Stepping Stones to Success
As the new year approaches, you may be thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you hope to improve your life by eliminating unhelpful habits and/or by establishing new positive habits. While contemplating what you want to do in the coming year, you might find yourself thinking about resolutions you made but didn’t keep during the past year. Keep in mind that if you only focus on what you didn’t accomplish this past year, you can end up feeling like you’re not good enough and you may even feel like a failure.
Beginning a new year with a defeated mindset will only make it that much harder to reach new goals. Instead, focus on what worked well for you this past year and what you achieved. Then lay down more stepping stones.
A good place to begin is with a sense of gratitude. Ask yourself what has blessed your life: health, loving friends, a comfortable home, special family members, employment — you fill in the blank. Also, try to think about your blessings in context. Maybe your job doesn’t pay as much as you’d like, but you find your work fulfilling. Perhaps you’ve experienced some health struggles, but you feel good about the way you handled those challenges. You may not have tons of friends, but the ones you have are truly special. Your family may not live nearby, but you love each other and keep in touch regularly. Take some time to really savor these good things in your life.
Focus as well on giving yourself credit for your own successes, large and small. Even if you didn’t meet all your goals this year, it’s important to recognize and celebrate the things you did accomplish, and, give some thought to how you contributed to those accomplishments. Of the things you tried to accomplish, what went well?
Next, consider how you can build upon your blessings and your successes. Maybe you want to develop new ways to support your health, such as learning how to make healthy food choices that are also tasty, finding enjoyable ways to increase your activity level, and so forth. Perhaps you can deepen your relationships by showing your appreciation to your friends and family. Maybe you can make your work more satisfying by performing random acts of kindness at the office (who left that cookie tray in the break room?), or by finding creative ways to make the work more interesting. Whatever your goals now, you can consider how to develop new strategies, but you can also build upon elements of the strategies you’ve used before that worked well. No matter what you want to do, you can use the blessings and successes from this year to inspire and encourage yourself.
Lastly, set reasonable, incremental goals. Think about your larger goals, and then break them down into smaller steps so you can experience a series of successes on the way to achieving the overall goal. For example, if you decide you want to develop a new exercise routine, but you haven’t exercised regularly in a long time, you can try to begin by walking 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week, rather than trying to run for an hour daily. Then you can gradually increase the amount you exercise, if that’s your larger goal. Remember to keep track of your progress, so you will be able to recognize what you are accomplishing and give yourself the credit you deserve.
The same applies to any resolution you set: use small, achievable goals towards your ultimate goals. As you reach your smaller goals, acknowledge and celebrate each accomplishment. You’ve earned it!
As you consider how you would like to build on your blessings and successes in the new year, keep in mind that…
TURNING POINT LIFE COACHING CAN HELP YOU TO CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT.
For more ideas about developing a “What Went Well” perspective as the new year approaches, you can also check out http://www.tworiverscoaching.com/blog/end-of-the-year-inspiration