Try THIS Instead of a New Year's Resolution
Once again that time of year has arrived when we collectively come together in the spirit of the holiday season and, for a short period, we are nicer, warmer and kinder to each other than we are through the rest of the year.
It is a time for friends and family, laughter and humour, guilt free excesses such as overeating and drinking and for trading frowns for smiles.
And for many it is a time of reflection and designing big plans for the future.
As I listen to clients share their New Year's Resolutions, I am reminded of a study I read many years ago pointing out that almost all New Year’s resolutions are shattered before noon on January 1, and most of the rest evaporate by January 5.
A Resolution Alternative
So rather than discourage clients from making New Year’s resolution I instead encourage them to take a thorough and complete personal inventory.
And I urge you to use this special time of the year to do the same.
Taking personal inventory requires a few things: a willingness to examine ourselves through a lens of clinical objectivity void of influence from our emotions, brutal honesty as we examine who and what we have become this year, and complete neutrality in assessing our starting point for 2018.
Earlier this week I highlighted the importance of asking ourselves intelligent questions so that we are able to move forward from where we are to where we want to be.
And taking inventory of ourselves is an excellent opportunity to apply important questions.
As we individually examine the many different areas of our lives; our emotional lives; our spiritual lives; our financial lives; our family lives; our intellectual lives; our physical lives; our relationships; our careers, we take inventory by asking ourselves questions.
1. “This year, have I made great strides in improving the most important skill of all – mastering my emotions?”
2. “Have I grown spiritually through self reflection and study? Am I feeding my soul with nourishing thoughts or poisoning it with negative, critical ones”
3. “In terms of my finances, compared to where I was this time last year, have I met or exceeded the goals I set for myself? Am I satisfied with my progress?”
4. “In evaluating my social and professional relationships, am I becoming the person I would want to have as a friend and colleague?”
5. “Have I made family unity a priority, mended damaged fences and allowed old wounds to heal themselves?”
6. “Am I smarter and wiser than I was one year ago? Have I devoted enough time to reading and studying and generally improving myself?”
7. “Am I stronger and healthier now than I was then?” Have I developed the nutrition and workout habits necessary for optimal health? Have I replaced poor habits with good ones?”
8. “Is my career progressing at the pace of my choosing? Am I doing everything to be the best I can and to convert challenge into opportunity, setbacks into comebacks and adversity into victory?”
As you know, we can’t fix what we don’t acknowledge, and we most certainly can’t improve on what we don’t admit. Taking inventory is not always pleasant but if we truly are committed to making 2018 the best year ever, it must start here.
We all have much to celebrate at this magical time of the year. Regardless of the challenges we may have faced, we have so much to be grateful for and while this is indeed the ideal time for relaxation, visiting with friends and family and generally enjoying the gift of life, I invite all of you to take time and do a complete inventory.
And then you will be ready to start making the rest of your life the best of your life.
Till we read again.