Have you made some resolutions? How many do you think you will keep? Not many? I have a theory about that.
Most resolutions are about changing a habit, stopping or starting something. Trouble is that if we really wanted to do that then we probably already would be doing it. Just because it is New Year doesn't make us any more likely to have a stronger will power. In fact setting a resolution and then failing can make use feel even worse about ourselves.
So how's this for an idea - setting resolutions for things you want to do, be or have. Things that make us feel excited about achieving. Things that we have not yet done, not because we do not want them but simply because we have not yet worked out how to do them or have not made time for them. Things we are truly passionate about. Passions are so important in life and as I say when I take a client through the Passion Test - passions are the signposts to living a full and happy life. Whenever you are faced with a choice, decision or opportunity, always chose in favour of your passions.
I suggest you sit down right now and write a list of 20 things you want to do this year. No 'shoulds' allowed, simply fun stuff for the pure pleasure of them. These can be big things, like traveling to Thailand to go to that Spa you read about to visiting an art gallery that you heard about but never got around to going. Or maybe you have always wanted to make more time for quality time with an individual friend or time for yourself to simply 'be'. I had one client who had visiting different areas of the city she lived in, places that had caught her interest but she had never got around to visiting. It gave her so much pleasure.
These things do not have to cost a lot of money, they are simply experiences that you have had on your one-day list and now you are making them your 2014 list.
It does not matter how big or small the things are you put on the list, the key is to write it and start to tick it off. You have a whole year which means that you have plenty of time.
Now think about it. If you were ticking one new experience regularly off your list how would you feel? Excited, happy, fulfilled, chuffed that you did something new, energised, brimming with even more ideas? Yep all that and probably more.
Now imagine this - if you felt like that every week, those old resolutions, to be more healthy, stop smoking, lose weight, do more exercise, all those 'shoulds' will suddenly seem so much more doable, in fact they may simply take care of themselves.
It is more likely that when you are happier in yourself then you probably won't eat so much and you may not even need those cigarettes that mask the feeling of unhappiness and even emptiness. And because you feel happier you will have more energy and so taking exercise could then even become a fun thing to do. Your life will look and feel so different you will be able to shift how you approach it, all happening because you set a resolution to enjoy your life.
How do I know this? Because in July last year I decided to stop doing all the 'shoulds' and start enjoying life. I literally tore up my to do list and decided to do what felt good every day. The shift in the last six months has been huge. I've always loved my work coaching people and taking them on retreat and now I get to do more of it which makes me very happy. I love my days and feel lighter and more enthused.
Life is supposed to be fun and this is the best kind of resolution that you can make - go have fun in 2014!