It’s a New Year and it’s tempting to create yet another list of resolutions.
But there’s a better way. How about giving this a try instead…
1. Decide What You DON’T Want This Year
Years ago I wrote down a bunch of goals for myself. Needless to say, the sheer number of them ended up overwhelming me, and I didn’t end up getting many of them achieved.
So instead of getting lost in goals and more goals, start by deciding what you want to eliminate from your life. Not sure where to begin? Make a list of the things you don’t want to experience this year — or ever again.
I saw a joke that said, “my resume is filled with things I never want to do again.” Once you decide what you don’t want for 2015, what behaviors can you change right now?
How about things like getting out of a dead-end job, paying down credit card debt, or adding exercise to your life? It could be as simple as sending out a resume a day. Or networking with one new person a week. Or taking a daily walk, or picking a healthy food choice.
Decide what you want to release in your life, then pick one thing you can do to reinforce that.
2. Write it Down
Maybe you’re really not into journaling, and if not, that’s okay. But writing down what you don’t want will help you get your desires out of your head and into reality.
For instance, if you want to reduce credit card debt, list the actions you can take to get started. If you write down something like, “stop impulse buying,” you’ve identified something you can stop doing right away.
Instead of writing down a goal and having no idea how to reach it, you now have an action step to take.
3. Keep It Simple & Don’t Dwell on the Past
Unfortunately, having a long list of things we don’t want can be just as oppressive as holding on to a list of goals we’re always stretching to reach. Keep it simple by starting with the items that you feel are the big irritations in your life.
It takes a while to get used to new habits. And in my opinion, it takes a hell of a lot more time than the 21 or so days it’s “supposed” to take.
Forget about what hasn’t happened in the past. That’s over now. Be willing to take baby steps. No matter how small the action, you’re still making progress.
Remember, we’re always reinventing ourselves, not only at the beginning of the year, but throughout our lives.
*This post originally appeared in Working World Magazine*
Copyright © 2015 Deborah A. Bailey