As January 1st draws near, it is the perfect time to ask yourself: What do I want more of in my life? And what do I want less of? Isn’t that the core of New Year’s Resolutions?
One of my clients recently asked for help in defining and keeping her resolutions. She had one of the most popular resolutions: to get in shape. It seemed very important to her, fueling her desire to make changes and move forward.
By asking a few questions, it was easy to determine where she was and help clarify her goals. The more specific she got, the more excited she became. It was as though imagining it and talking about it took her one step closer to achieving it. Putting forth intention and the energy behind words can be very powerful and a great first step. To make it even more concrete and do-able, we got even more exact. I asked her to clarify the following:
- Goals – What do you want to happen? What is the outcome? Make sure your goals are measureable, specific and attainable.
- Resources – What supports you in this area?
- Red Flags – How do you know when you are not in line with this goal?
- Affirmations – What statements help you move towards this goal?
Here’s how it looked for her intention of “getting in shape:”
- Goal — Workout at least three times per week for 40 minutes, combining weight training, flexibility and cardio-vascular conditioning. Lose 10 pounds of fat in 8 months. Decrease my body fat percentage by 3 points.
- Resources – My health club, a personal trainer, a nutritionist and my favorite fitness magazine.
- Red Flags – When my clothes begin to feel snug; I feel lethargic, and I start to gain weight.
- Affirmation –When I take care of my body, it takes care of me.
After we had a framework, an action plan and some accountability for “getting in shape,” we then moved on to her second priority, Romantic Relationships.
When we finished looking at all eight areas of her life (Fun & Recreation, Physical Environment, Career, Money, Health, Friends & Family, Significant Other/Romance, and Personal Growth), we had done some incredible work and she had specific milestones to guide and track her progress.
I then took the worksheets and folded them in half. I told her that she could have them back, but I wanted to know the one word that would help her to keep her resolutions. “You already know the word,” I assured her. “The word you are looking for is the basis for truly changing your life. It doesn’t have to do with any particular area of your life. It has to do with you. What is this word?”
She thought for a minute, hesitated and said, “Authenticity.” I knew from the way she said it that this was the word. It didn’t matter what area of her life we looked at, if she approached it with authenticity, she could reach her goals.
And so, after an hour of completing worksheets, diving into all areas of her life, it really came down to one word: authenticity
. She could use all of her creative ideas and hard work to move forward in each of these areas, but it became very simple. Her ONLY resolution, then, became, “To keep my word: authenticity.” That makes it easy to remember and to measure her progress…every day.
Create your New Year’s Resolution by identifying one word that impacts all areas of your life. Here are some examples: honesty, integrity, education, creativity, courage, kindness, efficiency, faith, focus, etc. Select one and move forward keeping this word in mind. If you can post it in several places, it serves as a constant reminder to integrate it into all areas of your life. This then becomes your one-word New Year’s Resolution. Happy New Year!