A new year. A chance to dream of all that might transpire over the next twelve months. An opportunity to cast off all that was negative about the year that's passed and offer up a prayer that this will be your year. If I had a pound for every "new year, new me" post I'd seen on social media over the last few days... I'd have a lot of pounds.
And of course there's nothing wrong with optimism. I love a bit of positive thinking! But it doesn't take long for those new year aspirations to take on a negative tone... and that's why I'm declaring war on New Year's Resolutions.
You might think this is a strange position for a coach to take. After all, goal-setting is at the centre of everything I do. My workshops, my one-to-one coaching, even my book - they're all about getting clear on what your goals are and putting a plan in place to achieve them. So what's my problem with New Year's Resolutions? Surely they're just another way of setting goals?
Well... yes and no. The problem I have with them is that we often choose our resolutions from a starting point of negativity. We begin by telling ourselves what we've failed at. What's wrong with us. Where our fundamental deficiencies lay. We think about how we've let ourselves or our families down over the last year and how we need to be better people in the year to come. We tell ourselves we have to change.
When we make New Year's Resolutions, we're telling ourselves we're not enough. Not thin enough, not fit enough, not rich enough. Not good enough parents or good enough friends. That we haven't travelled enough, that we don't have enough of a social life, that we're not good enough. And so we resolve to do better. To be better. To be different.
We make New Year's Resolutions to fill a perceived deficit in who we are.
That's not a good way to begin a goal-setting process. When your starting point is "I'm not good enough" it's almost impossible to get into a mindset that will go on to achieve your goals. After all how can someone who's not good enough achieve anything good? No wonder the vast majority of Resolutions have fallen by the wayside by February! Because you've got yourself into a "I'm not enough" mindset and convinced yourself you're really not capable of the things you dream of achieving.
And that's why I'm calling for an anti-resolution revolution. Don't go into this new year listing all the things you need to change about yourself. Go into it being clear on what's already amazing about you. List your strengths, your skills, your talents. Notice what your friends and family love most about you. Take note of all the incredible traits you don't want to change and that you're going to carry forwards into the new year. And then think about setting yourself some goals.
Look at the difference between these two perspectives:
Person A: "I put on so much weight in 2019. I've got no self-control around food and am ashamed of how I look. I'm so disappointed that I started the year determined to lose weight but ended it fatter than I started. I've failed at so many diets over the last year! Right. I'm resolving to change. My resolution is to stop being so useless and to stick to a diet plan once and for all."
Person B: "I'm so proud of my achievements in 2019. I stepped up for my best friend when she really needed someone. I made time for self-care and allowed myself some real down-time doing things I love. I've had such special moments with my family and treasure the memories we made over the last year. I'm going to continue looking after myself in 2020 by trying to make healthier choices with my food."
By starting the year with a positive mindset... by reminding yourself of how much you're capable of achieving... you are so much more likely to see your goals realised in 2020.
If you're not yet a member of my Facebook group do come over and join us to keep your mindset positive and to head into 2020 feeling excited for what lies ahead rather than telling yourself you need to change. Are you ready to join my anti-resolution revolution? Click "contact" and let me know!