New beginnings, fresh starts, a whole new chance at doing things differently. I love New Year’s. Even when I was a kid, I loved the “Year in Review” sections of the newspapers, and reading the predictions for the coming year.
Like many people, my resolutions every year tend to revolve around exercise, diet and organization. I don’t see this as a failure, though – I’ve accepted that those are the areas I will always be working on. I’m a work in progress, and each year I add something new to my arsenal. For the coming year, I’ve invested in business coaching and training to help me focus on building my practice. My husband built me a raised vegetable bed for Mother’s Day so I can grow more organic vegetables and healthy foods. We’re going to invest in a treadmill so I can exercise while home with the boys and not worry about safety. All these things are part of my plan. Each year, I get a little better in these areas, and so every year, my resolutions are based on continuing that improvement.
Speaking of plans, they’re important. The main reason most people give up their New Year’s resolutions by February is that they didn’t have enough of a plan. What do you need to put in place to help you reach your goal? Even more important, what obstacles have traditionally stopped you from reaching your goal, and how are you going to react when you hit those obstacles again (because you almost certainly will)? Thinking through the roadblocks ahead of time and planning how to move around them will separate you from those who just wish they could succeed. For me, I eat unhealthily most often when I don’t have a menu plan set up. I need to plan ahead so I have healthy food that I like available. That might mean cooking on the weekends since time during the week is at a premium. Also, planning to eat smaller amounts more often keeps me from getting too hungry and chowing down the first cheeseburger I see.
Knowing what you’re letting go of is equally important. I have a ritual every New Year’s Eve. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, I review what of the past year I want to let go of, and what I want more of in the New Year. My husband and I have even written what we’re letting go of on slips of paper to burn on New Year’s Eve. (Be careful. We put a hole in our carpet one year burning slips of paper in glass casserole dish. We hadn’t anticipated making a “new carpet” one of our New Year’s resolutions. Better to do it in a fireplace).
For the New Year, I’m letting go of: Fear of asking for what my work is worth; Fear of writing; Time wasting as procrastination; processed food.
What I want more of: Fresh food, fresh vegetables and fruit from my garden; Time management; Energy; Connection with friends; a good strength + cardiovascular fitness program (I like to walk/run, but I don’t do enough strength building and that gets more important as I get older).
As you’ve heard before, putting your resolutions out there publicly makes it more likely you’ll follow through on them, so….
What are you letting go of, and what do you want more of in 2012?