New Year Resolutions Are Uninspired. Try This Instead
If you’ve turned on the TV or listened to the radio in the past week or two, you’ve probably heard a lot about them. New Year’s Resolutions.
At this time of year, many us are determined to change something about our lives for the better – to part ways with what didn’t serve us last year and to go after what we really want in our lives in the future.
I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions, which might seem a bit strange coming from a health coach, someone whose goal is to help other people make changes to improve their health and well-being.
The reality is that most people who make resolutions don’t stick with them. We see this at gyms when people sign up for memberships (with the best of intentions!) in January, only to fall off the wagon by April.
Something isn’t working.
It’s not that we don’t want to change, grow or improve. It’s that we’re focusing on the wrong reasons.
Apparently “Because it’s January” isn’t enough of a long-term motivator to help us stick to our goals and intentions.
We need to start asking WHY. What’s the driver for why we want to change? WHY do we want to change in that way?
This year, I took a different approach to New Year’s Resolutions based on what I’ve learned from Danielle LaPorte, a feisty entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and blogger.
In the beginning of her book, The Desire Map, she writes about this very time of year and the act of setting resolutions and has found that most of her resolutions ended up as uninspired to do lists rather than motivational goals.
So, as someone known for bucking convention, she did something different.
Instead of focusing on what she wanted to DO that year, she asked herself a different question.
How do I want to feel?
Once we get clear on WHY we want to make changes and HOW we want to feel, we can hone in on what will really help us get there.
Here’s what happens.
Instead of setting a goal of, “I want to lose weight,” we can look at that and ask what that’s all about. What does losing weight make us feel like?
When we get clear on what we want to feel, we can be more intentional about setting goals. In her book, Danielle outlines an exercise to arrive at what she calls Core Desired Feelings – the way we want to feel to make real, meaningful change happen in our lives.
My husband and I went to breakfast on New Year’s Day to do some reflecting and planning and each arrived at our Core Desired Feelings.
His? Motivated. Energized. Accomplished.
All reasons he has recently started training for triathlons and has his eyes set on an Ironman triathlon alongside my 65-year-old father in 2016. Knowing how he wants to feel pushes him to keep moving in the face of resistance or barriers.
Mine? Radiant. Clarity. Flowing. Connected. Worthy.
Over the past few years, as I’ve pursued my Master’s degree and several nutrition certifications and pushed myself in my career, I’ve felt overwhelmed and unfocused at times. At times, I’ve felt that I should keep it down or not talk about something for fear people would be “turned off” by what I have to say.
I did a visualization exercise a month or so ago and imagined my “ideal day” – what it felt like, what it looked like, how I would spend it. In that exercise, I pictured lots of physical openness and light in the spaces around me.
Not only do I want to bring light into my physical space, but I also want to be someone who has a glow and sense of joy about me.
To be radiant is to be unapologetically bright, bold, and intentional. When something is radiant, it overflows with light that can’t help but spread. This year, I’m going to “go for it,” put myself out there, and be me.
How do I generate feelings of radiance?
By spending time with other people who are on fire about what they do and are passionate about making the world a better place. By being “in the zone” or experiencing “flow” by doing what I love most – teaching, presenting, cooking, and writing.
So, how about you? How do YOU want to feel this year?
Getting clear on WHY you want to change instead of just focusing on WHAT you want to change is the first step to making those feelings happen.
Are you done with New Year’s Resolutions? Tired of feeling discouraged by uninspired checklists and unrealized goals despite the best of intentions?
Check out this guide on Danielle’s website to walk you through the process of mapping out YOUR core desired feelings.
Here’s to a healthy, Happy New Year, and your best year yet. Contact us today if you enjoyed this article and likewise, what is your New Year Resolutions?