Tag Archives: new years resolutions

The Winter Solstice and 5 Tips for Your Success

During the Winter Solstice, people in the Northern Hemisphere have long celebrated the return of longer daylight hours and warmth to their part of the planet.  Here are some simple things you can do during this season to prepare yourself for the New Year.

1. Give thanks
It’s tempting to be bitter or resentful if things haven’t gone as well as you expected.  And the last couple of years have been a big challenge for many. Whatever your situation or circumstance, you have things for which you can be grateful.  Make a conscious effort to express gratitude throughout the day, every day.  Perhaps consider holding a regular ritual for your family or yourself to remember all the good life has to offer (not just on Thanksgiving).

2. Put things in perspective
Remember that we live on a tiny planet in an enormous universe and view your life from that perspective. People often get caught up in the machinations of their daily lives: the emergencies, celebrations, routine duties, routine and not-so-routine upsets, firedrills and seeming miracles.

Think about how your daily actions are creating a future for yourself and the rest of Earth’s inhabitants.

Remember the past. Think about your ancestors whose lives paved the way for yours.

I stumbled across this quote by Doug Lennick in my Twitter stream today, “Life challenges us to make our path perfect, not to find the perfect path”.

Do what you can daily to make your path perfect and smooth the paths for others.

3. Share your wealth

Giving to others opens the door for more good to come to you. You’ve heard the phrase, “The more you give, the more you receive”. Give what you can, whether it’s a quarter or dollar in the Salvation Army donation basket or a hundred or more.  Give some and then give some more.  Tithe to people or organizations that inspire you. Send things overseas.  People in developing nations would treasure the stuff we throw away.

4. Clean your space & life

Clutter traps your energy and keeps you constrained. Give away items you’ve been holding on to ‘just in case’ for more than a few  years.  Unless they’re very valuable and irreplaceable, get rid of them.  Toss unnecessary files, recycle or shred paper documents  you no longer need. Give things to charity. Place items in resale or consignment shops.

To support you in this particular tactic, join other like-minded people in a “Release and Renew Day”. On Wednesday, December 29 I’m hosting an ‘all-day’ (not really; just 3 short calls interspersed throughout the day) virtual event designed to inspire, motivate and encourage your efforts.  Get the details here and join us.

5. Set intentions
Finally, once you’ve cleared your space, allow yourself to dream big for the next phase of your life. Be clear. Be specific. Be visceral. Claim your future. Know that it’s yours.

These 5 ideas will help brighten your days even further and launch you powerfully into the New Year.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that by about Memorial Day, almost 50% of people who made resolutions will have given up on them.  About 30% will have abandoned their resolutions within a mere two weeks of making them.  It’s so bad, that 40% of people don’t even bother making resolutions!

So if you were one of the 60% of people who did declare your intention for the year, here are some tips you can use to support the accomplishment of your goal.

1.  Go public and get support

Tell as many people as possible about your commitment.  Most people are more likely to follow through with commitments when they are made to someone else rather than maintained within the confines of their private mind.  The fear of public ‘humiliation’ will help keep you on the straight and narrow. Tell people whose opinions matter to you, who would be disappointed in you if you backslide and will lovingly tell you to get back on track.

2. Recommit and act daily

Take some positive action in line with your resolution every day.  Put an alarm on your desktop/online/phone calendar that reminds you of an action to take.  Keep a journal of your experiences – whether good or not so good.  The process of reflecting and articulating your thoughts and feelings will keep you focused and aware of your goal.

3.  Change your habits, environment and/of lifestyle

You will probably have to make some additional changes in your daily routine while you are ‘building the muscle’ for your new resolution.   I had to stop hanging out with my two best friends at work when I decided to stop smoking because our daily routine consisted of morning and afternoon breaks on the patio over cigarettes.   I stayed away from that routine while I built my ‘I’m a non-smoker’ muscle.

4. Reward your progress

If you’ve committed to something big, reward yourself along the way as you reach certain milestones.  That will make the road seem shorter and the goal easier to reach.  Treat yourself to something nice. Pamper yourself and applaud your efforts and small wins.  The larger wins will be that much closer.

If you were in the 40% of people who didn’t make a single resolution, it’s not too late.  Use these tips for support on something that does matter to you.  Don’t be afraid.  Take the plunge.

Decide. Commit. Act.

You can do it.

New Year’s Resolutions: Have you abandoned yours already?

If you’ve fallen off the ‘goal’ wagon already, you’re not alone.  People often make resolutions for the new year and them drop them – some, almost immediately.

Last night at a networking event, I asked several people if they had made New Year’s resolution.  One woman responded to the question with a shameful roll of her eyes.  I knew immediately that she had made at least one resolution, but was feeling guilty because, in her mind, she had broken her promise to herself and we weren’t even ten days into the new year.

There are several problems with New Year’s resolutions, so let’s address those problems and design solutions for them.

Problem #1 – Many resolutions are spontaneous & inauthentic

You’re at a New Year’s Eve party, the clock strikes midnight, everyone kisses their date, raises their glass for a toast and then someone blurts out a resolution.  Not to be outdone, someone else makes one.

Soon the whole crowd is making ‘promises’, you’re caught up in the moment and before you know it, you’ve made one too.

Three days later, there you are thinking “Why on earth did I way that?!?!?  Maybe no one will remember.”

Many people get trapped in just the same way.

Even  if you are more deliberate about your resolutions, you can sill lose your focus pretty quickly if you don’t implement the ideas laid out here.

Solution #1 – Know your Dream Destination

Whether you were sincere and thoughtful or just excited and off-the-cuff, step back and consider how you want your entire life to turn out.  Think of how your life would look and feel if, ten years hence, things had gone far beyond your wildest dreams.  Create a long-term context for your life and your year-to-year resolutions will have more meaning and staying power.

Problem #2 – No structure

Attitudes and behaviors shape our lives.  When you make a resolution, figure out which new behaviors you’ll need to incorporate in order for that resolution to become a reality.  If you want to lose weight, don’t delude yourself into thinking that because you’ve said so that it will happen.  You have to change your eating habits and become more physically active (but you probably already know that).

Solution #2 – Calendarize those supportive actions

Figure out when you’re going to exercise and mark the days and times on your calendar.  Plan exactly which day you’re going spend with your children and/or spouse if you’ve committed to more family time.  Decide exactly what you’re going to do differently to rip yourself away from the office.  Then stick to it.

Tell people what you’re committing to.

Because…

Most of us are better at delivering on commitments we’ve made to others than those we’ve made to ourselves.

Problem #3 – No support

We fall off the wagon for a variety of reasons.  Often it’s because our fears kick in.  Sometimes, it’s our own inertia.  Incorporating new behaviors into our daily life is upsetting on some level.  And our brains will come of with clever reasons (excuses) why now isn’t a good time to get started.

Solution #3 – Get an accountability partner

Tell someone else about your resolution, especially those that stand to benefit from your new behaviors.  Pick someone who kind of scares you, who won’t let you off the hook easily when you come up with those rational-sounding excuses, er uh, reasons.

If you incorporate these simple ideas I’ve laid out here, you’ll dramatically increase your chances for success in realizing your resolutions.

Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions

Goal setting and New Year’s Resolutions: how are they connected?

In my Fox10 interview, I spoke with Rick D’Amico about how to give New Year’s resolutions staying power so they (and your resolve) last longer than a New York minute.

Here are a few tips from the video, but I encourage you to watch the 5-minute clip.

1.  Use SMART goals.  Be clear and specific. Quantify the end result (lose 10 pounds by March 15)

2.  Be realistic – Start with something you believe you could achieve.  Don’t set your sights so high that your subconscious mind says “no way”.

3.  Be in action – Rita Mae Brown said the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing expecting a different result”. Start consistently doing the behaviors that support the goal you have set.

4.  Be connected – Get an accountability partner or coach; take a class.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to stay on task and on track.

Check out these goal setting resources.  They’re on sale **50% off** through Saturday Jan 3. (Enter code NYRBO at check-out time.)

Also, take time to reward yourself when you hit milestones that let you know you’re on your way to that Big, Bold Goal you set.

Strive to Arrive and Thrive

I’m pictured here with Brittanee Perkins, the 2009 Miss Black Arizona (and former Band student of my husband, Karl) along with Rozan Latham, Miss Black Teen Arizona.

I attended the Phoenix Black Chamber Awards Banquet last week and noticed two ‘princesses’ walking through the crowd. Then said to myself, “Hey I know one of those princesses!” So I want over to congratulate them.

One of the first things Brittannee said was “Wish us luck!” I said, ‘Luck? For what? You just won!’

She replied, “We’re going to compete at Nationals!”

Forward progress depends on goals. What will you strive for next year?

Here are some tips to help you get on your way:

Release your limits & let go of negative thinking

We often talk ourselves out of ‘going for it’ before we even begin.  We think we can’t so we don’t try.  They guess what?  We won’t!

Consult your heart & unleash your dreams

Your heart knows best.  Your brain will try to talk you out of your dreams in order to ‘protect’ you from failure. Don’t listen to it.

Lay out a plan

You can’t just snap your fingers and make it so.  You need to figure out the steps to reach your goal.

Get the resources you need

Don’t try to do it alone.  You’ll exhaust yourself.  There are people around you who want to help and who would love to participate with you in some way.  Take classes if you need more knowledge.  Outsource as much as you can

Get to work

As one of my clients, John Ficorelli, sales executive extraordinaire, said “It’s one thing to have a plan.  It’s quite another to actually execute it!”

Take some time over the holiday season to intentionally dream and plan for next year.  Extract yourself from the hustle-bustle and give yourself a gift – the highest, best future you are meant to live.