Every New Year people see the new year as an opportunity to change over a new leaf and take on the inevitable (or possibly tedious) New Year Resolutions. And while for some, these things are a bright new opportunity, for others, they hold a sense of failure already build-in.
While I am personally not a fan of the New Year’s Resolutions, having already gone through a few years of disappointing outcomes, I would encourage people seeking change for 2019 to rethink how they learn things in order to get difference results in the future.
Kind of like moving the ‘goal-posts’ in terms of achieving things – rethinking what your real goal is – and why you haven’t really been able to get there is part of the process. Perhaps identifying some of the negative behaviour or old ideas of what constitutes a ‘better me’ can often distort our own idea of ourselves and is based on ‘old stuff’ (like childhood fears or high-school hang-ups) which no-one needs to carry around anymore.
So here are the top five classic changes you can rethink for 2019:
THE LOSING WEIGHT (FIASCO!)
A classic one. This one is not about punishing yourself or getting the figure that everyone wants but about getting you to feel better about yourself. I personally know that when I have been the thinnest is when I have felt the most insecure so building your self-esteem at any time is hard work but working on these harder things will take the heartache out of the must ‘weight-loss’ and the yo-yoing that goes with it.
If you make it more about achieving an exercise goal (like a 5km run or participating in a sporting event) – and not a weight-loss goal, the numbers are of secondary importance and the long-term goal is more the focus - so any short-term setbacks are just part of the journey and not a complete failure!
This change is not for the faint-hearted either, but exercise will always make you feel better and your good self-esteem will help with your flatulating emotions. These are good steps towards the steady exercise goal and the weight and are the habits to keep it off permanently.
Recommendation – Get a goal, set a timeframe and begin with small steps. Regular and often is the key.
FIXING UP THE FINANCES
This one is all about self-awareness, and actually thinking about the things that really matter to you in life. Young people often will love a particular ‘lifestyle’ but soon realise that a lot of things, important things, need to be afforded too – and for this we need to know where our money is going.
This goal is so varied, I would recommend by beginning with ASIC’s MoneySmart website or going to a reputable budgeting service, they will be able to see where and how you can set money goals and get yourself out of your debt (if that is the case) or saving towards any of your long-term goals.
Recommendation – ASIC’s MoneySmart website has a great financial goals page!
RETHINK THE INTERNAL STUFF
While changing our goals - or approach to our goals- is about making the goals more achievable the truth is that changing any of our habits is about addressing our old habits and creating new ones we can stick to!
We all have different personalities and traits, and so finding ways that we can make things better for ourselves and our loved one is about doing the ‘internal work’ be that through something that calms you and centres you enough to get some self-awareness and getting the growth (or assistance) you need. Maybe it’s a hobby like yoga, bush-walking or meditating but getting to where you need to be is never easy but is ultimately very rewarding. And there is nothing better than knowing that you are exactly where you need to be.
Recommendation – A good self- help read – I liked the classic (and slightly cheesy) ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck – because sometimes you just need a ‘figurative’ hand to hold.
RETHINK YOUR GOALS
With goals, we often think we can achieve one thing with another. So, as before – find the connections to your goals. Can you see if there are any connections that you may need to change in order to reach your goal? Just like the connection between: self-esteem, exercise and weight-loss - do you need to look at habits with smoking, or spending or eating out? Do you need to change your lifestyle, finances or find ways around your habits? Can you plan towards your goals through a diary (I love Passion Planners) or an APP?
Remember that old truism by Benjamin Franklin – “By failing to prepare – you are
Preparing to fail” – give yourself the best chance. Be brave and seek out good advice from people you trust.
Recommendation: Find a mentor, friend or colleague who wants to reach a similar goal and begin a plan.
CHANGE IT ALL FOR A BETTER YOU
Today – the world is changing. It always has been but the speed of change is getting faster and so finding ways of being happy and more fulfilled can seem harder but remain optimistic about your long-term goals and keep plugging away- and not leave it to a later date!
So carpe diem – seize the day and Happy New Year!