I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I do set intentions. If you’re anti-resolution (or have already fallen off the wagon), here are eleven ways to up your amazingness ante this year.
1. Be kinder to yourself. Being nasty and self-critical is a sneaky way of staying out of action. You can talk yourself out of anything new and tingly and exciting by dwelling on possible failure. How about giving yourself a break already? Swap your vinegar for honey. Think of the times you’ve pulled epic stuff off before, with no clue how you were going to do it. Seriously, you got this.
2. Be helpful. We’re curiously fixated on ourselves – on how we come across; on what people think of us; on how our bum looks in leggings; on how much smarter, cuter and more successful our friends are, and how we’re stuck in loserville. This negativity and comparison triggers a self-critical spin cycle. Instead of hustling for worthiness (which always feels gross), ask yourself, how can I serve? How can I be helpful? Get out of your “small self” and watch things get instantly better. Big self = big vision.
3. Get clear on what you really want. It’s much easier to “go for it” when you know what “it” is. More energy? A sense of fulfillment? Better abs? A promotion? My favourite coaching question is super simple: What do you want? (And what else?). If you’re not sure, try journaling about it. It’s ok to want what you want, the whole glorious lot. You deserve it, gorgeous.
4. Map out your day/week/year. Holy moly, this one’s a game changer. I did Steven Covey’s “rock, pebble, sand” exercise with my business coach, Michelle Peters. We spent 90 minutes identifying and diarising my key objectives (the “rocks”) for 2016. These are the non-negotiables, things like exercising, writing, coaching, and family time. Around those, we fit in the “pebbles” – important things that fit around the “rocks” (podcasting, networking, reading, meditating, cooking healthily). Then the sand – things like social media – that easily/brainlessly fill space and push out the rocks and pebbles, if they’re not scheduled. What are your rocks and pebbles? Put them into your calendar (I like to do this at least a month at a time) and then…
5. Do what you say you’re going to do. Keep your promises, especially to yourself. 1pm yoga class? Do not flake.
6. Pay attention. Ever bond with a brick wall? Didn’t think so. But we’re brick-walling our partner/kid/friend when we’re scrolling through Instagram while conversing. Or maybe you’re a rescuer on a mission, like a well-intentioned St. Bernard. Here’s an invitation to listen deeply instead by holding space for someone without distraction, or without trying to “fix” them with your little red RX barrel of advice. Deep listening is one of the natural wonders of the interpersonal world. Listeners of the planet, you are awesome.
7. Befriend uncertainty. If you want to up your amazingness ante, book a ticket outside your comfort zone. We always have choices when we’re hot footing into the unknown. We can live in the freak-out-zone, or we can be in the moment, calmly taking things as they come. In these moments, I like to remind myself: Steady on. I can create anything I want.
8. Notice Busy-ness. Distraction kills. It’s the major cause of death for dreams.
9. Challenge your stories. Fill in the blank: I can’t do what I want because __________. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your excuses. Over time, our stories about humiliation, scarcity, going broke and living under a bridge become so darn compelling, we actually believe them. Our stories are just glorified fears, trying hard to keep us safe and out of action. Bless. Sure, transformation can be messy, uncertain business. But we almost certainly don’t require the level of mental armour that our stories provide. Ask yourself: Do I want to spend my life chasing squirrels in my mind? Or do I want to live already (even if I am freakin’ terrified)? Your choice.
10. Celebrate milestones (even ridiculously small ones). Written a page of your book? Done 10 crunches? Made that challenging phone call? Wo-hoo! Switch on Kool & the Gang and get your kitchen dancing on. Consciously direct energy to your progress, however small. Because what we focus on expands.
11. Believe that what you want already exists. Michaelangelo knew that his masterpiece, David, already existed in the chunk of carrara marble before he started sculpting it. He saw it. All he had to do was release it. What you want already exists. Get chiseling.
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