Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.
Every year around January 1, we take out a piece of paper and list our resolutions; all kinds of things we are ‘resolving’ to do better.
My question is: do you know where this year’s list is? And if you do, how many of your resolutions did you keep?
In these articles I talk quite a bit about change, gratitude, and optimism but ultimately it’s just words if you don’t have a system and structure in place to apply it to your life.
As I sit down and look at my own life, I have to admit something painful: it’s not working like I want it to work.
Don’t get me wrong, I own a few businesses that keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, but I am not succeeding on the level I’d like to be succeeding at. So in the interest of ‘practicing what I preach’ I’d like to share with you the exact same steps and tools I am using for myself, in the hopes that you might gain something, too.
Step 1. Decide what you don’t want.
For example, are you tired of struggling to make ends meet? Perhaps you are unhappy with your body, or are tired of being alone. Write down (ideally on paper, but computers are fine) everything in your life you are unhappy with.
Step 2. Decide what having things they way they are is costing you.
What this means is, if you are overweight, that may be keeping you from going to the beach because you’re embarrassed. Or not having the right relationship leaves you feeling lonely and incomplete. For everything you listed that you don’t like, list all the negative repercussions you are experiencing.
Step 3. Decide what you DO want.
Don’t hold back here, really write out your dream life. You may not make it there in a year, but you can still make progress every day. More importantly, you’ll NEVER get there unless you know what you want and start working towards it.
Step 4. Decide what you’re willing to give in order to have your goals.
I’ve realized an amazing thing: I have these talks with people, and they get all excited about how live can really be; we make a plan and they leave all excited.
And then they don’t do anything!
Realize that you’re going to have to do things differently to get a different result. If what you’re doing now was going to get you your goals, you’d already have them! So what are you willing to commit? Is it turning off the TV an hour earlier to work on writing that novel you’ve always wanted to write? Is it getting up an hour earlier to go to the gym before work? Is it joining a singles group so you can get out and meet new people?
A word of warning though: don’t commit too much too quickly. You may be able to jump into 3 hours of meditation or lifting weights every day, but if it’s too hard or too much you won’t keep up with the program. Your brain works similar to a thermostat in a room, it is designed to keep you within a comfortable range. So if you try to do too much, too fast you’ll find your desire evaporates and you go back to doing the same old comfortable things.
It’s better to do a little bit every day then do a lot and give up after a week.
Step 5. Do it!
I think you see the logic in this plan: if you truly understand what you want, why you want it, and why it’s better than your current situation, then you’ll be able to get it for yourself.
If you see changing as too hard, too much work, or not worth the effort, then you won’t (which is why most people’s resolutions never happen).
One other thing:
Some people say you should tell everyone about your goals, some say tell no one. Some people say to think about them all the time, some say put it out of your mind completely. So which is it?
Here is the answer: do whichever seems right to you.
If you are so excited you want to tell the world, do it. If sharing your plan with others makes you feel insecure, then don’t.
And think about it as much as possible without resorting to worry. The goal is to stay excited and enthusiastic; if you start feeling anxious or doubtful, put it out of your mind (but keep following the plan!)
It’s as simple as that.
You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!
B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
Find out more about me: http://about.me/BDaveWalters
Ask me anything: http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters
Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha — Interfaith dialog
Gnostic Theism — Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century (Join the Movement!)
Love One Another — A group for the coolest Spiritual people on the Internet!