Give up the New Year’s Resolution: 10 tools to implement change

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In a culture where mindfulness and being in the moment are heralded as the key to inner peace and joy, isn’t it curious that as 2013 comes to a close, people in the USA and Europe tend to create a roadmap of resolutions for the New Year. The talk of losing weight, joining a gym, finding a relationship, and changing jobs are just some of the promises we make to ourselves, our family and friends. How often are the resolutions actually followed through?

Here is an example of New Year resolution “fibs”.  Let’s look at the statistics of gym memberships from January to March.  Bought in December, most newcomers arrive January 1 and by March most are out the door. Never to be seen again. Though the intention is there, the follow through is not. It is bridging the gap from intention to integrity that ultimately creates a platform for success in the New Year.

Too often a year is left behind without much thought. To be successful in the New Year it is helpful to understand the hurdles faced and the accomplishments you’ve made in 2013.  Start by having closure for 2013.

5 Tools for Closure with 2013

  1. Make a list of all accomplishments you’ve made in 2013.
  2. Are there any regrets? If so, what were they and is there anything that can be done to clean them up? If there is, then do what is needed to reverse the regret into regrowth.
  3. What was learned 2013?
  4. What is the truth about how prior resolutions were handled? Of the resolutions, what actually occurred or what were the outcomes?
  5. Specify what changes were made that affected the mind, body, social interaction and work life. Were the shifts encouraging life transitions or were they compressing?

5 Tools For Beginnings and Success in 2014

  1. Be realistic about what you can achieve.
  2. Tell the truth about your goals.
  3. Create a calendar of what will be accomplished: set up reminders about the dates, times and outcomes that you want. This can be done on any of your mobile devices.
  4. Picture the desired outcome. See it, plan it and make it happen. When obstacles get in the way, be spontaneous and a problem solver. Plans can take many twists but it does not mean the ideal is dead. If one way does not work, try another.
  5. Push beyond the comfort zone. If it’s too comfortable or seems like the goal is diminishing, find ways to re-energize. This includes bringing others into the creation of the goal. Including others into your vision will create accountability. Remember, this is about your integrity.

And remember what Saint Bernard of Clairvaux  said: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

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