I want to propose that we look at resolutions a little bit differently this year.
And, unlike many, I’m not suggesting that we give up on them altogether. Far from it. I actually love resolutions and goals and plans. (If you hadn’t already noticed.)
Instead, I’m suggesting that we look at resolutions with a fresh perspective. Instead of considering every place where we’re lacking, where we’re failing, where we’re “less than”, I want to take a more aspirational approach.
Let’s start here: Who do you want to be in 2016? How do you want to feel?
There’s nothing wrong with resolutions like “work out more” or “spend more time with my kids”, but if those are just arbitrary goals — “should dos” that are disconnected from who you want to be and how you want to feel — it’s unlikely those resolutions will stick around ‘til February.
Instead, I think we need to design our resolutions around ourselves and around the authentic lives we want to lead — a realistic, and well-considered aspiration. We all know what we should do — there’s no shortage of social media connections and advertisements telling us that — but what I’m asking you to do is to stay true to yourself. To set intentions and goals based upon the person that you know you want to be, not what you think you should do. Are you ready to do that with me?
Let’s start by simply asking those questions:
(And I hope, by now, you know I mean get out a piece of paper and a pen, and start writing down some notes!)
Who do you want to be in 2016?
How do you want to feel in 2016?
Don’t limit yourself here.
Don’t think about what’s “realistic”; consider the life that you can create. That’s the crazy part. In the midst of this holiday season, and all of the general, daily work you do to take care of everyone else, I want you to know that you get to decide how 2016 goes for you. How do you want to show up? How do you want to feel?
If you’re having trouble getting started, let me help. Do you want to be more productive, feel closer to your partner, or eat healthier in 2016? Would you like to feel secure, creative, or energized?
That’s perfect. That’s exactly where we want to start.
Now, design the life that will give you exactly that. What goals do you need to set to be that person, to feel that way?
As with any goal or any resolution, I don’t want you to overload yourself. We’re setting goals here and, as with all of them, the greater reward will be in the journey. We’re appealing to our highest, most ideal versions of ourselves, and we will hit the target of exactly the man or woman that we’re meant to be just by trying.
So don’t stress yourself out! Just write down the goals that will help you get there—no more than two or three, please. Your goal is not to be perfect; it’s to be a version of yourself that’s just a little bit better than it was in 2015. Better not because you lost weight or crossed more off of your to-do list; better because you developed further into the human being that you truly want to be.
Do you feel good about that? I do.
(See?! We’re already halfway there!)
Again, ask yourself:
Who do I want to be in 2016? And how do I want to feel?
What are the goals that will get you there? That’s your focus, and nothing else.
Don’t worry about the New Year’s Resolutions of your sister, your neighbor, or your 10th grade classmate on Facebook. This is your life, and only you can design the one that will best serve you.
If you’d like some help designing your 2016, I just re-released the Well-Designed Year Life Planning System. In it, I’ll help you create a roadmap to get exactly where you want to be — as exactly who you want to be — in 2016. This system will walk you through the three processes (defining your core, setting heart goals, and taking action) that are imperative to creating goals, resolutions, and ultimately, a plan that actually works for you. In the Well-Designed Year, we focus on gaining clarity around the life you want to lead, and actually leading it, too.
Are you with me on this? I hope so. However you decide to design your life in 2016, I want you to design one that truly allows you to be the best, happiest version of yourself.