I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions.
It’s not because I don’t believe in setting goals or bettering myself–it’s that I focus on them on a regular basis. It’s kind of similar to how my husband and I look at gifts–if we need or really want something we buy it when we need or want it, rather than wait until there’s a holiday or special occasion when it’s “OK” to ask for it or receive it. That’s not to say I don’t believe in gift giving–I do–but I think gifts should be given and received whenever the inspiration strikes rather than putting it off for a planned gift-giving extravaganza.
For self improvement, and other reasons I typically set goals, I think that saving it up for a New Year’s resolution is a form of procrastination.
Procrastination typically means one of two things.
1. You don’t truly desire it, or it’s not truly aligned with your core values
2.?You’re experiencing resistance because accomplishing your goal will bring you to a new or different place in your life that might be unfamiliar or scary–and?often with that, a new level of spiritual evolution (which the ego doesn’t want, so it builds up the resistance to keep things “safe” and easy)
As I wrote in my recent post about willpower, change won’t happen unless it’s what you truly desire. If you want something badly enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. That being said though, saving up a big goal for one time a year isn’t the best way to make something positive happen in your life–even if it is something you truly want.
Knowing WHAT?your goal is–but more importantly WHY you want it and HOW you want to feel once you accomplish it is more than half the battle–and sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to become clear on figuring out the WHAT, WHY, and HOW?you want to feel (not the HOW you will get there–that can lead to procrastination!). I know for me, it takes meditation, journaling, prayer–and sometimes time to help me gain this clarity. Sometimes I think I want something because it’s what I’m supposed to want since it’s what my peers are working towards–but after I let it sit a bit, I realize it’s not really aligned with who I am or how I want my life to be. Or maybe it’s something I want eventually, but there’s something more I want now.
At any rate, once you figure out what it is that you want, why you want it, and how you want to feel once you get it–don’t wait to start working towards it! I constantly hear about people?waiting for a new cycle before they?start working towards a goal–a new week, month, quarter, moon cycle, year, stage of life, etc–because the time won’t be “right” until then. And I get it–as someone who studies the?cycles of nature and the moon, there are definitely certain times that are supposed to be more favorable than others for starting new projects and ending others.
This knowledge is extremely helpful and should be used when making plans within a cycle and for the next year–but the problems arise when it’s used as an excuse or form of resistance. For example, “I can’t write that book until the lighter half of the year because we’re not meant to be outwardly creative during the dark cold months.” That’s an excuse I, myself, used for both my books, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself and The Sauce Code. But I still knew I wanted to write those books and have them published within a set timeframe and that if I waited until the lighter, warmer days to return, it wouldn’t get done. So, while my own creative brain doesn’t write books when it’s dark and cold, the rest of my brain can do the other tasks involved in writing and getting a book published. There was research to do, data to compile. interviews to conduct, systems to learn, strategizing with my publisher that had to take place–so many different tasks involved with the book that had very little to do with the actual creation of the content itself.
I have no problem with New Year’s resolutions, goals, or intentions.
In fact, I’ve decided that for myself, my main goal in my own personal development is to become more organized and allow less clutter in my environment–both mentally and physically. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, per se, but it’s an intention that I have for myself right now. In the past, I would have put it off until a set date-like January 2–or January 15–or February 1, etc and gone on with my normal habits until that start date. Not anymore–because whenever there’s an end to a cycle whether it’s a cycle of nature, the moon, or designation of linear time, the end signifies the end of the old habits–and old habits that are brought into a new cycle will continue to manifest throughout that cycle and will be harder to break.
This year, I’ve decided to leave my clutter and disorganization in 2014 by already making changes before 2015 begins. I’ve?been working on cleaning and organizing different areas of my home and office each day, and I’ve also begun work on a new project in a more organized fashion than I normally would. I’ve set small, attainable goals, and have given them deadlines and have an accountability partner. I’ve made my intentions public and have asked for support from my family (the kids aren’t thrilled, but oh well! Better for them to learn organization and decluttering now than later!). I’ve started reading up on feng shui and have already taken action to improve the energetic flow in my space. By the time the clock strikes midnight tonight, my space will look exactly how I want it to look everyday.
How can you make this work for your New Year’s resolutions?
- If you’re trying to eat healthier, go shopping for some fresh produce today so you can make a nice smoothie tomorrow morning. If you’re going to a party tonight, eat something really healthy before you go so you don’t arrive hungry, and enjoy the festivities with moderation. I see too many people overindulge right before they begin a health or weight-related resolution, and then when they wake up feeling like crap the next day, the last thing they want to do is drink a smoothie or eat a salad.
- If you’re trying to exercise more, have your exercise space at home cleared out and ready to go with your favorite DVD. If you go to a gym or studio, have your classes already in your schedule for the next month so you don’t have to think about it on Monday. Maybe buy yourself a cute new pair of sneakers or yoga pants.
- If improving?finances is your goal, then take time today looking at all of your invoices and pay whatever bills you can today. Schedule your due dates in your calendar for the next several months with reminders. Open an account on Mint.com and setup your profile. All this can be done in about an hour–and then you’ll be able to ring in the new year already feeling more in control of your finances and more abundant.
- If?you want to improve your skin or transition to healthier skincare products, then go sign up for the VIP list for Create Your Skincare–you’ll receive?my free video series in just two weeks that will help you get started!
These are just some examples, but you get the idea. Don’t wait for the “right” time to make a new beginning or set a goal. There’s no time like now.
Happy New Year!