goals

What Do Instead Of Making a New Year's Resolution

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During this time of year there is a big emphasis on setting goals and “bettering” ourselves. Sayings like “new year, new you” are everywhere. People are setting aggressive money saving, weight loss, dietary, or workout goals. I’ve seen a lot of people on social media saying thing to the gist of.. “2018 was a terrible a year, but here I come 2019. I’m going to turn it all around.” 

hmmm…

As much as I love goals and focusing on how to bring more intentional design to our lives, new years resolutions aren’t the way we successfully shift our lives.

Here are some harrowing statistics.. 

These aren’t hopeful …

So instead of engaging in something we know doesn’t work for most people, what can you do to actually make 2019 one of the best of your life?

Most of us have broken promises to ourselves much more than we have kept promises to ourselves. What would happen if you had a friend who said they would meet you for coffee at specific date and time and kept either no-showing to the date or making up last minute excuses? You probably wouldn’t trust them. Same goes with ourselves.

When we tell ourselves we’re going to loose weight or save money or change our diet or do more exciting things and we just continue to do the same things we’ve always done, we start to break trust with ourselves. We stop trusting ourselves. 


Then when we set big goals that involve intensive changes to the status quo it’s only a few days or at most a few weeks before we break our promise and go back to our old ways. 

Think about it this way..you’re not going to go on a week long trip to Mexico with your friend who keeps no-showing on you for coffee and you’re not going to trust yourself to eat “clean” and work out every day when you’re not even able to wake up an hour earlier each morning.

So what we need to do is build trust with ourselves in small ways. We need to go for the low hanging fruit. We need to make small changes that are relatively easy and build up from there. The daily habits. This isn’t a sexy proposition, as most people want to make big sweeping changes and see big sweeping results.. but big sweeping results are built from small, steady, consistent daily habits. 


I don’t want to completely disregard goal setting, so I do strongly encourage you to set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals for one, three and five years in the future. These an adjust and change as our lives and desires do, but we should always have a plan for where we’re headed if we want to live an intentional, consciously created life. 

However, the most important thing to do during this time of year when we’ve got all the fresh, new year energy is to choose five daily habits you know would make you feel better right now, in this moment.

We don’t want to focus on what we want to change as that is heavy and brings into focus how far we’ve got to go. Not a very motivating thought. But we do want to think about what could we do right now that would make us feel better, right now. That feels doable and empowering. Then make those actions daily habits by committing each one for 30 days before adding the new one.

Here are some examples of daily habits I’ve used this method with. 

  • Drink half your body weight in ounces (eg if you weight 200 pounds you would drink 100 ounces of water) in filtered water each day. 

  • Consistently take my supplements.

  • Add green veggies to every meal

  • Meditate for 20 minutes each morning (this could be 5 minutes if you’re new to mindfulness).

  • Sweat each day

  • Spend one hour undistracted with your partner or kids in the evening

  • Stop work at 6pm 

These daily habits are what is going to build a foundation upon which you trust yourself and keep your own promises to yourself.

So what are is the first daily habit you’re going to adopt this new year? 

 

Can You Be Trusted with More?

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We talk a lot about what we wish we had. We tend to talk a lot about how “nice” it must be to have more money, a new car, a dream home, hired help, fancy vacations, great relationships and friends, and on and on. We tend to talk a lot with people and in our own heads about how things would be different if we just had a partner, or more money, or a different body. 

We don’t, however, spend a lot of time considering if we could actually handle what we say we wish we had.

Can you be trusted with more money, deeper relationships, more influence or power, a more fancy job, a nicer/bigger house, more happiness?

What if you were given everything you say you want tomorrow.. without going through the process of creating it.. would you keep it for very long?

There is a much quoted fact about lottery winners...in most cases in a few short years the winners end up in the exact same financial situation they were in before they won lottery.

Every time we “level up” in life, it comes with a whole new host of challenges, requirements, and responsibilities. Can you handle those? 


The truth is: you can have whatever you want. You have the means to decide to go after pretty much any goal you can think up. This world has so many opportunities for you..it’s figuratively dripping with them. You’re not any different or less capable than Beyonce or Bill Gates. They’re human too. They have just the same amount of hours in the day that you or I do.


The problem is it’s really easy to think about what we want and feel like a victim because we don’t have it and focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. It’s the norm. It’s the everyday vibe permeating most of our society. It’s really easy to say, “I wish I was a millionaire with the happy marriage and rocking health.” But it’s a lot harder to actually do the things that would lead to having those things. So we just decide it’s not for us, and keep pining over someone else’s life. 



So my message to you today is this: next time you find yourself wishing you had something else, ask yourself, “Could I be trusted with it?” There is no secret sauce, no different kind of person. We’re all just people. Some people have just decided to focus on what they do have control over and slowly, over time using those things to leverage themselves into whole different realities. 


If you want deeper, more fulfilling relationships, are you committed to staying open and vulnerable, even when it’s super uncomfortable? Are you committed to being honest, but kind with the people around you so that you feel fully understood, but also respect your partner’s or friend’s or family’s feelings? Are you wiling to take time away from what you want to do, to spend time doing what other people want to do. Are you willing to be available to your partner or friend or family member? Having deep, full and mature relationships requires that we become more deep and mature ourselves and that typically requires discomfort, doing things our ego would rather not do, and showing up over and over again.


If you want to be healthier are you able to decide to go to bed at a reasonable hour, skip social engagements, and make more time for yourself? Are you committed to speaking love to yourself and giving yourself compassion when you fall into old habits (news flash: self-berating doesn’t work!)? Are you willing to take advice from others who have done what you want to do as far as health? Are you willing to change your lifestyle? To be healthy and vibrant we need to have a lifestyle that supports vibrancy.


If you want more money, are you willing to gain financial literacy, make sound investments, and actually look at your bank accounts, credit cards, and loans? Are you willing to take risks financially and invest in your future? An issue I see with most people when it comes to money making is that they are too scared to put in the initial financial risk to get the return. Money wants to be in flow, it doesn’t want to stagnate or pool. To make a lot of money, you’re going to have to take substantial risks and get WAY more comfortable and literate in finances. 

There is never any “destination” in life. There will ALWAYS be challenges and hardships and growth required, no matter what you have. That’s the beautiful nature of being a human. As you gain more of the things you want, you will be required to change and shift. 

So the question isn’t whether or not you’re “lucky” enough to have the things you want. It’s "Are you actually willing to make those changes and shifts that would make the kind of life you say you want possible?"

It’s actually COMPLETELY OK if you are not willing. Maybe there is something you’ve been saying you wanted forever and you realize that you’re actually not willing to do what it might take to get it. 

That’s good. Now you know. You can take that space in your brain back and fill it with something you are willing and excited about doing.

Deciding we are willing or deciding we are unwilling to do things both give us power. Knowing where we stand gives us the solid base for jumping off and changing our life. Maybe for years you’ve been wrestling with the idea that you should work out every day to be healthy. But when you really sit down and examine it, you realize, you actually aren’t willing to do that. You’ve got too many other things going on. You do realize that you are willing to workout three times a week, however, or just on the weekends. This is SO much more productive mental health-wise and physical health-wise to know that’s what you’re willing to do. Then you do it and you save yourself all the grief of worrying about not working out every day. 


We get to decide what we’re willing to do and what we’re not. It’s not about getting all the things, it’s about remembering we get the choice to decide what we’re willing or unwilling to do. And move on from there. 

I’m with you.