There’s that version of yourself that you have in your head, one that you think you would like to become, but you neither know how to become that person, nor do you genuinely trust that you have what it takes to be that person.
Whether it’s how we look, act, how much we make, our relationship status, a bad habit (or sixty) we really want to get rid of, maybe even our home… We think that there are things that we should change in order to become that better version of ourselves.
And so, before each New Year, we take a moment to set ourselves some resolutions, where we change things that we think will make us better over the next year.
And… invariably, barely into the New Year, these resolutions are hanging over our heads and we have our tails between our legs with the guilt of not being able to stick to them. We end up feeling like failures, and by February, we’re ready to throw in the towel and are searching for the reset button to start the whole year again from scratch because if not, we’re destined never to succeed.
The truth of the matter is that New Year’s resolutions are neither realistic nor supportive to our journey to become our better selves.
It’s not because New Year’s resolutions are bad. They’re not. I’m a big proponent of seizing opportunities to change, to make our lives better, and to take ourselves closer to achieving our heart’s desires. But, when we sit there making our list of resolutions, we start off from a place of desperation, a mindset of lack and dissatisfaction, instead of a place of thoughtfulness and intention.
I built my practice on helping people achieve change, and I’ve gone through my own journey to get to where I am now. One thing I can tell you for sure, no matter who you are, and what your circumstances are, is that change isn’t about “making up your mind” to do something, or using sheer willpower to obtain a result. If there’s anything that’s tried and true in this world, and you’ll find this advice everywhere, is that you can’t simply flip a switch and get change. It is, unfortunately, not how things work.
When most people pull together resolutions, they end up setting themselves a bunch of vague targets. That’s it. There is no thought put into whether the outcome is achievable, realistic, or measurable. There is no proper action plan in place to achieve them. I want to quit smoking, lose weight, change jobs, become happier, be healthier… The resolutions never come with an action plan, do they?
Worst of all, when those resolutions are set, usually there is no compelling reason to achieve them. If what you plan on doing is changing something that is inherently a part of your everyday life, an ingrained habit, or a part of your personality, you’re going to need a heck of a lot to be able to do that. You give yourself zero tools to make that change when all you do is set yourself some targets. Let’s be real, if all you need to have the motivation and drive to change is to list the things you need to change, then… well, there would be nothing to change, would there? Everything would be perfect already.
You probably have a set of resolutions that you’ve already drafted, and that’s all good, but instead of focusing on them in this new year, I want you to try doing things a bit differently. Set them aside, and give yourself a proper framework to set yourself up for successful change. It’s completely doable, and here’s how.
Ask yourself these three questions:
Who do I want to become in 2023?
By thinking about who you want to become, you put your mind into imagination mode, and start visualising possibilities instead of focusing on negatives that you want to get rid of. Those possibilities will be the compelling reason to achieve the change that you want. When you find yourself faltering on motivation, reach back to this image of who you want to become, and take time to really revel in the visualisation of that person.
What do I want to be known for?
This gets you thinking about the wider picture, and framing your life in terms of a greater impact, instead of micro-changes. Ask yourself what you want your legacy to be, how you want to affect the world around you. Once you have identified that, you might want to add other items to your resolutions list, or even remove some that seem a bit unnecessary.
What 3 things can I do to get closer to doing what I want to be known for and to become who I want to be?
This gets you to turn your thoughts into an action plan, and really map out how you’ll achieve your targets. Pull together a list of tangible actions that you know you can take, and then break them down into small steps. Once you start those steps, you’ll find yourself taking concrete actions and genuinely making that change happen.
Once you’ve got the answers to all three questions, turn the answers into actionable intentions. Here’s an example:
Who do you want to become: I want to become someone who isn’t always moaning about being busy. Someone who isn’t always stretched for time, who can afford to spend some time on myself and slow down on all the rushing as it’s not good for my health, physically or mentally.
What do you want to be known for?: I want to be known for being organised, for being respectful of other people’s time and for being able to say yes to more social things and things that soothe my soul.
The Intention: I intend to create more down time and relaxation for myself.
The Actionable Aspect: By waking up 15 minutes earlier each morning, not working through my lunch breaks, and booking one Saturday afternoon a quarter for a massage (then set your first massage date and book it in).
This is an example but already, I think you can see how much nicer it feels? How the thought of this change doesn’t give you anxiety and impossibility. It feels better than creating a resolution that says “I’m going to be on-time to work everyday”.
This exercise will not only help you to break down the pressure that resolutions put you under, but it also gives you a much better grasp on the changes that will truly get you to living a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.
When you have done that, find a word that describes the sort of year you want to have in 2023.
Alignment was my word last year, and so many things aligned for my life. It was incredible! So this year my words for 2023 are Reposition and Thrive. It is time for me to do some repositioning in my life in the not too distant future and I want to thrive in different places.
I’m keen to hear from you. Give the exercise a try and let me know how it goes for you. I’m keen to know how you intend to create deliberate success, and if you find motivation where you didn’t really have much? Did you put your action plan to work? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you’re ready to go ahead and dig deep into your purpose, find your contribution, and step into the life that you deserve, check out the Confidence Queen’s Academy. It’s a place where Queens like you have stepped into to turn their fears into courage, their passion into their careers, and to build their life of happiness, fulfilment and purpose. And all of that within a community of supportive women who are on the same journey.
Fix your crown.