Making resolutions each year is a time-honored tradition. Breaking, neglecting, rethinking, and completely abandoning them is a practice that’s almost equally popular, albeit less celebratory. It seems that once the confetti has been cleared and the pressures of the day creep back in, we lose the spark to turn our resolutions into solid habits.
What if we didn’t?
Could we find a way to look at what was so important a few weeks ago and treat it that way now?
We can! We just need a clear – and repeatable – strategy to take us from well-meaning promises to meaningful action. Think of it as choosing to view resolutions through a different lens; one that helps us focus in on strengthening the key building blocks that help forge the change we crave.
Where to Start: 4 Steps to Reboot Your Resolutions
1. Find Your Focus
First and foremost, get honest with yourself. Finding the right starting point can mean the difference between forward progress and frustration so take your time and choose thoughtfully. What is it that you want to work on? Not the latest and greatest on social, but the pattern, habit, or change that truly matters to you. It could very well be something you’re not thrilled with about yourself, so consider this your reminder to be kind and talk to yourself as you would a dear friend. Whether it’s related to your physical health, your career, or the way you invest in relationships, it’s unique to you, so be honest!
2. Set Your Intention
This is the promise you make to yourself. Why are you making this change? How do you want to show up differently in the world and what type of person do you want to practice being? Use your intention as the basis of an internal reminder system that you weave through each day to keep you honest, accountable, and motivated. I’m a big fan of adding it to a meditation and an equally big fan of writing intention reminders on sticky notes so I have a cheering squad of brightly colored 3″x3″ squares peppered throughout my world.
3. Work Your Plan
This is where the rubber meets the road and where we so often lose the thread. Focus and intention are not enough on their own. Pairing them with clearly defined actions is crucial to making headway. You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map, and this is no different. The plan is your map and the steps help you navigate how to get from where you are now to where you ultimately want to be. It helps you measure progress, however incremental it may seem, so you know you’re on track. And, it helps clarify what to do and in what order to do it!
4. Reflect, Celebrate & Repeat
Wouldn’t it be great to do the first three steps and just nail it? No tweaks, no edits, just 100%…first try! I’ve never experienced that and I’m willing to venture you haven’t either. So, why set that expectation for something so complex as personal growth? Your plan will need adjustments along the way. This is not failure, nor is it a reason to give up. Adapting is a sign of strength so be open to the changes. They’re all a part of the trip and, oh my, the learning that can come from the unexpected…the learning!!
4 Steps, That’s It
Four repeatable steps. Find your focus, set your intention, and work your plan. Then, with each step, reflect on how it’s all working for you. Approach it all with honesty and integrity so you’ll have space to edit your plan and courage to make changes when needed.
Change is possible and you are capable of creating it in your life. Think back to what caught your heart’s attention when the year was new. Is it still important to you? Then, give it a reboot and set a course for better.