THE BLOG
12/24/2014 09:14 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Are New Year's Resolutions Obsolete?

Why do we create resolutions every year and who says that January 1 is the start of the New Year? The Chinese and Jewish cultures have different days they use to start anew. With this in mind, remember you determine how important this day is to you. If you had a wonderful 2014, don't panic that it must come to an end in 2015. On the other hand, if you had a rough year, use this as a time to wash away your troubles and focus on creating a better year.

2014-12-23-New_Year_resolution.jpgIn 2014, I actually started the monthly practice of recounting my successes and failures, removing what doesn't work for me, and creating a vision of what I do want. Every New Moon I take a moment to check in with myself personally, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. Where am I close to my ideal? Where am I off? How do I want to be? What I have found is that, like not allowing our stress to build, taking mini resolution check-in's allows me to react to constant changes in life, revise how I am acting or reacting, and reevaluate what I find important in life.

Constant Changes
Imagine you make a New Year's resolution to move to a senior position in your company. You lay out how you need to network, where you need to improve your skills, and when you will be ready to ask for the promotion. Then on January 2, you learn that your company is going bankrupt, your spouse is being transferred, or a family member's health becomes a priority. Life happens. By reevaluating your desires and needs on a monthly basis, you are more easily positioned to adapt to all that life throws at us.

Action/Reaction
Instead of focusing on results and outcomes, I prefer to focus on how I am acting, reacting, and being. When all things are said and done, are you most proud of the expensive car in your garage or the first time you had the power to speak up for yourself? Much more reward is available in our self-control, overcoming fear, speaking our needs, and doing our best. Check monthly to review where you could have acted better and where you made the most of who you are.

What Is Important
Especially when we create an annual plan for our business, we have a tendency to look at outcome versus goals. A great way to stay in touch with what really brings you joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment is to continually reevaluate what is important to you. I learned this one again and again with my book. The number of books sold were not as important as the stories I heard of how the book affected people's lives. Check in every so often and question if what you desire is truly what makes your heart sing, or is it the false desire of fame, recognition, or success society tells us we should want. Release outcomes which do not add to your happiness and celebrate where you have made a difference in the world.

This New Year, I challenge you not to create annual resolutions but instead to look to the next month. How do you want to be? What do you want to experience? What would make your heart sing? What do you need to do to bypass fear and live fully? Then 30 days from now, see how well you did. Celebrate your wins and make plans for how you can make the next 30 days even better!