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Monday, December 28, 2020

New Year, New You!

2020 is on the way out, let's welcome 2021 properly!

I don't know if the propensity to make resolutions for the coming year is a world wide phenomenon or just wide spread in the US.  In either case, each January first we "resolve" to change something in our lives, often more than one thing. But let's face it, 2020 was a rough year all the way around, so let's not start the new year setting ourselves up for failure.  Here is a list of the common resolutions we predictably make each year.

Quit smoking
lose weight
quit drinking
enjoy life more
more family time
get out of debt
learn something new
help others
get organized

I would like to suggest something different and I hope this gives you some inspiration or a new perspective.

Pick only one thing and instead of it being a major resolution, make it a micro change in your life and live this day-to-day.

For instance, rather than the overarching and sometimes overwhelming Lose Weight, how about drink 60 ounces of water a day or do ten minutes on the elliptical 3-5 days a week.  Micro change is the idea of changing one smaller thing within the big picture.  A large component to this is to forgive yourself if you slip up and start again the next day.   This has proven to help people meet those bigger goals when it is simplified into a smaller task.  You gain a sense of accomplishment and build your confidence that you can make this work.

If you have a daily schedule, write it in ahead of time with encouraging words to make it a priority.  You can encourage yourself, not discourage or beat yourself up.  Become your own cheerleader.  This isn't about changing your entire lifestyle all at once, but changing one small behavior at a time.  Plan ahead for everything you will need to be serious about this goal so you aren't procrastinating.  Don't get down on yourself if you slip up (it's bound to happen), just believe in yourself and do your best to set yourself up for success going forward.

Another important aspect is to learn from the outgoing year.  I offer a few journaling prompts to help give 2020 a send off so we can mentally start on the new year without the baggage.  I have been doing this for the last five years and I believe it really aids looking ahead with a positive mindset.  Journal your answers to these questions:

  • What dreams came true in 2020?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • I know myself more now because... ?
  • Even though it was hard to go through, I learned a lot from _______.
  • 2020 led me to ___________________ ?
  • I was transformed by ___________________?
  • I let go of ___________________.
  • I am proud of myself for ___________________.
  • The incredible thing I discovered about myself is _______________.
  • Habits I want to stop ___________________.
  • I am happy because ___________________.
  • Write a page of gratitude, you can do it.
  • Rant page: What do you need to write, journal, or rant about in order for you to clear your life of 2020 ___________________?
I will be journaling my responses to these questions on New Year's Eve.  My micro goal is to consistently write each day.  Some days maybe more overall words written than others, but if I write everyday, then I will complete more books this year.  Excellent.  I don't even have a set number of words, just write everyday. 

I hope this micro-goal setting inspires you and gives you a new perspective on goal setting.  Make it a small goal, not an entire lifestyle change.  

May this new year be a blessing to us all.

Here is a short video on Auld Lang Syne: what it means and where we got it from.

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