Ditch the Resolutions and Design Your Year Instead

BY Sally Anne Giedrys        January 15, 2016

I love the optimism, inspiration, enthusiasm that comes with the start of a new year.

I’m convinced that there’s something powerful about the collective January energy of setting intentions and starting fresh.

About dreaming big and seeing new possibilities. About claiming what you want to create and experience.

After all, this is your show. None of us gets the final say on every single thing that happens around us. But you sure do have a say in what you choose to create and experience every year. Being intentional about that is an extremely practical (and good common sense) practice.

Two things I’m not so crazy about, though? The way we set (and even talk about) New Year’s resolutions. And the Negative Nellies and Cynical Cindys who love to rain on the New Year’s parade.

Resolutions too often come from the place of not-enough.

They are, too often, all about making ourselves “better” in some way. They’re more often based on (perceived) flaws instead of strengths, on chasing acceptability or improvement instead of meaning or fun or fulfillment. Sometimes, we call them goals, but we treat them the same way.

They aren’t reaching toward something meaningful and fulfilling. They’re focused on being less of what we don’t want. Or more of what we think we should be.

Hardly motivating.

And then, if that’s not a bad setup already, inevitably, out comes the anti-improvement squad.

You know, the articles and jokes about how everyone fails at resolutions (so why bother). The mocking of proven tools and processes (that the mocker has often never tried). The raised eyebrow look at others’ excitement of visioning, planning, intending and setting something big in motion.

What a vicious and unpleasant circle we’ve created around this whole resolution thing. When we could choose a joyous, energizing and life-changing experience instead — one of intentionally designing something we do want.

If you ditch the old stories about resolving to be better, smarter, thinner, richer, a better saver, and instead design your next year as you’d like to experience it, trust me, your life will change.

What if, this year, instead…

  • You set a vision or an intention of how you’d like your year to end up. How you’d like to feel, what you’d like to experience, focus on, forget about?
  • You do that in the way that feels most motivating to you. What will get you fired up? What questions get you dreaming?
  • You start from the premise that you’re just fine as you are. You’re more than fine – you have a unique set of strengths, values and desires ready to work for you.
  • You look less outside yourself for the magic bullet and more at committing to create what you want with love and respect (for yourself and your goal).
  • You take anything off your list that is not meaningful, fulfilling and moving towards a bigger vision.
  • You make a decision about how you’re going to experience the year and where you’d like to focus your energy.
  • You ask yourself why you want to create everything on your list (honestly).
  • You break down your vision into simple habits and small steps that you can start right now, instead of a big push now that peters out later.
  • You engage the support you need to make positive steps towards your vision and trust the process you choose.
  • You join me in leaving the negativity and cynicism where it belongs. It’s much more fulfilling to engage in your life and experiment with creating what you envision for yourself than to waste time listening to any of that negativity and cynicism.
  • You meet back here this time next year and tell us all how it went.

Cheers to all that you’re creating this year!

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Sally Anne Giedrys

Sally Anne Giedrys is a life/career coach, consultant and strategist — and a freedom-focused advocate for dreaming, designing and creating lifestyles and careers that are fulfilling, adventurous and perfect for them. She helps clients reinvent, reinvigorate, reimagine and redefine the status quo to achieve their personal vision of success, balance and fulfillment. She splits her time between Portland, Oregon and Christchurch, New Zealand.

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