The Goal for 2014: Ditching those New Year’s Resolutions

goals for 2014Written by Debra Smouse,

It felt great to start a new year and not list New Year’s Resolutions I would forget about after a month anyways. I wanted to share a great blog from relationship expert Debra Smouse about this very subject. Love her ideas about why resolutions fail and why goals are a much wiser idea…

It’s that time of year again. People are focused on their New Year’s Resolutions. I want to invite you to join with me and my clients as we ditch resolutions this year.

The last time I made New Year’s Resolutions was in 2004. I believed that if I could get skinny and keep a perfect house, then I could fix my failing marriage. Well, I did lose weight — about 190 pounds of weight — by the end of the year. I finally realized I couldn’t tolerate living a half-life any longer and finally agreed to a divorce.

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The next year, I tossed out the thought of resolutions, and instead, chose a trio of words to serve as my guide for the year.

I went from unconsciously trying to survive to consciously living life. Each year since then, I’ve selected one to three words to serve as my guiding principles for the year. My life continued to become fuller, richer and more focused. The words helped create a life that I love. And when I began coaching, I encouraged my clients to do the same and witnessed amazing transformations in their lives.

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Here’s how it works: choose between one and three words to serve as your guiding focus for 2014. This will be a word that embodies how you want to feel or what kind of actions you want to take in coming year. Words like: courage, passion, faith, confidence, sexy, love, grace, creative, romantic, etc.

Think of it like a theme or touchstones for the year ahead. As you set goals, keep the words in the forefront. Allow your words to guide you as you make decisions and take actions. As you hold your words in your mind throughout the year, it gives you something to focus on from a place of positivity.

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You may be wondering why you should ditch resolutions yet still make goals.

Goals are about what you want to create in this world. Resolutions are typically made from a place of fixing what’s wrong with us. Goals encourage you to dream and take action towards your dreams. Resolutions encourage you to pick at every little thing that you may perceive as wrong.

Resolutions are about that if-then way of living: “if I lose 50 pounds…if I met Prince Charming…if I wrote the great American novel…. Then LIFE would be perfect”. Let’s be honest here: attempting to change our reality by focusing on what we fear is no way to create change. It certainly won’t deepen the love we have for ourselves.

Resolutions are typically guided by a desire to fit in with outside expectations: lose weight, eat healthy, get organized, etc. Goals are about what our hearts and souls desire for our lives: who we want to be, what we want to experience, and what we wish to create. By choosing a guiding focus for the year, it allows you to focus on what’s right and what you desire from the depths of your soul.

Do you want to just bounce around in life or do you want to achieve or create something? There’s nothing wrong with simply being, but I am guessing that if you were to push aside the fears and the (sometimes) mean voice of your inner critic, what you really want is to create or achieve something.

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Don’t choose to wallow around in the failures and fears. Don’t buy into the if-then theory of living. Don’t focus on what’s wrong with you. Don’t choose negativity as a motivator to creating change in your life. Instead, focus on what is positive. Begin by choosing your guiding words. They will serve you in 2014. Are you ready for personal revolution against negative living and simply surviving? It’s time to take the reins of your life and choose to live consciously.

What is your theme for 2014?


This article originally posted at Why you should ditch New Year’s Resolutions and make goals instead

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