Five Steps to Nailing it This Year!
The new year gives us an opportunity to start fresh. As we say goodbye to 2018, we look at 2019 with fresh eyes and a hope for positive change. Whatever the resolution is, we throw ourselves gung-ho without regard to whatever held us back the years prior. Unfortunately, that fresh feeling is gone by February and so are our resolutions. According to U.S. News, “By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment.”
You have a choice: Be a part of the 80 percent, or be a part of the 20 percent of people who do fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. Here are a few tips on how to be among the 20 percent:
- Identify Your Goal
What do you want? What is your goal or intention this year? Simply identifying what you want is a major step. It sets an intention and gives you a direction. It creates a positive path for your life. Creating a goal can be done ANYTIME! If you are reading this and it’s a Wednesday in March, you can still create a new goal and start to work toward that goal.
Look at your goal and break it down. Smithsonian.com has an article and video titled, “Just Twenty-Nine Dominoes Could Knock Down the Empire State Building.” Your goal is the Empire State Building … looking at it from where you are now is like looking at a tiny domino and trying to push down the Empire State Building with it. However, if you imagine 29 progressively larger dominoes or goals, then you CAN knock it down!
- Create Rituals to Form New Habits
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Mindfulness teaches us to become aware of our habits. Our habits create thoughts – our brain wants to think, and we end up thinking the same thoughts we thought yesterday. We get stuck in a loop or in a perpetual “groundhog day.”
Rituals are defined as a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone where habits are defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. In order to create any change, you must change your habits. Our habits are subtle but powerful. Habits are engrained and can be done mindlessly. Do you feel like you could drive to Publix with your eyes closed? (Don’t do that.) Your brain has created the route as a habit, and you no longer have to expend extra energy thinking about it. Make a small change to your current habits, create a ritual to follow, and continue to practice this ritual until the ritual itself becomes a habit.
- Write It Down
Write down your goal and write down what you envision for yourself. Take a moment, close your eyes, and see your life after you’ve accomplished your goal. Make this as visceral as possible. Notice the colors, smells and emotions present in your visualization. Now, write it down. Write down what you feel and continue to write your goal every day. This is private; this is for you to look at and stay connected to when your negative thoughts come in to haunt you.
- Create Accountability for Yourself!
Nothing makes you more accountable than announcing your goal to a friend or family member you speak to often. In fact, you should announce your goal to as many people as possible and find someone with the same or a similar goal in mind.
When starting my business, I kept quiet about everything I was doing and planning. I didn’t want anyone to know because then everyone would know if I failed. I just wanted to keep it to myself. I started small. I started by telling a friend who I knew would be positive and supportive, regardless of my result. Telling my mother, who I speak to almost daily, was much more difficult. I joined a women’s group for entrepreneurs. Little by little, I gained more and more confidence and realized that the only person I was scared of telling was myself. I wasn’t ready to change my perspective of myself.
Economist.com mentions how The Hawthorne Effect establishes that the performance of employees is influenced by their surroundings and by the people who they are working with as much as by their own innate abilities; you perform better when you are being watched. Being surrounded by positive people allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and continue to focus on what was important to succeed.
- Measure Your Progress and Root for Your Success!
Did you move toward your goal? Have you made some positive changes? YES!!! Look at where you are and think of which domino you’re on. Is your domino larger? Does knocking down the Empire State Building seem a bit closer? Continue to look at your successes and continue to move toward your goal.
Stay positive! Remain calm. Continue to make small changes. You can do it!
Natalia Foote is the owner of threeR, a company bringing mindfulness, meditation and yoga practices to the workplace. Her mission in life is spreading love and light in the world. When not spending time with her family, you can find Natalia taking and teaching yoga all around Lake Nona.