New Year’s Day has come, and gone!
Mid-January looms. Are you feeling restless, or resolute? Is your 2024 vision board complete, or are you dragging your feet?
Some have success with a slow and steady start. Others jump right into new year’s resolutions, because that works best for them.
So, as you move into the new year, practice mindful flexibility with yourself. Setting resolutions can be daunting. After all, 2023 was the “rebound boyfriend” year after the worldwide break-up with Covid. And just like dating, you threw yourself into the fray to make up for lost time. It was exhilarating and exhausting.
Pause. Take a breath. Begin by looking back.
1. Learn from the past
2023 encapsulates important lessons learned and hard victories won. Evaluate your relationships, self care, commitment to work, nutrition and exercise, your earnings and spendings, and anything else important to you.
What was successful? Where did you fail? Are there outcomes you want more of? Is there anything to curb? Because, the secret to growth is in examining your own experiences.
Set your resolutions with a bold, steady, and firm determination. Make a promise to see them through.
2. Envision your future self
Start by stopping. Imagine you are sitting here one year from now. What are you pleased to have achieved in 2024? What steps did you take to get there? Obviously, there were actions taken, such as changing your routine, taking a class, or joining a new social group. Think of it as behavioral accounting. Identify the behaviors that led you to your new accomplishment.
3. Identify your values
Now dig a little deeper and ask yourself what makes this accomplishment important to you? When you imagine a broad life-domain, like getting healthy, saving money, or advancing your career, does it connect to a value, purpose, or meaning that’s personal?
Because, this is what makes you tick and drives your behaviors. Make your values conscious and your behaviors intentional. Then, stop reacting and become proactive.
Values based resolutions are proven to be the most successful. Otherwise, they’re a pie in the sky without true intrinsic motivation.
4. Notice what you focus on
“Where your attention goes, energy flows.”, according to neuropsychiatrist Dan Seigel, MD. What you think about affects how you feel. What you feel affects how you behave. And how you behave affects outcomes – some call it manifesting. And if you want to manifest something new, begin with changing your focus and thinking.
5. Be accountable
Plan daily and weekly check-ins. Success, no matter the size of the accomplishment, matters. Set weekly micro-goals that ultimately lead to your end goal. You’ll increase a felt sense of motivation and confidence that keeps you moving forward. But, beware of complacency.
Now that the rebound year is over, it’s time to create better balance and clear intentions. It’s never too late to begin a process of growth and change. So, carve out a few minutes each day to honor your pledge. Take actionable steps to move the needle and stay accountable to your resolutions.