'Tis the season for making resolutions for the new year. "Out with bad habits -- in with the new!" We make resolutions, draw up lists, and put sticky notes on the bathroom mirror to remind ourselves of our new commitments. Our enthusiasm is high and we're optimistic about the "new year, new you" lifestyle changes we plan to make.
But alas, for most of us the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak -- very weak. Many of us don't stick to our new commitments for even a month. For some, one resolution after another goes out the window as the first few days of the new year unfold. Argh! Why don't we do the things we know are good for us? Why can't we stick to our commitments, even when we want to? Why do we bail out on ourselves so easily?
Mark Twain gives us our answer: "To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing." It would funnier if it weren't so true!
So this year, instead of making resolutions, declarations, and commitments, try just "leaning in" to new attitudes and behaviors. Instead of trying to make dramatic changes in your lifestyle or career, look for small changes you can make -- just for today.
Ask yourself, "What are three simple, doable things I can change in my home today that would make me happy?" "What are three simple, doable changes I can make in my work space today that would make me happy?" "What are three simple doable things I can change about my attitude today that would make me happy?" Then do a few of those things. You don't have to do them all -- just a few each day will be fine. Give yourself permission to take baby steps.
If you'd like some suggestions about leaning in to new attitudes, new behaviors, new habits, here are 26 to consider. Pick the ones that appeal to you... and start "leaning" in their direction.
As You Lean in to the New Year...
Affirm that your life has purpose and meaning.
Believe in your skills, abilities, and talent.
Count your money and make your money count.
Disregard the doubters and critics around you.
Embrace change... even though you don't want to.
Forgive others who've hurt you... because forgiving them frees you.
Give yourself credit for weathering tough times.
Honor your spiritual beliefs and heed your intuition.
Inspire others with your integrity, ethics and values.
Juggle your projects and priorities as things change.
Keep your sense of humor... even if others have lost theirs.
Listen with your heart as well as your ears.
Manage your time and energy as precious assets.
Never give up on yourself.
Open your heart, your arms and your wallet to others in need.
Push boundaries and test your limits.
Question old habits and ways of thinking.
Rebound quickly from disappointments.
Say "yes" to new opportunities, even if you're scared.
Take time to nourish your body, mind and spirit.
Understand that you're perfectly imperfect.
Veer away from negative or toxic influences.
Work hard and work smart.
Xpress gratitude for your blessings.
Yawn in the face of fear.
Zing with joy each day you're alive!
And remember... Life is about progress, not perfection.
Happy New Year!
Follow BJ Gallagher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BJ_Gallagher