New Year should be inspiring, breathing life into old dreams and giving birth to new ambitions. Unfortunately, people make resolutions that are not grounded in their reality. Stop giving into the latest fad or trend -- "things you need to do in 2015" or "must haves." It is like the latest weight loss diet -- a gimmick. This is your life, not a gimmick! If true transformation and change is what you seek then here are some pointers to guide you to a better you -- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
1. KNOW THYSELF. Earlier in the spring, I wrote a post titled Spring Cleaning. We need to take a regular inventory of our lives. If you do not know who you are (motivations, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses), then you will fall victim to trying to be what everyone wants you to be. Be honest about your talents and gifts. It irks me when I see women get out of a relationship and immediately jump into another. Take a moment to figure out what went wrong, what worked, whether you were a contributing factor, and what you need to change. This logic holds true for all life lessons. Hindsight is 20/20, yet we rarely take the time to do so. Troubled waters under the bridge will overtake the bridge if neglected. What thoughts and emotions are bubbling under your perfect "got it together" exterior hindering your progress in personal and professional relationships? Do not be afraid of some alone time to work out your good, bad, and ugly. Everyone has issues and baggage. Just be fully aware when you are carrying more than the allowed limit and do not expect others to put up with your excess baggage. Love or the right career opportunity will pass you by if you are not ready. "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." Get yourself in order so love, people, and opportunity finds you!
2. BE REALISTIC. I followed up my Spring Cleaning post with The Change Process. If you're trying to lose 10, 15, 30, or 50 lbs, you cannot drop two dress sizes in two weeks. Well you can, you'll just gain double when you stop starving yourself. Instead of becoming obsessed with working out or being thin, commit to a lifestyle change. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Cut back your salt/sweet/fast food intake. However, don't deprive yourself of your guilty pleasure or when you finally give in to your crave monster, you'll do more harm. Allow yourself a taste of your guilty pleasure once a week. I am preaching to myself on this. The older I get, the more my body is giving me hints that it does not like processed foods. At some point, I may need to consider a pescatarian lifestyle. For now, I am incorporating small changes to my diet. If you are considering a career change, set weekly attainable goals. One week, focus on your elevator pitch. Another week, spruce up your resume and ask for critiques. Attend a networking event once a month. Looking to start a business? Go to your nearby MBA School. Most partner with Small Business Centers to help startups or new entrepreneurs. Research the field you want to start your business. Find a mentor in that area and ask to shadow him or her a few days a week. Rome was not built in a day and neither will your business or body. Little by little, precept upon precept, line upon line as the good book says. Patience and perseverance are true signs of success.
3. FAILURE IS AN OPTION AND IT'S OKAY. I have a blog post by the same title, and it received the most views in the history of my blog, Failure is an Option and It's Okay. You will miss a deadline, make a typo despite your diligence, and get rejected a time or two in love and business. So what?! The only thing that beats a failure is a try. It is okay to make a mistake so long as you don't repeat it and you learn from it. Shake the dust off your rump and get up again. "Success is not always fame or fortune. Success is picking up that burden and keep on walking and not letting the pain trip you up." - Maya Angelou
4. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR PEOPLE ASSETS. No one does it all by themselves. Last year, I wrote a post - Finding Hidden Value: People Assets. Little kids say "I did it all by myself," not seeing that mommy and daddy prevented catastrophe or was holding them up. Even if you were born wealthy, that was not of your doing. You owe thanks to the ancestor that had the forethought to set aside for future generations. At times you may feel lonely, but you're never alone. Luke Skywalker had Han Solo and Leia. Neo had Morpheus and Trinity. Frodo had Samwise, Aragorn, Legolas, and more. Harry had Ron, Hermione, Jenny, Luna, and Nevels. Even your enemies serve a purpose. Lando Clarissian originally turned Han, Luke, and Leia to Jabba, but later helped them. For Pilgrim in Pilgrim's Progress, every hurdle served to strengthen not weaken his faith. Neither "tribulation, distress, persecution, peril, famine, nor the sword" deterred Pilgrim. He may have stumbled, but there was assistance to make it another mile on his journey. Even Gollem served a necessary purpose for Frodo's journey of the ring. Draco was Harry's nemesis for years, but in the end, like Snape, he proved to be good. There will be struggle on your life's journey. However, the journey is bearable when you have another shoulder to lean on, cry on, or laugh with.
5. ENJOY THE MOMENTS. "Laughter does the heart good like medicine." After evaluating your life, a good laugh is always in order. Shortly after blogging about spring cleaning, I posted In the Meantime Laugh and Smile. Celebrate the small accomplishments. Savor the moments. Laugh at yourself when you do something silly or have a stupid moment. We're human! The times of joy and laughter will fuel and sustain you when you think you have nothing left but fumes.
6. NOBLISSE OBLIGE. Mother's Day always reminds me of the sacrifice of motherhood. I honored my mom with a post, She Stoops to Conquer. "To whom much is given much is required." This is not just about giving money. Invest your talent and skills into someone else who's trying. If you think your situation is bad, help someone worse off and I guarantee it will change you. Pay it forward to inspire a future generation of dreamers, innovators, and entrepreneurs!
7. SAY THANK YOU. In the summer, I wrote a post honoring my Pillars of Support. If you have a spouse, partner, or children, tell them that you love and appreciate them. Your ups and downs have been their ups and downs. Don't make them feel neglected or forgotten. A dear friend's baby is a gorgeous Newfoundland Retreiver mix named Marley. Marley can talk (not lying) and boy does he know my friend's mood swings. When she received her master's degree, I encouraged her to get doggie treats. Poor Marley had to put up with all of her hysterics about not finishing her thesis on time. I was stressed and I wasn't there, so I knew Marley was ready for doggie spa.
8. PAR-TAY! Celebrate the ship coming in. Remember it's not the destination; it's the process/journey that causes growth and maturity.
Wishing you a blessed and Happy New Year!
This post originally appeared on Ronda's blog, Ronda-isms.com.