"resÃ'Â·oÃ'Â·lute [rez-uh-loot] adjective 1.firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion"
For most of us, New Year's Resolutions don't work and they hurt us. Let's face it, if we waited to do something on January 1st instead of taking action immediately after deciding to act, most likely this task is not a MUST. Most of us make our resolutions based on what we think we should do: Lose weight. Stop smoking. When you try to do something that doesn't mean enough to you personally, something you are not ready to commit 100% to, you will fail. And then feel guilty and bad about the failure, despite the fact that you really didn't want to do it anyway.
It's therefore really important to choose resolutions that are personally relevant: that mean so much to you that you can fully commit and follow through. Or perhaps instead, you could try a gentler approach.
Instead of thinking of changing what's wrong or lacking, like we do when we set resolutions, let's celebrate the good. Let's go into this year with a sense of gratitude for everything that has come before. Take inventory of 2011, of everything you accomplished, of the challenges, the opportunities, and the growth. Write it down. Reflect on it, on how much you have changed from January 2011. Then CELEBRATE the crap out of it. Put on your favorite song, grab whatever looks like a microphone and sing out loud. Dance around your living room. Or maybe make your own song out of your gratitude list. Make it yours, and make it fun! It is so important to celebrate who and where you are every step of the way. It will put you in energetic alignment with what you want to attract and make it easier for you to discover what you want in your life.
Also, this year, make INTENTIONS instead of Resolutions. Intentions 'have in mind a purpose or plan, they direct the mind, they aim'. Intentions are gentler, more easily managed, and based on the destination rather than the steps needed to get there. With intention, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible, without us having to know the how to. Intention requires a shift in the way we look at things, from a mode of lack (think resolutions) to abundance. Intentions work best when they are set in a positive, present and affirmative manner, such as I intend a light and fully nourished body instead of I will not eat crap anymore J.
To set intentions, we need to get really clear on what we want for ourselves this year and beyond. CLARITY= PERSONALLY RELEVANT INTENTIONS=COMMITMENT. To come up with your intentions, ask yourself what it is about your self or your life that you would like to change. Who do you want to be? How do you want to show up in the world? Write it down. Then ask yourself why it matters, or the difference the changes would make. Keep asking yourself why (and writing it down) until your answers change from a physical focus to an inner focus. The deeper you go, the clearer you will be on what you are trying to attract. And the more important the why, the easier it will be to commit to realizing it.
For me, despite all my training, the seminars I've attended, my personal work, and my own coaching box of tricks, lately I find that I have been straying off the path of healthy eating that I preach to my clients due to time constraints and stress. So one of my intentions is to find a way to get back on track quickly when I find myself eating things that I cannot tolerate but eat anyway. The WHY of my focus on eating healthy is so I can feel good in my body, fit into my clothes, set a great example for my clients and kids, and ultimately to feel loveable and sexy. Eating clean for me makes me coach better, parent better, and staves off depression, bloating, and weight gain. I may not want to eat good all the time, but I want to be the best mom, friend, and coach I can be. That’s a pretty powerful why.
At this point, take some time and write your intentions down. Try to limit your list to 12. Go through each one, ask yourself how they feel, and energetically align with them. If you are not thinking Hell YES for each, change them until you do.
Then pick one intention to focus on at a time. Pick the one that is the most important MUST for you right now. Commit 100% to doing what you need to realize that intention (the destination, not the how). And yes, just this one. It's so easy to get overwhelmed by trying to do too many things at a time (trust me, I know). So start small. Make it ridiculously easy for you to succeed. It is feels like too much of a struggle, back off and start even smaller. You are working from a place of now, and celebrating it, remember?
Once you feel that intention one is manageable and sustainable without much effort, move onto to number two. Give yourself at least a month for each intention, since it takes 21 days to change a habit, and we're in no rush. Take that extra week for good measure.
As you are go through this process, periodically assess how you are doing and make revisions to your intentions as needed. When we set intentions, we work to align ourselves energetically with whom we want to be and what we want to achieve, and as such we may stumble across some resistance to these changes, or find that our initial intentions are out-of-alignment with the end we desire. Setting intentions are not a once-a-year activity; rather this is a process that naturally unfolds as we evolve.
Some keys to making this easy, painless, and fun:
- Get an accountability partner*. Someone that will help you stay on task, jumpstart your enthusiasm, remind you of your greatness, stretch you, and get you on track to realize your evolution.
- Let go of everyone or anything that is holding you back.
- Fail quickly, learn from it, and start again. Failure is a teacher and a guide, and allows you to grow.
- Forgive yourself and others. We are all doing the best we can with what we have.
- Be nice to yourself. Pretend that you are a three year old child who is crying because she says you don’t love her, and speak to yourself using the same words and intonation you would use with her.
- Love yourself into the person you want to be*.
- Stop negative self talk in its tracks.
- Give your inner critic a name and assign it blame when she speaks up…oh, that’s just fussy pants being cranky. Don’t take her seriously. Remember that You are enough. You can do whatever you want.
*Hey, did you know that I'm a great accountability partner and a love yourself up coach, AND I have a few openings for clients that are ready to commit 100% to realizing their truest desires? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a F.REE Intention Discovery Session!
Just do it – get up and take forward action. The universe will take care of the rest.
Start where you are. Be happy now. Celebrate. Then take inventory. Figure out what you really want to change. Write it down. Commit to it 100%. If you are not ready, fine. It's ok. It's where you are, and that’s a perfectly amazing place to be (celebrate it baby). Let go of the guilt. In the words of Tony Robbins, know it won't happen unless it’s a must. Shoulds wont get you where you want to be (and if it's just a should you don’t really want to be there anyway, right?). Decide, move forward and take action.
Try this at home:
Easy Daily Intention Setting
- Before you get out of bed, intend to have a fun or productive day
- Before you leave the house, intend to have quality time with your family
- Before you start your car, intend to have a safe drive to work
- Before the meeting begins, intend to be brilliant or calm
- Before you eat your meal, intend for the meal to nourish you & satisfy you fully