I won’t Eat Fruit (no matter how many resolutions I make)

Here we are at the end of another year. In just a few short days we will bid ado to 2012 and welcome 2013 (can you believe it…2013). I stopped making resolutions years ago, when I realized they just made me feel bad about myself. Recent research by Psychology professor Peter Herman has vindicated my thinking. The professor and his colleagues have identified “false hope syndrome,” which means a New Years Resolution that is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with an internal view of ourselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-esteem.

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However, like many people, I view the new year as a time to reflect on my life and consider changes I wish to make. For the past few years I have adopted a few words as my plan for the new year. Last year I chose but one word….yes! Because I wanted 2012 to be the year I stopped being a roadblock to my own adventure. Saying no had become such a habit and I needed to become open to possibilities….and yes, it worked 🙂

This year I see so many aspects of my life I wish to change. I am again tempted to make a laundry list of resolutions…yet, I know that is just creating a self-esteem crash. So this year, rather than give in to the list temptation, I am morphing my approach. This year I am adopting a phrase for my plan:

Nothing Changes, until it Changes!

Talking about change isn’t change. Thinking about change isn’t change. Only making changes is change.

So this year, look for lots of little changes. And one big monthly goal.

Thinking of making resolutions this year? Here are some tips to success:

1. Do as I’m doing and focus on one resolution at a time;
2. Set realistic, (I’m not going to eat fruit, so that isn’t a good goal for me) specific goals. (Losing weight is not specific);
3. Make it a year long process, every month or day;
4. Take small steps;
5. Celebrate success! Don’t just wait until your goal is completed;
6. Focus on the present. (What’s the one thing you can do right now toward your goal?);
7. Have a buddy, someone you report to;
8. Forgive yourself when you mess up;
9. Ask for help when you need it;
10. Make it fun.

I am excited about my goal for January! I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

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The Golden Compass

Traditionally this week, the week between Christmas and New Year, is the time business is expected to be slow. Many businesses will shut down completely for this week. For some of us it a week of reflection on the year past and a week of making plans for the year to come. I’ve never been one to make resolutions; however, I am a huge fan of goal setting. I like to look at the big picture of where I want to be and think about the avenues for making those goals reality.

While I can not say this year is really different, I did read an article a couple of days ago by Chris Brogan which has made me think in a different direction. Actually, since reading the article I have thought of little else. The crux of the article is that you choose three words which will serve as ‘compass points’ to guide you through the coming year. (I make no claim to do the concept justice – really, just go read it).

I loved the concept and have decided to adopt it for 2010. The hard part has been finding my three words (three is such small number). My first word was an easy choice. It is quite literally a life or death choice for me. The prevailing word for me in 2010 is HEALTH. The last year has seen my size grow, my chest tighten (and not in a good way), my blood pressure rise, and my blood sugar spin out of control.

My second word may not seem as important, but it is what I have forgotten to include in my life. It is really what make is all worthwhile, FUN. I am looking forward to finding my golf game and giving my pool a workout. After all, all work and no play has made Gayle a dull girl.

Lastly, but by no means least, I have chosen FAITH as my third word. The obvious first connotation of this word is of a spiritual nature, and I am not down playing this aspect. However, I also chose the word because I have struggled with my faith in mankind. I have developed the heart of a cynic and I am having faith that by choosing faith as a compass point for 2010 I can again feel hopeful for the future.

I am calling these three little words my Golden Compass for 2010. They may not equal the traditional Golden Parachute but I am anxious for the ways they will not only enrich my life but enrich the relationships of my life.

What three words are you choosing as your compass this year?

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