We all know that New Year Resolutions die and fade away in a matter of weeks for most and by March for the rest, despite how enthusiastically they were created. Instead of making New Year Resolutions, why not make lifestyle intentions that really matter to you and that you will commit to doing? When you went to school, you didn't just read the syllabus and expect the information from there to help you pass the class, you actually did the work. When you started your new job or your business, you didn't just put it on a vision board and then move it from wall to wall, you actually worked on your skillset, researched what you didn't know, and actually did the work. Why should your intentions for the next year be any different? Why do we want to get caught up in what's easy instead of what's satisfying? Here are 5 undeniable ways to set you up for your best year yet!
1 - Commit To Yourself
I agree it is so much easier to agree to something, follow through with something, or push yourself to do something when you have someone else holding you accountable. We will drag ourselves out of the bed to meet our trainer at the gym, but we will talk ourselves into "working out later" when that level of accountability is not there. We will complain about it but stick to our nutritional intake for the day knowing our day of dessert is coming. So, this step is the key that really positions you to accomplish anything. When you commit to yourself, you position yourself to excel. Remember when you were in school, had to lead that project at work, or you were mentoring someone; how you showed up daily for them? This takes a determined and disciplined mindset that you will do it, even when you don't feel like it. The fact that you have done it for others is confirmation you have what it takes. This is the same determination required to commit to yourself. Why wait until the doctor tells you to make a change, when you can make the change now? Your future self depends on your present actions.
Identify what success is to you and commit to going after it. You've heard me say "the planning begins with you" because it does. You don't leave your future plans in the hands of humans on earth, do you? Well, if you are not planning and committing to your future self, then you are leaving your future self in the hands of someone other than you. You are worth so much more than that. Your life has much more impact than that. Your future self is waiting for you to put in the work now so you can walk into the greatness that awaits you. Will you commit to yourself today? Beyond the perfectly crafted vision board or the immaculate plan you write on paper, will you commit to your future self? Don't you believe you are worth it? I know you do, so do it!
Write it down: I am committing to myself today in preparation for a greater future self because I am valuable, and I am worth it.
2 - Set Your Priorities
What are the priorities you have for your life over the next quarter, six months, year, or three years? What things do you want to accomplish? What new experiences do you want to have? How will you learn, grow, and evolve? This is personal to you and may not be understood by those around you, but that's okay, because this is your journey. Take time to evaluate what you consider to be a priority and how long you will work on that priority.
When you take time to realize what is a priority for you and how you will commit to that priority, you can't help but to see results from your expectations. When you get a new job or start the business that is your priority, so you spend time coming up to speed, researching and learning about the organization or what is needed for your business. The same holds true for your life; priorities may very well change over the course of a year and that's okay. Setting priorities over your list of things you want to address or accomplish doesn't eliminate the lower priority items, it simply identifies and gives you grace to concentrate the bulk of your energy on your top 2 or 3 for a given time period.
Exercise: Make a list of things that are important to you that you want to accomplish. Estimate a time frame where you can accomplish them and prioritize them according to what is most important to you. Try sticking with no more than 2 at a time so you set yourself up for success.
3 - Position Yourself for Greatness
Now that you have made a commitment to yourself and you have set your priorities, you can take the next step in positioning yourself for greatness. What is the plan you will wrap around your priorities?
Schedule it - Know when you are most productive, creative, and energetic to get things done. Whether first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or in the middle of the afternoon, set a time and stick to your commitment. Put it on your calendar so you don't forget to show up for yourself.
You may have to adjust the time period based on other meetings, events, or appointments, but schedule the time every single day to work on your priorities. If you have two priorities you are working on, try to give them even time in a two-week period for forward progress or work on one at a time, but schedule it, stick to it, and do it. The goal is to be consistent in working through the priorities, even if they can't be done at the same time every day.
Focus on it - Eliminate the things that distract you. Put your phone on silent or in another room. Stay off Social Media. Log out of email or mute your email notifications so you can have dedicated, uninterrupted time to work on your priorities. One distraction that causes delays is not making a list of the tasks that need to be done to support that priority.
Prevent the procrastination by planning your agenda for the day. Whether you plan for the week, plan the day before or the morning of, know what you are working on. This provides for a smooth transition between tasks and allows you to see your progress at the end of the week.
Exercise: Note the things that are distractions for you (phone, YouTube, Scrolling Social Media, Emails, etc.) so you can eliminate them and begin the habit of writing down the day's agenda/tasks the day before.
4 - Celebrate Along The Way
We are humans who appreciate appreciation, so when you have smashed all your tasks for the day, celebrate with something rewarding, but only after you plan your next day. Don't need a daily celebration? At the end of the week, schedule a spa afternoon, a hair appointment, a round of golf, or some other enjoyable activity for you. Want to do something big? Schedule a staycation or an overnight getaway at the end of the month to celebrate your hard work, reset your mind, and allow the journey to your best year yet to continue! You decide if you celebrate the little milestones or just the large ones, but definitely take time to celebrate you, appreciate you, and love on you.
Exercise: Determine when your celebrations (large or small) will take place - after which milestones?
5 - Reflect, Revisit, Repeat
What makes this different from a vision board or a plan that you make for a project? You reflect, revisit, and repeat the steps. Monthly check ins on your progress, if any timelines need to be adjusted or if any improvements should be made as you have started the journey. It's your plan for your life, so adjustments should really be expected, especially because life has a way of throwing curve balls at us from time to time. Don't forget to track your progress from the previous Check In and celebrate it! Then repeat the steps again.
Commit to yourself because are valuably worth it!
Revisit your priorities
Reflect on unexpected distractions and make necessary adjustments
Celebrate another month into the journey and the progress you have made
Reflect, revisit, repeat
Write it down: I am committed to my journey and will continue to believe in myself, my purpose, and my destiny. I will daily seek the Lord, lay it before Him and wait in expectation of the greatness He has for me.
Lord, in the morning you hear my voice. In the morning I lay it all out before you. Then I wait expectantly. ~Psalm 5:3 (CEB)