A 3-step approach to mindful New Year resolutions
At the start of every year for the past three years, I’ve drafted a New Year’s inspired blog post about my goals for the year ahead and the lessons learned from the previous 12 months, but I never hit publish. Life felt a little like that last year. Like I was floating in the ethos. I felt like I was doing a lot, but not seeing progress. Like I had good intentions but traded my usual determination and commitment for a laid back, “what will be will be” approach. But I’ve found that this just doesn’t work for me.
So, this year, I am taking the time to reflect on the previous 12 months and set some goals for the year ahead. If I don’t take the time to learn from past experiences, then I’ll keep facing the same roadblocks I have been. And if I don’t take the time to back all my best intentions with a plan, then I’ll keep floating aimlessly with no sense of direction.
I know our worth is not measured in our achievements, but rather our character. However, I am only human. I like to see progress. It’s not an egotistical thing; it’s about focus. But what are we focused on?
Often we spend so much time and energy focusing on the things we haven’t done. I’m guilty of it. It consumes a lot of headspace that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. So, I’ll get this list out of the road first….
What I didn’t do in 2015
- Finish writing my book
- “Enough” blogging
- Create an e-book/e-course
- Complete a work project that I’d hoped to
- Invest enough time into my husband’s business
- Invest enough time and energy into my family and most meaningful relationships.
What I learnt through my “failures”
It’s hard to list everything out like that; there’s no avoiding it and I can’t turn back the clock. I spent a reasonable amount of time beating myself up internally about it. But sometimes other things pop up in our lives that either distract us, demand us to choose, or force us to redirect.
We’re all just doing the best we can and there is no right or wrong, only the consequences of our actions. The beauty of it all though is the lessons within each experience.
If you don’t like the way something turned out, if you don’t like how it feels not to achieve your goal, you will always have the opportunity to do something differently next time, or take action today. Always.
What I accomplished in 2015
If you’re anything like me and sometimes dwell too long on the things you haven’t yet done, I think it’s important to reflect on the things you have done. A bit of positive perspective can go a long way. I’ve made this list to remind myself of what I did do while I was busy worrying about what I didn’t.
- Ran cooking demonstrations at my local Paleo Potlock
- Started a new job
- Established a new business with my husband
- Won a publishing contract through Hay House for my book, Walking a Thin Line
- Met Pete Evans and Nora Gedgaudas at The Paleo Way Tour
- Attended a Tony Robbins seminar
- Created and conducted several Finding an Inspired Life workshops with Amanda Jane McKay
- Was a guest speaker with Amanda Jane McKay at the local Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Luncheon
- Became an aunty (again!)
- Started Crossfit and completed my first group Crossfit competition
- Went on a yoga retreat
- Camped among the red dirt, beneath an ocean of stars in Cobar
- “Glamped” at Zoofari Lodge and went behind the scenes at Taronga Western Plains Zoo
- Went house boating with friends on the Hawkesbury River
- Danced and dined with family, friends and locals over a beach hangi in Fiji
- Visited Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Maloolaba, South Stradbroke Island, Nelson’s Bay, Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Fiji, Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury River
- MCd a wedding
- Attended my first Problogger Conference
- Received the Young Business Executive of the Year Award from my local Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Put my house on the market
- Bought and sold two investment properties.
What I learnt through my “wins”
Wow. I’m glad I did that.
When we’re “go-go go” the whole time, constantly focused on the next thing, getting more done, squeezing more in and not taking time to pause, it’s easy to forget about the big achievements and the little moments that make the tapestry of life so vibrant and enjoyable.
Every one of those points deserves an entire blog post dedicated to what I learnt through each experience. Personally, I learnt that I am passionate and optimistic, I love to travel, to learn and to share, I thrive on change yet value security, enjoy routine yet love spontaneity, and I am determined yet try to practice serenity. I’m a walking contradiction in many ways, but I’m OK with that (I doubt I’m the only one!).
My goals for 2016
If you’re a serious goal setter, you’ll notice that these aren’t S.M.A.R.T goals. A broader goal of mine this year is to simplify, so naturally that extends to my goals:
- Do less, focus more
- Eat well
- Work hard
- Train consistently
- Travel plenty
- Write regularly
- Love intensely.
So, I nearly didn’t bother writing a New Year’s blog post this year. However, I realised if I didn’t that I wouldn’t take the opportunity to reflect, give myself a pat on the back for the achievements, let the life lessons sink in a little more, and set some good intentions and lay the groundwork for the coming year.
You should try it.A 3-step approach to making the most of your New Year resolutions
– What didn’t you do last year that you wish you had? Write a list of all the things you ‘failed’ to complete, achieve or accomplish.
– What are you most proud of, or what were some of the biggest moments for you last year? Write a list of all the things you did, achieved and accomplished.
– What do you know now that you didn’t before? List the life lessons you gained over the past year.
– What will you do differently this year? List some of the positive changes you can make because of what you learnt last year.
– What is most important to you? List the things you value most (hint: they’re not material things).
– How can you incorporate more of what’s important into your life? List some “simple” goals that you can live each day.