The bells are fast approaching – so what New Year’s resolutions have you made for yourself this time round? To give you the best chance of turning resolutions into reality, here are some simple tips:
1. Set Goals That Matter – to YOU
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do – as long as it’s important to you. Don’t lose weight for someone else – do it for you, or don’t do it. Don’t plan that round-the-world-cruise with your best friend, unless it’s what you really want to spend your time doing. And if setting up your own pig farm makes everyone else scratch their heads in puzzlement, but makes your heart burst into song every time you think of it – get to it! Always remember: no goal is too small, as long as it’s your goal.
2. Clear The Decks For Action
You don’t have to wait for spring to clear some space for your dreams. If you’re drowning in a sea of clutter, give yourself the gift of clearing away the debris of outdated obligations and abandoned projects. De-cluttering your home and your head is easy, but don’t go at it until you’ve fully understood your clutter first. There could be some buried treasures in there, and now’s the time to dig them out. Don’t expect the space to remain empty for long, however. Conquer your clutter then watch your empty spaces fill up with all the things that delight you!
3. Ditch Wishful Thinking
If affirming, chanting, cosmic ordering, and repeating manifestation mantras for hours on end is what turns you on – go for it, and have a great time. But know this: you can still realise your dreams even if you’re in a foul mood. Don’t be fooled by anyone who tells you, in the midst of a terrible economic climate, to “just do it and the money will arrive anyway!” It might, it might not, and it doesn’t matter. What matters is you living a life you love, and you can do that not by thinking positively, and not by thinking negatively, but by thinking any which way you like, and taking the practical steps necessary to move you forward. Speaking of which…
4. Be A Verb
Resolutions, by their nature, tend to be future-focused. They are, after all, about what you’re going to be doing in the year to come. To make them really effective, however, think of them as things you are “doing”, rather than things you’re “going to be”. Don’t say “I’m going to be a writer.” Get writing – now (yes, I mean this very minute). Don’t say “I’m going to get fit”. Get up and start walking/jogging/dancing/lifting weights – now. Don’t say “I’m going to join that singing group” – drop what you’re doing, and burst into song (everyone should be singing Auld Lang Syne tonight anyway, so you have the perfect excuse). Don’t think about being a noun next year. Take action right here, right now, and be a verb.
5. Stop Waiting For The Motivation
If you’re feeling unresolved to do anything, you may be talking yourself into believing it’s because you’re just not motivated enough. If only the motivation was there, you could do it, you say. Well – stop kidding yourself. Motivation isn’t out there somewhere, hovering just over the horizon, trying to decide whether to pay you a visit or not. It’s inside you, and always has been. You just have to wake it up, by starting to do what you love – however small – and then tuning in to why you love it so much. If you follow point number 4, above, you’ll soon see that I’m right. Don’t fall for the myth of motivation. Get moving!
6. Become Accountable
You don’t have to follow your dreams alone – and in fact, doing so is putting yourself at a great disadvantage. Gather together some people you trust, and ask for their support. Other people are a great source of ideas, encouragement, and – when it’s needed – a kick up the backside. By holding yourself accountable to others as well as yourself, you’ll find it much harder to shirk doing what you’ve committed to doing. Have you written your resolutions down? Good – give the list to a trusted friend, and ask them to be your 2010 Resolutions Buddy.
7. Support Yourself
As well as finding support from outside, you need to build up as much support as possible internally. The beginning of the year is a great time to take stock of all your strengths, and to reconnect with them. If you feel you’re lacking in any area, make a commitment to bolstering your abilities. Look to your heroes and idols for inspiration (if you see something in them you admire, you can be sure it’s because it’s something that already exists inside you in some way or another). And if you fancy doing some more in-depth inner work, ask for some help from the archetypes. What a trip!
8. Get Organised
If you’re following steps 1-7, you’re going to be realising your resolutions left, right and centre - and you’re going to be very busy indeed! You need to get yourself organised so that you can make the most of the opportunities that await. Being more productive is a matter of following just a few simple steps. Tip: learn to distinguish the important from the urgent – then act on it!
9. Don’t Give Up – Unless You Do
It’s almost fashionable to fail in achieving a New Year’s resolution. We make the commitment, hit a rocky patch, and pack it all in – until next year, that is. Opt out of this vicious circle by understanding that anything worth pursuing will bring up feelings of objection and resistance. It’s natural. Once you know that, you can look those barriers straight in the eye, and come to understand what they’re all about. If you realise that you’re on the wrong path (maybe you made that resolution for someone else rather than yourself) get off it, without apology. But if it is the right path for you, and you’re just scared, tired, or confused – then watch this. You might find that you can get past those obstacles more easily than you think, once you understand where they’re coming from.
10. Have Fun!
Most of all, remember to take time to relax and let your hair down. Trust me: I do this, and I haven’t got hair. Even when you’re pursuing your dreams, you need some time out to recharge your batteries. Whatever you’re doing this Hogmanay, have fun and be safe.
Wishing all my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010! See you next year….
© Brian Cormack Carr, 2009
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