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How to Not Screw Up Your New Year's Resolutions

My favorite part of Christmas is the moment (usually on New Years Day) immediately after the tree has come down and the ornaments and decorations are packed away. The house is clean. It’s free of the clutter and chaos of the holidays. It feels new and somehow brighter. There’s the sense of possibility. Ahhhh, I can breathe a little better just thinking about it.

All that new, clean freshness usually puts me in a resolution-making kind of mood. And yes, I’m well aware that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the second week of February, but I do it anyway. I resolve to eat less crap, lose weight, read smarter books, get my ass to yoga, finally learn a new language yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sound familiar?

Yeah. 68% of us make at least one New Year’s resolution. And even as we’re doing it, despite our best intentions, we kinda suspect we’ll fail. And, most of us do.

Why? Psychology Today says vague goal setting, unrealistic expectations, frequent distractions, poor time management and unclear strategies are to blame. Makes sense. But I think something else, something deeper, is going on too.

It seems most resolutions are born of lack and dissatisfaction.

I’m too fat.

I’m in the wrong job.

I don’t save enough money.

I don’t have enough friends.

I don’t get enough sleep.

See what’s going on there? Resolutions are by nature, negative. They cause us to begin the year focusing on what’s wrong in our lives. And so we begin the year in struggle.

Ugh. Who needs that? No wonder we ditch our resolutions.

So this year, try something else.

Think about what’s good in your life. And resolve to explore ways to have more of it.

Broke new ground at work last year? How can you build on your success? Learned a thing or two? What else can you learn? Landed a super fun client? How can you get more super fun clients? Maybe you hosted a successful dinner party. Plan another one. Or a brunch. Or a backyard shindig.

Here’s the deal: Where focus goes, energy flows.

So what are you going to focus on?

The things that suck? Or the awesome things you want more of?

Go get ‘em.

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