I absolutely hate New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I’m not a good sport and it’s certainly not that I don’t want to improve my life or change something about myself. I just think January is the absolute worst month of the year to put yourself through the stress of having to have a New Year’s resolution.
For me the New Year should be about creating a positive energy around you. It’s a time to identify ambitions, be aspirational and set goals but they 100% have to be achievable, practical and most of all based in a positive mindset.
My problem with the traditional New Year’s resolution is that it’s usually based in a negative thought. For example “I need to lose weight”, “I want to stop smoking”, “I’d like to drink less” and the list goes on. Most people identify their New Year’s resolution by identifying something about themselves or their lives that they are inherently unhappy with. Why on earth would anyone want the brand new year to be plagued with reminders of the things we don’t like about ourselves?
Instead I set goals based on positive aspects of my life. For example, last year I started writing my book The Ultimate Author Toolkit, I’m not too far off the finishing line so one of my goals for this month is to supercharge my efforts to have it published at the end of the month and already, just a few days into the new year, and I’m on track for that – mostly because I started around Christmas.
Another goal I’ve set myself is to progress and further the work I do as a consultant, trainer, workshop facilitator and project manager. These are all things I’ve dabbled with in my career but never really acknowledged how much I’ve done or could do. So, as part of the TrainingMatchmaker.com #LearnuaryNI campaign I’ve tasked myself with the challenge of learning 1 thing per day that will help me either promote these aspects of my skills or develop them further.
I don’t drink, smoke, take drugs or have a particularly unhealthy lifestyle. I am, however, considered medically obese and have a number of chronic illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, Hypothroidism, Metatarsalgia, Plantar Fasciitis and B12 deficiency. I won’t lie and pretend that it wouldn’t be nice to find better ways to manage pain or lose a bit of weight – however, I’m a great believer that small, lasting changes are more important.
Last year, with the help of Tessa Ann from ProjectMe I changed two very substantial things in my life. I eradicated my addiction to Diet Coke and I started to drink a lot more water – both of these things had a huge impact on my physical and mental health. I found out that I don’t eat enough (I know, I was shocked too) and that I don’t consume enough Protein – it’s an ongoing process to change the habits that caused this. Jimmy Smyth, a Mindfulness Counsellor, helped me to identify some of my own goals and aims and acknowledge and accept some important things about myself in just a couple of sessions.
And that’s not all. Those who know me well know I’m a “should be on TV” hoarder – in the last two years I’ve managed to get rid of more than most people will accumulate in their entire lives. This, as well as my weight, pain and tendency to be a workaholic are all works in progress and I’m happy with the slow and steady pace at which I’m making lasting changes to these areas in my life. For example, I’ve lost over a stone since November 2015 – that’s a big deal for me even if no one else has noticed.
So, if you’re already struggling with your New Year’s resolution or trying to think of one why not choose not to do one at all. Simply think of all the positive things in your life that you want to improve and create realistic goals and ambitions based on this.
Whatever you do, do it positively and enjoy your life!