It’s March – Time To Re-Do Your New Year’s “Resolutions”
Consider this article your permission slip to re-think and re-write those anxiety-inducing New Year’s “goals.”
Did you set intentions for the New Year? If you did, then you likely found yourself hustling around at the close of 2018, thinking about all of the things that you wanted to accomplish in the fresh 365 days. Maybe you set these intentions hoping you’d feel a sense of accomplishment by achieving something new.
Something happens that first week of January. We’re excited and filled with joy at the possibility of what’s to come. We’re also still recovering from the holidays, having likely over-indulged and spent more time with family and friends, and less time focused on our own needs. We’re still recovering, yet we rush to not only get back “on track,” but to go full-speed-ahead into our New Year’s resolutions.
We change our eating habits, cut out alcohol, increase our exercise routine and immerse ourselves into our work. And then, after one week, we’re often burned out. If we’re lucky, we’ve lasted a few days, maybe a week, before we just give up on everything. And then, we start hating on ourselves for being “weak.” But have you considered taking a step back and looking at all of the unnecessary pressure we placed on ourselves to begin with?
Intentions are meant to make us feel a specific way and I can almost guarantee you that most of us don’t set intentions that are meant to make us feel negatively about ourselves. I mean, is that what you intended? I doubt it.
So, let’s take a moment for a refresh. Here’s how:
Take A Step Back
Do you know the difference between goals and intentions? Intentions indicate a greater motivation from within to feel differently than you already do. They focus on the end result, which is often how we would like to feel. I suggest changing the dialogue that repeats in your head by first setting intentions that are focused on how you would like to feel.
Say the intention out loud. It should ignite a fire within.
Here’s an example of changing a goal to an intention. Instead of, “I want to build a $1 million business,” try, “I intend to build a business where I am financially stable and abundant.” And another example, instead of, “I hope to gain 100 clients,” change it to, “I intend to work with an abundance of clients that are open to the services my business provides.” The simple process of changing goals to feelings-based intentions rewires our brain to recognize that once our hopes and desires are achieved, we will be filled with feelings of joy and positivity.
Then, look at those original big goals and break them down into manageable steps. Instead of, “I want to make $60,000 this year,” try, “I will work toward billing $5,000 in client services each month.” This perspective translates major goals, which are important, into manageable steps. These steps are just part of your intention – the road that paves the way to how you want to feel at the end of the year (abundant in your work).
Do What Feels Right
Most of us would like to feel happy, joyous, confident, loved, and powerful or financially secure (yes, there are many other feelings that can be inserted here). Did your goal or intention that you set for 2019 end with a feeling that you desired? So far, is the process of working toward that goal matching the feeling that you’re looking for?
Because if it’s not, then that intention might not be right for you. Here are two examples of intentions that we should not make:
- Intentions that are fulfilling the need of a family member, spouse, business partner or friend, but never our own.
- Reused or repeated intentions every year. If years have gone by and the same intention continues to show up on your list, you must acknowledge that this intention may not align with your values. Yes, it may have at another time, but today, it’s not important. Move away from the old, otherwise it will continue to bring negativity into today.
Once you’ve set your intentions, you may feel some internal conflict. If you’re anything like me, your inner perfectionist may come out to haunt you. It may cause you to overthink and to stop. But, you must keep going. Don’t ever wait for perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist.
A simple trick to silence the inner perfectionist is to set external deadlines. If you’re scared that you’re not good enough, or that you’re not ready, nothing will get you more ready than having to meet with a client next week. So go ahead, book an appointment with that person you’ve been dying to work with. Or make an appointment to meet with that academic or career advisor.
Nothing will motivate you more than knowing that you have a meeting in three days, I promise you. You can finish a project that should have been completed three years ago by simply setting external deadlines.
Get On With It Now
Put your heart into it. You’ve got this. And one more thing: These are your dreams and desires, not those of someone else. They’re your first thought in the morning and the last thought you have at night. Don’t ever let someone else’s opinion or judgment stop you from working on what your heart desires. Believe me, the less concerned we are with the judgment of others, the more time we’ll have to focus on what truly matters to us.
What are your dreams and desires, and what do you intend to do in 2019?
Melissa L. Fino is a defiant high school dropout who went on to receive her master’s of social work from the University of Southern California. Melissa applies her life experience with unexpected challenges and numerous insecurities to empower women to let go of the negative in their lives and embrace the positive. Currently, she is the CEO of LoveYourLife Community, a worthiness coach for women, writer, blogger and speaker. Melissa resides in San Diego, but frequents the East Coast to return to her childhood hometown and Portugal, to spend quality time with her mother. Follow Melissa on Facebook and Instagram.