The topic of the upcoming New Year can be quite loaded. Some of us are so ready to shut the door on 2019 and others are all amped up with lists longer than Santa's on all the ways we need to improve ourselves in the next 12 months.
How we're going to choose to fill the next 52 weeks can be either exhilarating or daunting.
Whether this is the bitch of a blank canvas for you or a fresh start and a clean slate, it's an opportunity to set some intentions for the next decade.
Do Resolutions Even Work?
When set properly, goals and resolutions set at the beginning of the year can work wonders. When arbitrarily proclaimed at midnight on Dec 31 with no plan to back them up, well, yeah, those resolutions barely make it past the late-night Uber ride home.
My favorite perspective on the year ahead is to think about the new year as 365 opportunities!
I realize that 2019 might have given you 365 ways to want to bang your head against the wall or 365 ways to open yourself up to possibilities or some ratio variation between the two.
But the big question remains, do you want to drift or do you want to surf in 2020?
Surfing means being bold and brave, paddling out over and over, riding some waves while also accidentally snorting some saltwater (at least that's been my surfing experience).
Surfing is not a Disney ride that's carefully curated so you aren't inconvenienced, it requires your active participation, your strength, your resilience and once you figure it out, it creates self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy (believing you have the strengths to achieve your goals) is the foundation of keeping your resolutions for the long-term.
Because when you finally catch that wave, especially after multiple mouthfuls of saltwater, arms that are too tired to even wave for help, and a day of massive self-doubt and humiliation, DAYUM, you are proud. (Here's a picture of me, learning to surf on the world's tiniest wave in Maui, but feeling VERY self-efficacious and proud).
Drifting is the opposite.
It requires no effort, it's not something you're particularly proud of when completing. It's basically just aimlessly floating and seeing where you end up. You might careen over a waterfall or drift into a tangled swamp. A lot of us spend most of our time drifting.
Check your screen time stats on your phone to see how much time you've spent drifting the internet (it really shouldn't even be called surfing the internet as most of it is pretty aimless, ammiright?).
There's nothing wrong with the occasional drift - I love serendipity, spontanaeity and a few unplanned adventures - but a lifetime of drifting can mean that your biggest accomplishment for 2019 will be binge-watching the latest Netflix sensations rather than writing the book you've always wanted to put out into the world or starting that podcast or the youtube channel or the art portfolio or trip around the world...
Achieving goals is a multi-step process. Most of us barely make it past step 1. Maybe we choose a word for the year, a mantra for the month or an affirmation for a day.
We scribble out our resolutions on a cocktail napkin, proclaim them to a few friends in the 11th hour and that's about as far as the planning goes.
We make these resolutions without a backup plan for when our limbic system will inevitably derail our resolutions. We don't have a reward system in place to keep us motivated when life gets all "lifey" on us. Yet, there are tools (that I can teach you) that make it much easier to stay on track (even when the track feels like a roller coaster from hell).
But It's hard to stay motivated year-round. Only 8% of people who set resolutions achieve their resolutions.
If you just spent all of December throwing every single good habit out the window, and your belly feels as bloated as your Visa bill and you are now fantasizing about a massive garage sale to get rid of the crap that you just brought into the house in the name of holiday cheer, you know that year-round motivation takes more than just one day of talking about resolutions. It takes true commitment.
Do you want to SET a goal or have MET a goal?
There's a big difference. Dreaming and doing are two vastly different things. First, you have to dream, but then you have to do. Action Jackson all the way.
I am here to give you the momentum to keep going, even when it feels like you're swimming through sludge to get to your goal.
There's a science to this. There's a method to the madness. And in my signature Right Brain Resolution Revolution, you will have the positive psychology pathways to flourishing at your fingertips.
All resolutions are welcome (not just right-brain ones!). Whether you're...
you'll be able to apply the principles you learn in the challenge, count on the accountability from yours truly and get your epic sh*t done.
I use the term right brain loosely, because we'll use our whole brains and our whole hearts to make 2020 something worth sharing with our future great-grandkids.
As with all projects I do, this is a creative approach to resolutions and it's more about living a big life with no regrets and less about plotting progress in a spreadsheet.
Are you ready to jump into 2020 with me? If yes, then let's get started ...
Your resolution revolution mission should you choose to accept it begins NOW:
Normally I wouldn't include such a long intro into your first mission, but planning my content further in advance is one of MY New Year's resolutions and I'm not there yet. So this is a combo intro plus mission ...
You've got parties to attend, sparkles to don, bubbles to toast, so don't feel pressured to do this all today.
Before you start writing out your big bucket list of aspirations to proclaim at midnight, take 10 minutes to write about 2019. Specifically, I'd like you to write out the highlight reel. Yes, start with the good stuff. It's SOOOO easy to remember all the ways your year went sideways, it takes more deliberation to actually focus on the good. So write for 10 minutes about everything you loved/achieved/enjoyed in 2019. Sit with this list a few minutes and savor all of the good. Keep the 2019 highlight reel.
Ok, have at it and write about what you're ready to let go of from 2019 on a new piece of paper. What didn't set your soul ablaze? What wore you down? What are you ready to slam the door on to start anew? Give this only 5 minutes. Fast and furious. Spill it.
Write out the strengths you gained in 2019 from those challenges that you just wrote about on a 3rd piece of paper. Those AFGO's weren't in your life just to make you crazy (AFGO translation - another freakin' (or other f-word) growth opportunity).
When I sold my restaurant after 14 years (the bane of my existence), I wrote it a love letter the night before we sold. Because my goodness, that place made me a much stronger person. It tested my limits, pushed me almost to my breaking point, yet I wouldn't give up those lessons for anything. I was happy to end that chapter and move onto the next one and writing out the lessons learned helped me move on sans resentment.
Admire your badassery. You made it to the other side stronger, smarter, sassier. Now it's time to let that shit go ... Stick the paper where you wrote about all of the crappy parts of 2019 in the shredder, light it on fire, bury it in the backyard. Do whatever ritual you need to do to move past it in 2019, but formalize it in some way. Light a candle then flush it out of your life.
Re-read your highlight reel. Notice the theme of what made you happiest. What did you enjoy the most? What do you want more of in 2020? Now re-read your strengths and celebrate! Toast yourself tonight - whether it's with sparkling water or sparkling wine - and celebrate your wins. Focus on what was good and on the good lessons you learned. Then open yourself up to all the possibilities of the next decade.
You don't need to have your resolution list for 2020 written out yet, this isn't Cinderella, they actually won't turn into a pumpkin by midnight if they aren't etched in glitter today. Take the next few days to just think or jot down some ideas about how you'd like to amplify the good parts of 2019 to bring more of that into 2020.
I'll be back in this blog with next steps. Until then - cheers!
Creator of Gratitude Gravy and The Life Feast
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