Ditch The New Year’s Resolutions

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Opt for a new year’s intention instead

Recently I published this article on my Coaching Website and immediately saw value in it for my Web-Sta Web Design fam. Here at the pointy end of the year we often stop and reflect on how the last 12 months have gone (or maybe we are ready to collapse at the finish line) and as a result, we look at how we want the coming year to look – whether it’s professionally or personally. 

Enter, the “New Year’s Resolution”…

What Inspires New Year’s Resolutions?

Behind almost every new year’s resolution is one thing. Regret!

“a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do.” – Google.

Do any of these new year’s resolutions sound familiar?

“This year…

  • I’ll eat healthier,
  • I’ll lose weight,
  • I’ll cut down on the booze,
  • I’ll fix that thing in the kitchen,
  • I’ll yell less at the kids,
  • I’ll travel more…”
We just recycle the same open ended, regret-fueled goals uttered just 12 months prior and wonder “why?” 

Then there’s the business goals.

This year…

  • I’ll grow my business,
  • I’ll earn more money,
  • I’ll revamp my website,
  • I’ll attract more clients,
  • I’ll post more to social media,
  • I’ll waste less time procrastinating,
  • I’ll start a Youtube Channel,
  • I’ll work less hours,
  • I’ll hire more people.”

The list goes on. So why do we repeatedly set the same resolutions each and every year?

The Irony Of Regret

Regret, according to Nesslabs.com, can help to make sense of past experiences, facilitates future behaviours, provide insights into the self, and even helps to preserve social harmony.

But most of us skip the self inquiry pausing at “Why did I not do the thing/s to get the thing/s I said I wanted” …then feeling guilty for not being more focused, disciplined or motivated.

Not only does your original new year’s resolution reflect the unmet wishes of the previous year, it also sets you up for disappointment. From the moment you first perceive you have ‘slipped up’, boom!… R E G R E T.

Regret that you have failed. And, you’ll repeatedly feel guilty about it for the rest of the year. You’ll feel as though you have to play ‘catch up’ or ‘make up for lost time’ because you fell off the bandwagon.

The problem with unmet resolutions is that they are too open-ended. There’s no scale or ability to measure your success. You may lose 1kg over the course of 12 months but still be unsatisfied with your results, yet technically you have met your new years resolution of losing weight. The same goes for earning more money, getting more clients, yelling less at your kids and so on. What are you comparing yourself to?

Leveraging A New Year’s Theme

“Each year’s regret are envelopes in which messages of hope are found for the new year.” -John R. Dallas

Unfortunately, hope only gets you so far, and we’ve already established that your boring, run-of-the-mill new year’s resolutions are most often short-lived.

While I’m far from perfect, what has helped me in the past is leveraging a theme. It guides my year. A kind of ‘mantra’ to follow.

I personally go for an overarching word or phrase that covers all of my goals for the approaching year. The reason this works is that it focuses more on a feeling… a sense of self, that if you embody this special word or phrase and apply it to everything you do for the year to come, you’ll be leveraging the power of intention and the impact it has on shifting your self-image. Shifting your self-image is the key to shifting your behaviour and therefore achieving your more challenging goals.

My Past New Years Themes

As you create your ‘theme’ for the year, think about the person you want to become. For years, I’ve almost always had a theme by which I would ‘live by’, including:

  • I am Delighted By LIFE
  • In The Spirit of CEO (Chief Executive Officer) | of business and of my life
  • Joy Bubble
  • Beautifully Balanced

And because I love a good acronym:

  • C.A.L.M – Creatively And Lovingly Me
  • N.L.191 – Next-Level 191 Days

Reading/thinking about these phrases and how I could bring them into what I was doing for that day would help keep me focused on the things I had resolved to do.

I also noticed that having an overarching theme that served both business /career and my personal life, helped keep me accountable to the promises I had made to myself.

My most recent theme is “Engage Everything” which encompasses my desire to engage; my mind, my muscles, my focus, my creativity, my energy, my heart, my appreciation, my playfulness, my discipline, my resources… whatever I require at that moment. This one has resonated the most, hence why it’s now the slogan for my coaching business.

Even when I decide to have a “lazy” day, I remind myself to “Engage Relaxation Mode”. I’m almost ordering my nervous system to chill out and enjoy the process of relaxing (not something I’ve found particularly easy over the years 😅).

What’s your New Year’s Theme?

Now It’s Your Turn To Leverage A New Year’s Intention

Remember to pick something that resonates with you and can serve as a gentle prompt when you feel like you’re about to self sabotage or fall off the bandwagon.

Not sure where to start?  I offer a FREE, 20 Minute Clarity Call which can help you focus on getting unstuck by interrupting old patterns.

Seeking Support + Guidance
To Truly Build A Dream Business?

Still not sure, check out a recent article I wrote for my web design agency ‘Can A Business Coach Help Me? How Clarity Leads To Growth’ more specifically around extracting that next-big, enticing and exciting opportunity that can really propel your business forward as well as help you get unstuck if you’re not sure ‘where to’ from here.