I found a terrific new yoga studio last week. Well, it's new to me, not new to the neighborhood, but either way I'm thrilled to be back on my mat again after an extended hiatus.
My break from yoga didn't happen because I all of a sudden stopped enjoying it, or because of an injury, or because of some traumatic yoga event. (Yes, those actually happen. Ask Lululemon, if you don't believe me...)
I simply stepped away from my commitment.
Life got busy. Things came up. I couldn't fit it into my schedule.
At the time, all of those sounded like great, legitimate reasons to keep me off my mat, but in reality they were just excuses. I left my commitment behind and let the busy-ness of life get in the way.
I bring this up today because this is our last Inspiration Monday of the year. With 2014 close on our heels, only two days away, I'm reminded that everyone is likely already thinking about the dreaded "R" word...
(cue dramatic horror movie scream right here...)
OK, don't get me wrong about resolutions. I love the idea of them, but in execution they pretty much suck, don't they? Maybe it's the word itself that carries with it this tremendous weight and guilt.
"It's a new year, therefore we MUST make resolutions and promise to do better next year!"
What's that about?
Why do we beat ourselves up about all the things we didn't do in the prior year only to turn around and guilt ourselves into making these outrageous, unrealistic resolutions to "be better" in the coming year? According to Forbes, only 8% of people who set resolutions actually achieve them. 8%!?! Perhaps there's a correlation?
While "being better about doing yoga" or "doing yoga every day" wasn't a New Year's resolution of mine, I'd made a somewhat wishy-washy commitment to use yoga as a method to care for myself because I felt like I SHOULD do it, and like many other wishy-washy commitments and resolutions prior that had been loaded with SHOULDS, this one just fell off my radar.
So what if, instead of making "resolutions", in 2014 we made CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISIONS?
And instead of infusing them with guilt over all that we didn't accomplish in 2013, how about we remind ourselves of all of our WINS so our commitments for the new year are EMPOWERED and AWESOME?
That sounds a little better, right?
If this seems like a philosophy you'd like to adopt this year, check out my 3-step plan below to help inspire your 2014 super success strategy.
3 Easy Steps to Your Best Year Ever
1.Take a look back at 2013 and LIST YOUR WINS.
What happened this year that you can be proud of? We're humble creatures, us humans, so this step is sometimes a little trickier than it appears, but it's an absolute MUST in order to give yourself a great foundation to build on in the new year. Break out the calendar if you have to and try and remind yourself of all the amazing things that happened for you this year. I challenge you to document on paper a minimum of THREE wins.
Keep in mind that your "win scale" absolutely should NOT look like anyone else's. So if your cousin is Peyton Manning (who just broke at least his third personal NFL record of the season this afternoon), his wins might appear to be a bit more spectacular. Maybe your wins include a promotion at work, or facing a big fear, or even something as simple as the amazing feeling you got from volunteering. In the scheme of things, remember that your wins are your own and you should always find ways to allow yourself to bask in the pride of your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem compared to cousin Peyton.
2. Make CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISIONS.
We're going to drop that "R" word from our vocabularies starting today. Since we started with listing our WINS, as opposed to looking back on 2013 with a disappointed lens, we've built this concrete foundation, infused with diamonds of pride, to give 2014 the best possible opportunity to be our most incredible year ever. Now we're ready to make some CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISIONS.
How do those differ from resolutions (beside the whole removal of guilt thing)? Well, look at each of those words: CONSCIOUS. When we're conscious, it means we're paying attention, right? We've got our eyes open and we're taking in all the information around us so we can make an accurate and effective assessment of our situation. COMMITTED. Being committed is akin to devotion. This is a strong word, one that I hold near and dear to my heart. It's why I pride myself on being such a great coach to my clients. When you're committed to something, and I mean really committed, there's little else that can take you away from that commitment. DECISIONS. Ah, yes. Decisions. Being decisive is one of the most empowered feelings in the world. My coach reminds me that the real definition of "decision" is to kill off all other options. That feels pretty strong and important doesn't it? When you're decisive, you're declaring to the world that you have complete and utter faith that you know what the f*ck you're doing and that everyone and everything better just get outta your way. Yeah, I love decisions.
So put all three of those words together now. You're paying acute attention to what's important to you and making an empowered choice to devote yourself completely to the task(s) you put your mind to in 2014. Doesn't that feel more empowered than saying, "this year, I resolve to actually lose those last ten pounds..." (Can you hear the whiny sing-songy voice in my head saying those gutless words?) How about instead you said, "My health is important to me. I'm committed to making my health a priority this year because I want to be there 100% for my loved ones and those I care about and I simply can't do that without being in the best health of my life. I have no other option because it's that important." Which person would you rather be?
3. Take some ACTION, DAMNIT!
Here it is. Your opportunity has arrived. Now the rubber meets the road. You've built yourself up with your WINS, made a CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISION, now's the time to get shit done.
Don't get overwhelmed. Start with small steps, if need be, but make sure you do SOMETHING to move your commitment forward. With consistency of those small steps, you'll find that they get easier and easier to replicate. You know the old saying, Rome wasn't built in a day? Well it's got some merit behind it. Know that you're working towards something and it might take a bit of time to get to the finish line. But with consistent activity every day, you're sure to get there.
And know that your CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISIONS don't stop on January 1st. When you take action towards those commitments, you're making a new CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISION each and every time to choose to do something to move you forward. So keep at it! Ask yourself each morning, "what's ONE thing I can do today that will bring me closer to my goal?" By simply answering that question daily there's no way you can fail.
To make things really easy for you, I'm giving you your first action to take right here, right now.
Go register for my FREE online workshop, right now. This seminar will teach you four simple mindset shifts you can make to ensure your success in 2014 and beyond. What better CONSCIOUS, COMMITTED DECISION to make than to provide yourself with a leg up on the New Year? The call is scheduled for Wednesday, January 8th at 8PM EST, with a replay option if you can't attend live. You'll need to click here to register either way though so act fast!
Alright, friends, I'm going to sign off now so I can go take my own advice and get started on my 3-step super success strategy for 2014. Happy New Year!!
With love and inspiration (and hot anticipation about this year to come),