Happy New Year! We’ve torn the last page off of the 2016 calendar and landed squarely in 2017. At four days in, do you already feel behind?
Sometimes I find that the grandeur and precision of changing your life with the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, regardless of how long you may spend contemplating what changes you want to make, is too much for people. Can we agree to let the pressure of January 1 go?
One key element of making lasting change is flexibility and letting go of perfectionism. The idea of starting your new habit on January 1, on a blank page, or in a clean new planner is so alluring. But what happens if you aren’t ready until January 2nd or 4th or January 29th? Does it already feel too late? In case you need to hear it straight, let me tell you, it’s not! I promise you every commitment to change that was made with intention, connection to why it’s important to you, and clear action steps, even ones made on the random dates of December 12th or April 3rd, has brought about the intended results. And you know what else? Every last minute proclamation of, “Starting tomorrow I will…” as the new year is counted down has failed.
So, here we are on January 4th, are you ready to commit with intention, connection and action? Here’s how:
1 – Set your intention. This is an “I am” statement describing who you want to be in any area of life.
Example – Health and Body: I am fit, strong and active.
2 – Connect to why you want to be this. Answer the following questions:
Why is being __(fit, strong and active)____ important to me?
What does this __(being fit, strong and active)__ look like?
How will I know when I’ve become __(fit, strong and active)__?
What do I want to do?
What do I want to have?
3 – Next, let’s get specific. What specific steps will I take to be __(fit, strong and active)__?
Set the small steps. What are these steps and when will you do them? Put them in your calendar. These are items you will be able to check off and then set the next step as the year moves along. For now look at January through March and set as many small, specific steps as you can. (Things like register for the race you want to run, open a savings account, buy a new journal, find a yoga class that fits your schedule, etc.) What is the first thing you need to do to be __(fit, strong and active)__?
4 – Create a visual to keep your goals in your awareness every day.
Your visual can be a vision board using poster board and magazines. It can be a photograph of the race you want to complete, a collage of bedroom decorating ideas, a menu from a special restaurant you want to go to for a romantic date, a photo of your next vacation spot. What will inspire you and remind you of your intention every time you see it?
5 – State your intention out loud every day. “I am fit, strong and active.”
6 – Lastly, celebrate your accomplishments every step of the way!
By taking these steps and connecting with your intention every day, you could start any day of the year and see the results you are looking for!
So take some time today or tomorrow or next week, and set yourself up for success!