Honestly, I don’t think new years resolutions are worth the time thinking and articulating them because they aren’t borne out of reality, they are invariably frivolous and/or spur of the moment, often unachievable which you know at the time. So rarely does anyone stick to them in my experience, myself included, making me not a fan of them for many a year (decade) now.
Instead, I think it is the perfect time to reflect upon the last year and all your achievements because there will be many, large or small and you need to acknowledge them. In fact, I would go so far as to say, we should all be doing this at least twice a year; take a moment for a reality check and consider
- is my life working for me?
- is my job/career what I still want or going where I want it to go and if not, why not, what can I change?
- is my relationship as healthy as I would like it to be, if not, what can I do to change things or is it time to move on?
- do my hobbies and activities still give me as much pleasure?
- are my friendships still nurturing me and if not, what is my part in that?
- are there toxic relationships or situations in my life that are not serving me that need to be ended?
- what have I achieved in my life and what is there still to achieve, what steps do I need to take to bring them to fruition?
It is so easy for us all to become wrapped up in the minutiae of every day leaving us no time to think about the big picture. If you aren’t the big picture type of person – and I am – then you need to ask someone you trust who is to help you with your reality check, otherwise you will just become bogged down in details.
A valuable tool used in NLP is a timeline which can really help you work out the steps you need to take to plan the future of your choosing. If you’ve never used one let me explain:
stand in a free space and imagine your past is behind you (or to one side if your brain prefers a linear timeline), you are standing in the present and in front of you (or to the opposite side) is your future. Now walk to your future – the life you choose whatever that is – and give it life. You need to truly envision it, giving it colour, texture, location, feeling; you also need to consider what you will look and feel like when you reach it, where you will be and what the environment around you looks like, who will be with you and so forth. Bring every sense and emotion into play.
Once you have fully envisioned your future, then it is time to start taking backward steps to the present. Each backward step is reverse engineering your goal and the processes you took to reach it. Along the way, you will probably have parellel timelines going on related to activities/hobbies, relationships, friendships, work etc. Each reverse step allows you to stand in that moment, imagine what you have achieved to reach that point, considering all the aspects of your life that may have to change somewhat to allow you to attain your goal.
Eventually you will return to the present and by this point, you should have a clearer idea of the steps you need to take in all aspects of your life, to reach your goal(s).
So, not only will you have had a positive reflection of all that has gone in the previous year (or 6 months if you do this twice a year), but hopefully a plan for the year ahead/5 years ahead/10 years ahead. Don’t forget to continue with your reality checks regularly even if you do have a long term plan for your life because you change, life evolves and with it, our goals shift or change altogether. A reality check is just that – an opportunity to check if your life is working as you wish it to be.
I wish all of you a very Happy and fruitful New Year, and I look forward to sharing more of my life and thoughts with you throughout 2017:)
PS: if anyone wants any help with their timeline, or has any questions, I’m here to help if I can 🙂