New Year–Same You.
Every year we hear the same marketing campaign of NEW YEAR-NEW YOU. Generally, this campaign is aimed at selling you one of the following: workout clothes, self-help books, diet plans, workout equipment, books about change, planners, organization materials, etc. The basic gist of the pitch is that the old you, that live 365 days of the old year, needs to be completely re-made because it is junk. Maybe that sounds too harsh to you but think about it. When do you get something NEW? Probably when the old one is junk right? How many of you buy new cars because the old one is great? New furniture because you love the old so much? I am assuming those are no responses. Well, I don’t think the old you is junk and needs to be replaced with a new one. What if we said New Year-You.2. Think if yourself like an iPhone. They don’t completely get rid of all the features of the old when they roll out a new model (every 2 weeks 😉 ); they upgrade the current model to be an even better model than the first. What if we thought of our New Year version of ourselves the same way? Here are a 5 tips for how to upgrade the already wonderful YOU to You.2 , the expanded features version of You:
- Write down 5 things you did really well in 2016.
- Be kind to yourself. List anything at all that you did well. This list might include that you maintained a job, kept your children alive and well, stayed married, earned a promotion at work, took a vacation, paid off some debt, read a book, spent time with friends, showed love to your spouse, showed love to your children, lost weight, exercised a few times. Whatever you did well, write it down. The reality is that you did some things really well and there are some things that simply are not critical to change. Let’s accept that and focus on what does need to change. ScOprah is also on this new year vibe with me check out her view of the new year here.
- Write down 5 things you have done well throughout life thus far.
- Again, be kind to yourself. List anything that you have accomplished in your life. You might list that you completed schooling, established a career, birthed children, parented children, established a home. Anything you have accomplished or done well, write it down. Again, you are totally rockin’ some areas of life and there’s not need to change those areas. Pat yourself on the back for those things and then direct your focus to the areas that you can AND would benefit from IMPROVING (not completely recreating). You’ve heard the saying that it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel. Same story here!
- Write down 3 things you want to do better in 2017.
- This gives you one focus per quarter. We are being realistic here on what you can accomplish while continuing to live life every day . When you write down these goals make them specific. Do not say that you want a better marriage without writing exactly how you want it to be different. Do you want more intimate time with your spouse, more communication, better communication, more intention for you as a couple rather than all of the attention going to raising your children? BE SPECIFIC. What exactly do you want? When you ring in 2018 how would you know you were You.2? What exactly would be different. Write it down.
- Now the real work begins. ACTION TIME!
- Take the 3 goals you wrote out very specifically…..if you still haven’t done that do it now :)….write each one on a note-card.
- Put these in order of what you would like to focus on first, second, and last.
- Write the END DATE for each one. This is the date you will intentionally set to check-in and note the success on this goal. The first card should have an END DATE (or check-in date at least) of 4 months from now. Think of the goals like taxes or quarterly reports. You’re going to check-in with them quarterly so plan for April, August, and December END DATES for goals 1, 2, and 3. Write the specific check-in date on each card and then set a reminder for yourself either on your phone calendar, email calendar, or the old-fashion paper calendar.
- Post your first card somewhere where you will see it every day. This might be the bathroom mirror, in your car, on your computer, or on your refrigerator.
- Every day, make one active and intentional effort to move towards that goal. If your goal is to become less depressed then your daily steps may look something like this.
- Day 1: I will get out of bed no later than 9 am and make my bed so that I will not return to it.
- Day 2: I will walk outside OR (make a back-up so that a snowstorm doesn’t take the driver’s seat in your work) do 10 minutes of yoga today at 6 pm.
- Day 3: I will eat three meals and three snacks today at the following times: 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm.
- Day 4: I will practice Mindful Relaxation using the Smiling Mind app at 9 am and 10 pm today.
- Day 5: I will keep positive and encouraging music or talk TV/radio playing all day in my car, at my desk in the office, and at home.
****NOTICE we are being very specific with what we will do and when each day. Setting these intentions will help you ensure follow-through and hold you accountable to the details of your plan.**
5. TRACK your progress
- What we track changes. Research has proven this. If we track it we are more likely to change it. So, let’s make sure all of this effort pays off and take a minute to write this stuff down every day. Do these steps in a journal and make the pages following this plan your tracker. Each day, write down your intention for the day and at the end of the day give yourself a grade (A= followed every intention for the day F= Didn’t do anything) or rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1=Didn’t do anything and 10 = Followed every step and intention for the day). Put this tracker by your bed so that you can write your intention as soon as you wake up and rate your progress and effort when you lay down. Pairing new habits with something we already do (i.e. wake up and lay down = easy peasy) helps us to ensure success.
The moral here is SET YOURSELF UP TO SUCCEED!!! If your goal in the New Year is to be a completely NEW YOU. Good luck! It has taken you more than one year to get to this version of you so recreating all of that in 1 year is rather unlikely. However, you SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS by focusing on what is realistic, helpful, and necessary. You ENSURE SUCCESS by setting your goals specifically and reasonably and checking in on them regularly by tracking your efforts and progress. You can do this. NEW YEAR–YOU.2! GO GET IT!