Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution and Do this Instead

It’s that time of year when people start to take stock of what they accomplished throughout the past year. Upon reflecting on the year, many realize that they didn’t achieve their goals and dreams for yet ANOTHER year.

So, what happens? People will make the same or very similar New Year’s Resolutions year after year – which NEVER come to fruition. What is a New Year’s Resolution anyway? According to the Cambridge Dictionary it is a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. And that usually lasts, how long? A week, a month, tops? New Year’s Resolutions DO NOT work for several reasons:

  • They are dangling in the middle of nowhere – meaning they are not part of a larger VISION.
  • They just sound nice on paper – meaning there is no real PLAN OF ACTION around achieving them.
  • They are outside of a person’s COMFORT ZONE – meaning there is a deep seeded unconscious fear around actually achieving them.

Let’s start with #1 – A Vision is a big picture goal. Attaining a vision may include achieving several or many goals along the way (some you may be aware of and others you may not realize until you are upon them). A vision could be something like getting your dream job, buying a home, inventing something new, creating a beautiful relationship, owning a home, losing 20 or more pounds, getting healthy, stopping smoking, etc. And guess what? When you achieve your vision, well, it’s time to create a new one. That’s the best part – a lot of us get hung up on holding back on achieving the vision because that would mean…”Now what do I do with my life?”  But it’s not so; we get the opportunity to create more than one vision. Hooray!

Goals are the steps that we take to achieve the vision. The easiest way to begin to achieve all of this is to start with smaller goals that will be part of the vision.  So, #2 – There needs to be an organized plan of action in order to set goals and track them.

My recommended Plan of Action is to set several small attainable goals and one difficult stretch goal. Goals should be simply written and clearly define what you are going to do. Next is the more difficult goal – the stretch goal. A stretch goal pushes limits, is difficult to achieve and most importantly takes you outside of your “comfort zone.” There’s lots of discomfort around this goal!! That is why it’s important to set up the smaller goals first. It’s like running a long-distance marathon where you hand the baton to the next runner. One goal gets you to the next to the next and then finally the home stretch goal.

But I haven’t told you the secret sauce yet. This is #3 – The biggest reason that people do not achieve their New Year’s Resolutions is because there is a deep-seeded subconscious fear around attaining them.

99% of human beings are being run on a daily basis by their subconscious minds. I’ll give you an example: When you get up the morning and get ready for the day, you probably have a routine you are familiar with and don’t think about how to get into the shower, make the coffee, put your clothes on, etc. Your mind is busy thinking about a million other things and yet you do get ready and get out of the house. You’re on auto pilot – getting ready every morning, being driven by your subconscious mind that knows really well how to get you ready without you having to think much about it.

Mainly, our whole lives are being driven by this. You see, we all have something called an “ego” and its entire function is to keep us safe and for us to survive. So, from a very young age it starts filing information away as “good or bad.” Everything labeled “Good” is the mask we wear to show the world how wonderful we are and everything labeled “Bad” goes into our subconscious and we can’t see it anymore. However, we do see these things reflected in others around us and mainly these are the things that piss us off the most. These are also called “limiting beliefs” – beliefs that we have deep inside that we think are definitive; but the only person who makes them definitive is…us. We do this every single day. I’m sure you witness people who are constantly self-sabotaging themselves. They are on a path towards their dreams and then boom – suddenly they take a left-hand turn and blow it. This is the subconscious mind at work.

Next – think about your Vision, Goals and your past New Year’s Resolution and look at your current RESULTS. Start to think about the voice in your head that pops up and what it is saying when you come close to achieving your goals or vision. Is there something there that is an “absolute” that is “just because” or does your mind say “Yeah, but…” I recommend writing some of these things down. Start to process it in that sense. For example, the voice may say, “Whenever, I start to lose weight my family makes all sorts of comments. It makes me feel uncomfortable.” The person is uncomfortable with attention and being “visible” – that is what is sitting in the subconscious mind.

Next – taking action is what gives us the tools and the answers we need to make adjustments and to finally achieve our vision & goals. It’s actually an amazing process because if we use the technique to grow, learn and free our minds, then every result we get is a result we can use to get closer to what we want to achieve. Our mindsets move from: “Why can’t I get this thing that I want?” to that of a scientist in a lab: “Hmm…this is my result. OK, let me make some adjustments and try again.”

I love the Thomas Edison Quote “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won‘t work.”  We are never failing. Let that sink in – we are never failing – we are always working towards our vision and our results are the roadmap to help get us there. Anything we do is taking action. Even doing nothing is actually taking an action. It’s imperative to find the subconscious patterns that are creating the limited thinking. This is a huge part of the Plan of Action.

I really, really want you all to be successful this coming new year! So, let’s put it all together!!  Your new Plan of Action around New Year’s Resolutions is…

  • Make a New Year’s Resolution that supports your larger Vision.
  • Create several small, achievable goals.
  • Write down one difficult stretch goal that takes you out of your comfort zone.
  • Discover your subconscious patterns that have been holding you back from actually achieving your vision and goals.
  • Take Action every day to achieve your Plan.

The world is your oyster, go take it! Happy New Decade!

Joanne Newborn
Joanne Newborn is a Director with a large publicly traded company as well as a Certified Lifestyle & Leadership Coach. She has her MBA from Penn State University (Beta Gamma Sigma) and her BA from Pace University, is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater and has her coaching certification from Creative Mind Coaching. Clearly, she loves to continually learn and grow! Her coaching business, Newborn Evolution, focuses on Leadership Transformation with a Jungian Twist. She empowers frustrated, unfulfilled and stressed out professionals to attain their dream jobs along with a luxurious work/life balance. Joanne is also contributing writer to several publications. You can follow her on her website or get daily inspiration on her Facebook page.

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