist and need to change. Once you have done this, guess what, you have achieved goal number one: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. Acknowledgement is everyone’s first goal to achieve in this process.
Step 2 – Serenity:
This step requires prayer. There is a prayer many of us know, but often fail to pay attention to. In Step 2 you need to ask God to grant you the strength to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know they difference. You need to add this to your prayers on a daily basis. Why is this important? Because I’m willing to bet you wrote something down in Step 1 that you have no control over and left out something that you do. Example, if you wrote down “get married” or “get a husband” as something you want to change but you’re not even dating or in a relationship, you haven’t properly self assessed yourself. Instead examine why you want a husband or why you want to get married. In Step 1 if you wrote down that you want to get a better job, but didn’t write that you need to go back to school or develop a skill to get a better job, you haven’t properly self assessed yourself. If you wrote down that you want to start a business but didn’t write that you will research business models, you haven’t properly self assessed yourself. Remember Step 1 is the root of the tree. It’s the foundation for achieving. If you didn’t write anything down, I’m here to tell you that you are in deep denial. No one is perfect and many of us aren’t striving to be. But there are at least five things we all could improve upon in order to become better individuals.
Step 3 – Identify the positive:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every negative, there is a positive. Once you have self assessed and began to practice serenity, you can clearly identify positive behaviors to replace any negative ones you currently have. I know you’re thinking that you’ve done this before, but I guarantee you haven’t. Identifying the positive can sometimes be difficult because we spend so much time being one way, that we don’t know how to be another. Complainers complain because they don’t know how not to. Liars lie because they don’t know how to tell the truth. Over eaters overeat because they don’t know how not to. However, just like a negative behavior can begin, so can a positive one. A lot of it is about our own choices. This step may also require that you lose some friends. As much as we like to believe that everyone likes us and wants what is best for us, that just isn’t true all of the time. During your journey to a new you, there will be someone who says something negative to try to dissuade you from continuing. They will give you many reason why you won’t succeed and if you listen to them, you won’t succeed. Those people may have to be dismissed from your life, either temporarily or permanently, in order for you to reach your goals. This is another time when Step 2 will come in handy if you put it into practice.
Step 4 – Become a person of action:
Don’t talk about it, be about it. This is extremely crucial in being successful. Once you have identified the changes you can make, separated out the ones you have no control over (usually other people and their actions or inactions), you can began to seek help and start putting the positive actions into practice. Write the goals down. Put them in you iPhone, iPad, Blackberry… wherever you need to as a constant reminder. But be bold enough in your desire to achieve and take the plunge. People who run marathons started out by taking a walk. Then they made a decision to run. Next they set a goal to enter a marathon and discovered they needed to train. The same thing can be true of anything you want to change or improve in your own life. No excuses. No complaints. Treat it like Nike and just do it. Get into “training”. Train your mind, train your body, train your spirit and change your world.
Step 5 – Have fun with it:
Change doesn’t have to put a gray cloud over your life. Change can be enjoyable, adventurous and fun. Nowhere does it say that a person can’t enjoy change. Change can be hard, but change is GOOD. Without change, there is no growth. I’m speaking from experience when I say this. Keep in mind that just because you are changing doesn’t mean you have to shun others who are not. It may just mean you can’t spend a lot of your time with them. And eventually, those people may no longer remain a part of your life because their season has ended. But if someone sees that you are having an enjoyable time embracing your change instead of crying in a corner, that person might just ask you how you did it. Then you can share these steps with them and the two of you can support each other. You have now become a beacon of light in someone else’s world.
Which leads to the last step…
Step 6 – Get support:
I don’t expect any of you to achieve these goals overnight or even in a year. I’ve been doing this for years now so I can tell you it isn’t Instant-Fix-Your-Life-Mix *just add water. I don’t even want you to read this and believe that. This is a long-term plan and should be repeated every year, or as often as necessary, until you are where you want and, more importantly, need to be. Therefore, if you get stuck on any step in this process, ask for help. Get support and discuss with other like-minded people. In fact, for anyone who is bold enough, I will help you personally. If you put together your Self Assessment and email it to me at email@example.com I will personally help you set goals and be a supporter of you achieving those goals.
Periodically, through my website I’m going to share with you my New Year, New You Goals and Achievements to help keep you motivated. I will show you that I live what I speak so that you will be encouraged to do the same. Anytime you see an infinity symbol on a page of my website or in a blog post you will know that was one of my goals.
The infinity symbol looks like this: ∞
◊Happy New Year… Happy New You!