Every year when January approaches, the hype around New Year’s resolutions becomes louder. We make promises to ourselves to eat better, work out more, start a new hobby, drop an unhealthy habit, or dive into projects we’ve let fall by the wayside. The list becomes lengthy, far-reaching, and ultimately unsustainable because of unrealistic expectations and not enough attention. Sure, the emotional desire might be there in the moment, but when reality sets in, keeping up with the list of goals lacks the endurance, motivation, and consistency needed to succeed. Several months down the road we find ourselves back where we started with the New Year vibe far behind us.
So how do we effectively create a sustainable accountability practice that lasts throughout the year? Having a self-navigation plan in place is a valuable support tool and helps those New Year’s goals become year-round achievements. The first step is to bring into focus your big picture ideas. Create a list of what you want to achieve for yourself in the long run. Then zero in on what some smaller, personal resolutions might be to support your overall plan for mind, body, and spirit. Make it a priority for yourself each day to focus on what you need and how you want to go about achieving it. This daily mindset practice helps to reinforce your goals and aspirations by creating space in your life where you have an opportunity to find clarity on what you want over and over again.
By working with smaller portions of resolutions on a daily basis, we develop a strong relationship with self care because we are discovering what truly matters to us. Our core values are what deeply inspire and motivate us to make better choices for ourselves. When we acclimate to the rhythm of accomplishing these daily doses of personal resolutions, we are learning how to be consistent, accountable, and present with ourselves.
Being present means we are fully aware of our feelings, thoughts, and how we want to show up in the world. In this space we access the observer within, the inner guide. This inner guidance system is an ally and the more we work with it, the more we build trust within. Each time we do this, we strengthen our awareness of our core values, which affects how we choose to engage with life. As we develop our ability to be present in the moment, we shift how we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore we create a strong foundation for success wherever we focus our attention — we get better at knowing and trusting ourselves, make better choices, and experience life differently.
Devote the same time each day to check in with yourself. Spend a few minutes writing down the day’s aspirations, resolutions, and intentions. Be consistent with this so that you create positive neural pathways in support of your goals. Throughout the day revisit your list to reinforce this new terrain. Connect to the positive feelings that surface when your attention is on your core values and goals. Reading your resolutions out loud is a powerful way to anchor your focus for the day. The vibration of the words on your vocal cords moves through the body like a set of instructions. The body responds by engaging the nervous system into a parasympathetic state, which positively benefits your health and state of being.
So this year, go ahead and make those grand resolutions for the next year and then stick with them by taking the time to design a daily action plan. Begin each day with a few attainable goals and start to weave self-transformation into your life. Get clear, set your daily course, and make adjustments along the way. Tune into what is important to you and allow these to influence your resolutions every day. Create longevity with consistency of achievable accomplishments. The more attention you spend on being present with yourself and your needs, the deeper and more fulfilling life will be.
As we enter 2024 let us be wiser and more focused on making big changes with little steps toward our goals. And down the road, when we look back at the New Year, we can celebrate where we began and how much we’ve accomplished. Cheers!