New Year’s resolutions — so easy to make, so hard to keep! Why is it we enter into them full of vigor and enthusiasm, but more often than not, start to flake just a few weeks later?
Successful Life and Career Coach Meredith Haberfeld, who has motivated top leaders and CEOs, says to get off on the right foot, visualize your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.
“A new year is an opportunity to look at your life like a work of art,” she says. Ask yourself, “Of all the things that could happen this year, what would be magnificent? Don’t treat it lightly.”
Here are her foolproof steps for reinventing yourself in 2011:
1. Dream up your Vision. Take out a blank paper, canvas, or poster board and write, draw, or cut out magazine pictures that reflect what you would love in each arena of your life – capture the feeling and the experience for each area you care about and let yourself dream BIG. This life of yours is your own work of art. Then put this somewhere you’re going to encounter it again throughout the year….post it on your wall, or put a date in your calendar each month to talk through it with a close confidant. This becomes your creative blueprint for this unique year ahead.
2. Avoid “Should” statements. “They make terrible resolutions,” Meredith says, “because they totally lack passion and inspiration, which is the food for ongoing motivation.
Leave behind what you “should do” for another time and focus on what truly inspires you or make you happy – this will have your life line up with your own values instead of someone else’s.
3. Hone in on just one or two specific goals for the year. Let your overall vision “work on your life”, and pick just one or two objectives for you to “go to work on”. Design specific actions you can start taking immediately towards them. A little does a lot. And you can build on each success. So be realistic with what you commit to take on, and build from there. For instance, if you’re trying to reduce stress in your life, say, “I’m going to meditate for 6 minutes each day.”
4. Find a buddy. Ask a trusted friend or family member to hold your feet to the fire. It makes a huge difference to have someone support you in being accountable for doing what you dream you would do. “It’s your buddy’s job to be a loving drill sergeant” and help you maintain your commitment, Meredith says, not by telling you it’s okay if you screw up, but by reminding you that if you do falter, no wallowing, you just need to get back in action quickly!
5. Swap your attitude. Look at people around you who are already successfully doing what you want to do, and borrow their outlook. There’s a reason they are already where you want to be…use what they’ve gathered along the way.
Finally, remember that temporary setbacks happen to everyone. Meredith advises, the more disappointed you feel in yourself, the less likely you are to complete the thing you want! When in doubt: pick yourself up and get back in action. This gentle, loving persistence can stand up to any of the obstacles that come up along the way and allow your wishes for yourself to actually emerge in your life.