I love a New Year. A fresh start. A clean slate. Everyone working to improve their bodies, their finances, their relationships, their careers. Hope, optimism, belief, determination- a life coach’s dream time.
But where does it go come February?
Here’s my list of the biggest killers of New Years Resolutions.
1- Perfectionism: I don’t mean my house is immaculate kind of perfectionism. I mean the black & white thinking. “I’m either on my diet or off” “I’m either saving money or spending it” “I’m either a good parent or a bad one”. If you give yourself a label “I’m lazy”, “I’m an idiot”, “I’m impatient”, “I’m a loser”, “I’m fat” then you are playing a game of perfectionism you will not win. A better way to stick to your resolutions is to see yourself in a constant state of flux. “I am moving closer to my goal right now or away from it.” “I am becoming more fit or less” “I am learning to be kinder to myself or I am forgetting to be kinder to myself.” The truth is, life is not static, and pretending things are set in stone, will suck the motivation right out of you.
2- “It’s too hard”: I catch myself saying this all the time. “Keeping the house clean is hard”, “Being a solo-prenuer is hard”, “Dealing with health problems is hard”. Hello, pity party! Do you want some whine with that? If I look back in human history, or right now in cultures all over the globe, my life is pretty damn easy! It is a ridiculously untrue thought that my life is hard and when I believe it, it doesn’t serve me. If you are like me and you hear yourself complaining about things being hard, try changing it to, “this is easy!” Eating healthy is easy. Exercising is easy. Making money is easy. Raising twins is easy. Balancing work/family life…easy! The more you think it & say it, the more you will find evidence to prove it’s true. Isn’t it just as true that change is easy?
3- “I deserve a reward”: Most people use this as a way to cheat on their resolution. (Often in combination with ‘I worked hard, therefore, I deserve it’). We think this is self care, but really it isn’t. It’s usually said defiantly, as though we are rebelling against our own desires to feel better. What we are really saying is “I deserve to be overweight & unhealthy”, “I deserve to be broke” or “I deserve to be unhappy”. Try using the same sentence in support of your resolution “I deserve to work out & feel healthy”, “I deserve to have a tidy home”, or “I deserve to spend less & have more money in the bank”. I believe you ARE deserving, and that you deserve to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments.
4- Be open to more & better: Take a look back at 2011 and write down what worked for you and what didn’t. Even if you didn’t complete your resolutions, spend time thinking about how your life has changed for the better. What improvements were planned and which weren’t? Even if you had some real difficulties, think about positive things that came from it. Now imagine yourself one year from now. Even if you don’t accomplish your resolutions, what by-products might you enjoy as a result of the attempt? Might I make a new friend, even if I quit the gym? Might I make some new connections, even if I didn’t get that job? Might I learn something about myself that I couldn’t have learned any other way? There is always opportunity for growth and increased joy in our lives, and we don’t always know where it will come from.
So take some good guesses, make those resolutions, be kind to yourself whether you stick with them or not. 2012 might just have some wonderful plans in store for you. If working with a life coach is on your list of ways to improve your life, email me today to take advantage of my special New Years offer of 5 sessions for the cost of 4.