“New year, new me!” is probably a phrase we can all agree needs to retire. If it is something repeatedly heard, or even said, odds are it isn’t working. Why do we set the same goals or repeat the same behaviors year after year? Are we even capable of change in the manner in which we have this ideal movie playing in our heads of our best body on our best vacation with our best significant other from all of the hard work paying off from our best job?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should abandon all hope or even hint at the the concept of negativity for what is possible, of what the human potential is truly capable of. I am probably it’s biggest dreamer and advocate for always moving forward in our goals! Let me explain.
First, I firmly believe that starting from a firm foundation is the first ingredient for success in goal setting. The mindset belief here? Instill a practice of first accepting what you have, where you are, and what you have accomplished leading up to this new year. It is not all a wash - the years under our belts have taught us so many invaluable lessons that we sometimes take for granted. If we place less value, not no value at all simply less, on creating a new version of ourselves we immediately remove a lot of pressure and sometimes unrealistic expectations of ourselves, ironically enough placed there by ourselves. Ultimately we are creating a new outlook on life through the lens of gratitude, and when we start our days by first thinking about what we have rather what we do not we are well on our way to championing our own best-self.
Second, having a mindset of service is the best support system we could hope for in accomplishing our New Year’s goals. Putting others first and practice removing our own agendas (when appropriate), pouring into the stories and successes of others, adding accountability to their goals, thinking “How can I help them more?” are all key practices here. Why? Because this not only helps us work on our ego (which, when you think about it, is typically what drives our “New Year, new ME?” goal to begin with - our intention is all about us!) but it also helps build the support system and accountability we need in order to be successful. Think about it… is there someone in your life that you feel so compelled to help? You don’t hesitate to say “Yes” when they ask for something? You feel proud to contribute to whatever it is they are doing because you believe in them and what they are doing so much? Imagine that mindset but in others when they think about YOU! It’s like building a pool of coaching and accountability resources for our biggest goals that arose from the purest and most intentional spring.
Lastly, we must accept that we have progression and regression in our journey towards accomplishing our goals. Save for the few freaks of nature who become the absolute best at what they do the first time (if that’s you, please, share some tips!), we must prepare for how we will handle success as much as we will handle setbacks. Both are inevitable. If we can prepare our mind for “Ok, I know when X happens I will -insert action plan here- and when Y happens I will -insert action plan here-. By preparing for the good, the bad, and the ugly equally we will be caught less off guard, will be less likely to throw up our hands and quit altogether or stop entirely because we feel like we crossed the finished line and can now rest on our laurels. That is not setting our future self, our next “New Year, new me!” self up for success!
Bottom line: adopt a mindset of continual practice of improving our mindset will only snowball into more clarity around what it is we want, I mean truly want in life and not just the next 365 days. Take care of ourselves here and now by honoring the work we have done every year of our life that has kept us alive. Build up others so that they may build you up, for we are strong in ways they are weak and vice versa. Life is a journey full of a series of one finish line after another, but when we realize that we can create them and we can create the path that gets us there… that is where education becomes empowerment and we perpetually move forward. Ever forward.