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Have you had a chance to think about your resolutions yet?  I’m starting the year with a focus on bringing more ease and fun into each day.  

I’ve spoken with friends who have done some wonderful goal setting and visioning for their year, and it all got me thinking about how we set resolutions and make plans … and sometimes they just don’t happen…

The statistics on how successfully people stick to their new year’s resolutions are pretty discouraging (I’m not even going to post them here!).  So how can you make sure you get to experience and achieve yours?  It’s certainly helpful to start as you mean to carry on and put small changes in place now.  Here are some tips to help you do that, and really make your resolutions stick. 

How to Make Resolutions Stick
Don’t try to do everything at once.  Choose one baby step to put in place and do it really well.  You will soon be ready to put the next baby step in place.  Give your brain a chance to ‘learn’ the new way because it is excellent at learning – especially when it can do one thing at a time. Before you know it, all of it will be happening easily and automatically.
When you’re thinking of the changes you want to make, check you’re breaking it down in to small enough bits so that it’s easy to take small steps.  For instance, if you want to change your sleep routine to get to bed earlier and rise earlier, don’t try going to bed at 10pm if it’s usually midnight. Make a ½ hour change every one or two days and give your whole body clock and nervous system a chance to adjust.
If you miss or fail on one day, just keep going.  This has been said many times before I wrote it here, but I really believe that if you give in to the offer of chocolate cake or miss your walk for the day, it just isn’t the end of the world!  Now, if you do that for a week or a month it will probably stop you from reaching your goals, but we really need to stop measuring our success by the slight diversions we take.  And it’s not even about ‘starting again tomorrow’ because one piece of cake or missed walk does not mean we’ve stopped our regime!  It just means we need to keep doing it tomorrow. Simple.
Take the whole year to achieve your goals; January is not where it all happens.  This is mostly about setting realistic goals and plans.  A lot of resolutions fail simply because they were too big for the time frame or for our resources such as time or money.
Once you’ve set out your goals, check each one - How doable does my goal feel on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is totally doable? If your answer is less than 8, go back and check what needs to be tweaked about your goal or action plan so that it feels achievable.  A stretch is ok. Not doable is de-motivating and a waste of time.  Make it stick.
Keep an eye out for your fear of success.  This is such an interesting tip to be giving you!  This is more of a life-long application tip to be honest, and one I’ve really started realising the power of.  This particular species of fear is very sneaky – it dresses up in all kinds of disguises such as highly plausible reasons for not getting around to things, worries about others and even health challenges.  We can be very very good at keeping ourselves safe from success!  The challenge is to be really open to spotting it because it can look like something else.  Look out for any sign of it and be sure to listen to and heal that part of you. 

3 Tips for Beating the Back to Work Blues

Hopefully you’re easing back into work nicely, or perhaps even still on holiday, but in case you’re moping around in the Monday-morning blues (or Tuesday-morning, Wednesday-morning…!), here are some practical ideas on how to make that nice holiday vibe last a little longer and bring it into your working week.  As I always find myself saying in January, the New Year holiday time is also a brilliant opportunity to bring some new ways of being to your daily life.
Step 1 – Keep having fun 
Make plans through the week and on weekends that you can look forward to.  Here is a wee menu of delicious things you can enjoy (for those of us in the southern hemisphere at least!):  Picnic dinners on the beach, breakfast out in the garden or on the deck, dinner with friends, swimming after work, bush walk, movies, new yoga class, game of tennis (and watching the current tennis tournaments), neighbourhood touch game or pub-quiz, getting into your crafts, gardening or cooking (I’ve been making fresh pesto, toasting nuts and seeds for salads and growing micro greens. Yum!).  Plan it, do it, enjoy it.
Step 2 – Let yourself do one thing at a time and thoroughly enjoy the moment you’re in 
Hopefully you were doing this on holiday a bit already, so you’ve been practicing. :-)  If you’ve ever been boogie boarding at the beach you might have noticed how much an all-consuming activity it is.  You’re in the waves, your hands are on the board, you’re waiting for the next opportunity to take a ride, then you’re rushing through the surf and loving it.  For the most part you’re not thinking about anything else - such as what you’re doing next, or worrying about what happened that morning. Your attention is fully in the moment, you can feel the water and waves, you’re experiencing it wholeheartedly.
What would it be like if you could enjoy your daily life like that?  What if you could drive to work and actually just enjoy the peace and quiet (or your favourite music up loud), taking in the blue sky through the windscreen, feeling your body in the seat, your hands on the steering wheel.
What if you could make a meal in total immersion; focusing on the goodness of the fresh vegetables you’re preparing, the smells, the tastes.
And how about while you’re preparing a document at work, letting your mind pay attention to this one thing?  Simply focusing on the task at hand, enjoying the process and the thorough sense of completion when it is done.
Try it. It might not be very easy at first, so let your self be learning.  It’s worth it.  I promise it will give you more enjoyment in your day.
“Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment.”
Thich Nhat Hanh 

Step 3 – Decide what you want this year 
If you haven’t had a chance to really think about what you want your life to be like this year, take a few minutes at least to really think about this.  I mention this here under ‘holiday vibe’ because I think most of us think that the way we enjoy our life when we’re on holiday is not possible when we’re back into ‘normal mode’.  We assume it’s going to be flat out busy, no time to really enjoy and that’s just how it is.
And it can really feel like that is actually true.  All our ‘doing’ often gets in the way of being more relaxed, easy going or happy.  Because we habitually put most of our emphasis on what we want to DO, and not on how we want to BE, all the activity takes priority.
Last year I spoke to so many people and families who had so many activities in their diaries, so many work commitments and even new aspirations to work harder or earn more that there was almost no space in their life to BE at all.  But you are not at the mercy of your schedules.  They are YOUR schedules for goodness sake!
So, if you want to enjoy your day to day life the way you enjoy being on holiday, how would you be BEING?  As I mentioned earlier, I’m starting the year with a focus on bringing more ease and enjoyment into each day – making sure I’m present, laughing and really enjoying what I’m doing – because that’s how I want to BE and experience life.  What would that be for you?
Now is the time to start.  And it will take your careful attention and intention to BE different to start with.  How were you being on holiday, that you want to continue?
BE this at work, BE this on the way to work, and BE this when you get home.  Where you are is not important; how you are being is.
Have a fabulous January, and all the best for 2015, may it be nourishing, full of love and truly rewarding.

Karen Ross
Fresh Ways Forward - Transformational Coaching 

helping you get the life you want

© Copyright aVara Consulting Ltd 2012. Fresh Ways Forward is a brand of aVara Consulting Ltd.
Submitted At: 21 January 2014 3:41pm | Last Modified At: 28 January 2015 10:52am
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Karen Ross is a respected coach working with individuals to make sustained meaningful change. Discover fascinating new ways to achieve your goals and create the kind of life you want with transformational coaching. Learn practical strategies and skills that empower you to take control. Don't you owe it to yourself?!

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