New Year, New You. Make this your best year yet. Have you heard or seen any of these phrases or something similar over the last few weeks? Whilst bringing in the New Year can be a time for celebration it can also feel like a pressure to make changes in your life, like how we are isn't good enough, like we need to change who we are.
But just know one important thing - change does not need to happen at the beginning of the year. You can kickstart a change in your life on any day of the year and in fact you are probably more likely to succeed as you haven't done it because you think you "should" because that's what people do for the New Year. Some of the biggest changes in my life came from an idea on an ordinary day that was nowhere near the New Year, so rest assured it is ok if you don't have any resolutions.
However, thats not to say we can't use some different ways to kick start the year. So let's say "no" to resolutions but here are some alternatives that might help you kick off the new year with some clarity and focus.
1. Pick a word for 2018
Choosing a word for the year can be a really helpful thing to do. A word that is your compass and your guide, helping you to navigate through the year. A gentle reminder of what you want for the year as a whole rather than something specific. Maybe a motivation, maybe wanting to cultivate a new habit or a new way of being. A word to help you make decisions, choosing whether something is aligned with your word but also a gentle nudge when you get in your own way. Last year I chose the word Flourish and this year my word is Courage.
2. How do you want to feel
This idea comes from the wonderful Danielle Le Porte "The Desire Map" and it is the idea that we choose feelings as our road map for the year. We can have loads of different emotions in one day and we can feel like we are on a rollercoaster, riding between emotions that make us feel good or not so good. One moment we can be feeling anxious and in an instant we can feel angry, or we can feel bored and then we can feel excited. But what if you had certain words that you kept in your mind each day to live by. Words such as brave, connected, joyful, adventurous. Then you can make choices aligned with your words or ask yourself what can I do to feel more adventurous and then plan it out, one day at a time.
3. Figure out what you don't want
I particularly love this one as we may struggle to think of new years resolutions but what if we started from a place of what don't I want this year, what don't I want to feel, how I don't want to get in my own way, that I don't want to hold myself back. When you have a list of things you really don't want, that gives you an idea of what you do want. Perhaps you write - I don't want to work with people I don't like can then be flipped to I want to work in a place where I feel connected to the people I work with. That gives you a starting point of at least knowing what you want. You may have a long list so you may just pick one point that this is going to be your focus of making your don't want into something you want. Some of these can happen immediately with a slight change but others may take more time, attention and action.
4. What do you want more of?
New Years Resolutions can feel like we are bashing ourselves round the head with a big "should" or "must" stick and therefore can come from a negative place rather than a feel good and empowering place. Thinking on this one, I know that I want to have more social connection with people. In fact my personality style flourishes with connection and interaction with people. But in all honesty working in your own business can sometimes see you some days being isolated, sat behind a screen with little interaction. So this year I am setting up a local supper club bringing together like minded women to eat, socialise and connect with other like minded women. I am going to make more video calls with other like minded entrepreneurs (and view it as work) and take more time to have coffee dates with my loved ones
So let's reset the notion of New Years Resolutions and let's look for small steps in the right direction that are focused on helping you feel good. The key with any of these is we are not looking for perfection. We are looking for progress. With anything it takes practice and it takes mistakes and failures. It's not getting disheartened when we veer off track. Just using these methods to pull us back onto the right road at any given time.
So I'm interested to hear, which one do you think is your favourite alternative to a new years resolution?