Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year Declarations

I am totally making this up!

Perhaps one of the reasons why New Year resolutions don’t work for me is they are too squishy, they lack power to fully capture me, and they let me off the hook. “I resolve to exercise more…” sounds like a proclamation from the government. The “check list” nature of goal setting bores me. What about “I declare that I will…” Something about declaring—stating your intention and to a witness—that feels a lot edgier, way more committed, and accepts the reality that behind most good intentions comes some kind of barrier that needs to be overcome. The goal becomes about overcoming the barrier that leads to the goal completion. Declarations feel a whole lot more honest. Think about it:

“Exercise more” drags me down…way down. “Feel great and have fun being physical” leads me to want to exercise more. “Manage a household budget” drags me down also. “Liberate myself from acts that waste my hard earned income” and “design my most joyful retirement” get me very excited to act. “Relax more fully” becomes “watch every Academy Award Best Picture on video” and “spend more time with my family” becomes “Meet distant cousins and have a family reunion.”

More than just words. There is an energy that comes with the words that is essential. Do your words inspire you to act? Is there some fire in them? Are the words engaging enough where you will even remember the goal or will they fade to the background noise of your life? What will it take for you to leverage this reflective, goal setting time of the year into actual meaningful achievement and not more guilty avoidance and toleration of missed opportunity?

What’s your view on all this?

To support you in your resolving and declaring, I offer the following questions to focus your effort.

Enjoy the New Year and your declarations.

1. The Top 10 (or 20? Or 50?) highlights of 2008 for me were:

2. I am different today than I was in January 2008 in the following ways:

3. I will let go of these things that are hanging over from 2008:

4. I will celebrate these things from 2008:

5. I will celebrate the following things at the end of 2009:

6. I will take the following lessons from 2008 with me into the New Year:

7. I will enrich my life and my family’s life in 2009 in the following ways:

8. I will add, change, or eliminate in my daily routine the following things this year:

9. I will stop tolerating the following things in the new year:

10. I will add the following joys and ordinary pleasures to my schedule, starting today:

11. In order to meet any financial goal I have set for myself I know I will have to:

12. In order to meet any health goal (fitness, vitality, wellness) I have set for myself I know I will have to:

13. In order to meet any self improvement goal (intellectual, creative, skill mastery) I have set for myself I know I will have to:

14. Here is my theme (or my theme song) for the new year (“Abundance” “Let It Be” “Pay Down Debts” “Be Alive” “Plan Strategically”):

15. I declare my major values and purposes for the next phase of my life to be:

16. I declare what brings me the most fulfillment and gratification is:

17. I declare that something I would do this year if I weren’t worried about what other people thought of me would be:

18. I declare I can use my greatest talents to benefit myself and many others in the years ahead by:

19. I declare the one BIG lifetime goal I have is:

20. I declare I can do these things today in service of this big goal:

21. Picture yourself in the future – 10/20/30 years older than now. What would this Future Self ask of you now that would make his/her life better in 10 years?

22. What role can coaching play in achieving any of these goals?

Answer the questions and give me a call to discuss coaching and how we can work together as you take on 2009!