The desire for self-improvement runs rampant during the holidays. After attending all the holiday parties and eating all the goodies, getting together for one too many lunches/dinners with friends, family and colleagues we decide a diet and fitness program needs to be set. Or maybe we assess where we are on our career paths compared to where we found our friends to be. Do we like where we are or do we need to step up our game?
With all the money spent during the season on lunches/dinners, new party outfits to wear to the various gatherings and of course gifts for everyone, spending less and saving more usually finds its way to the top of our lists as well.
It is said that 40% of Americans alone, make resolutions for the New Year, but according to a research study done by the University of Scranton only 8% of them actually achieve their goals. So let's take a look at what we can do to achieve more of our goals in 2015.
The first thing to take note of is that we want to enter the New Year with positive energy. Most of us spend the holiday season berating ourselves on how much weight we've gained, how much money we've spent and how much money we didn't make. This is not the kind of energy you want to take into the New Year much less set goals from. Ending the year in a state of gratitude is a much better use of energy all the way around. Be grateful for all the great food and company you had during the holidays. Be grateful that you were able to spend your money picking out just the right gifts for those special people in your life. Because gratitude is a loving energy, it is from this place that you can really set some wonderful and achievable goals for yourself in 2015.
Next, don't try to set complete makeovers for yourself or your business. You are setting yourself up for failure and the more failures you have the more your self-esteem will plummet. Transformational goals are wonderful but you still have a life to live-a life that is calling you and pulling you in many directions at once. Just because you set a new goal, it doesn't mean that life is going to stop around you.
Don't make your goal or goals so psychologically daunting that you make them unachievable. Setting "small, attainable goals throughout the year, rather than a singular, overwhelming goal" is more likely to succeed according to psychologist Lynn Bufka. Bufka adds that "it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time."
Remember when you are setting your goals that energy matches energy. If you hope to use will power, restraint, accountability, force or external motivators to make a change, it won't work for long. That is the energy of control and non-acceptance according to Coach Joy Tanksley. If you want to achieve lasting change you need to start from the energy that can achieve those things-the energy of letting go, acceptance, opening, allowing, discovering. You need to forget about fixing yourself. There is nothing to fix. You are perfect just the way you are. You need to connect to the essential you and honor your intuition. Find the authentic you, the passion within you. Set your goals based upon your "passions", not your "shoulds" and you will have much greater joy, success and happiness in the year ahead.
Deborah Darling is The Women In Motion Business Group's Executive Contributor and President of The Presentation Pros.