Congratulations. You got through the month and a half of 2017. At this point, your kid’s holiday gifts are now a normal accessory on your living room floor and the champagne flutes are back in the cabinet. And what about those New Year’s resolutions? How are those holding up? You know – that strong cocktail you served yourself on December 31, 2016 – mixed with wonder, determination and excitement (shaken…never stirred).
Like declaring on Facebook you’re finally going to travel around the world in 2017 or like this Tweet – “New year. New me. Where’d I put my Fitbit? #bye2016”
Don’t get me wrong, the start to the new year is always a magical time for transformation. But every time it circles back around, I always ask myself – why am I back here again, setting a long list of lofty goals when some of last year’s goals are still docked up? Perhaps it’s a sense of anxiety that everyone else seems to be setting sail on their dreams and I don’t want to miss the current.
Whatever the case is, these fresh and beautifully packaged resolutions always seem to turn up dusty, old and sometimes lost by February (like my Fitbit).
So what’s missing here? What is keeping me, you, and perhaps all of us, from following through, even after the “new years buzz” has expired? According to mindfulness expert and Headspace founder, Andy Puddicombre, it’s one word:
“One of the biggest reasons we start things and don’t necessarily follow through with them is this idea of motivation.” Andy continues to explain in one of the many amazing episodes included in the Headspace podcast, Radio Headspace
“Very often I don’t think we are always clear why we do the things we do. If we are clear about it then motivation will never be a problem and we will always find it easy to stick to things.”
So then I guess the question isn’t “What’s your new year’s resolution?” But “Why is it your new year’s resolution?”
Why do you want to travel around the world? Why do you want to lose the weight? Why is it important to you that you take up bird watching?
Next step: Document the why, i.e. write it down. Ask a friend to text it to you once a week. Post it on your front door. Do whatever you need to do to stay more with the why and less with the what. AND most importantly –
BE EASY ON YOURSELF
Instead of thinking all is doomed when you miss a training-day for the half marathon, simply step back and reflect – Why did I miss today’s training? What can I do to get out there tomorrow?
Lastly, and probably one of my biggest takeaways from this (must-listen) podcast –
TREAT THE NEW YEAR LIKE A MONDAY
In other words, take the pressure off and approach your big goal in weekly and daily doses. And like taking your vitamins, allow your huge goal to become integrated into your daily routine. Create a habit out of what it is you want to accomplish, and use the why as your daily boost.
To get you started, download the Handmade Loves Daily Planner and have a happy “New Monday!”