It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. And a New Year is coming!
Do you have your list of resolutions all prepared yet?
My advice is to skip it.
If you’re interested in personal growth — working on yourself — then I have two strategies to share today that will speed you along your path much faster than traditional resolutions.
Something like 80% of resolutions fall to the curb by February, and only 8% of people keep theirs.
I was never in the 8%. Far from it.
For years I used to make New Year’s resolutions. My list got longer and longer until one year I had 25 items on my list!
What was I thinking?
Naturally nothing got accomplished.
It was disappointing, and the next year and in the years that followed, I swore that this was the year I would advance myself.
My hopes, dreams, habit changes, the goals I wanted to attain – nothing, not one ever materialized or happened (despite the hard work I put into creating my lengthy annual list).
Of course truth be told, a few weeks into the New Year, my good intentions were barely remembered let alone implemented.
Fast forward to the present.
My new system for self-improvement, creating new behaviors and what needs to get done in order to ___ (many choices to fill in the blank here) works really well.
My resolutions have been replaced by ten items that make up my personal manifesto.
Every morning I reread the list.
At the end of the year I either keep the list as is and keep moving forward, or I delete what I’ve accomplished, what no longer serves me or what no longer needs my attention and add in some new items.
One important thing to consider if you plan on creating your own manifesto, is why you choose a particular item for inclusion in your list. Your why is your motivation.
The ten entries on my 2017 manifesto are of highest significance to me. What I noticed is this: some are about doing something and most are about being a certain way and interestingly, none this past year were about having.
You may want to create or examine your manifesto in this way for a clearer understanding of YOU and what you desire at this specific time in your life.
So let’s get to some examples. But first one thing I need to point out is that these examples are not mine because a personal manifesto is just that, personal and not for sharing.
- Drink fresh water and as much as you can.
- Be kind(er) in all circumstances.
- Feel into being relaxed. Take a tea break every afternoon.
- Wait 20 minutes after every meal before indulging in sweets.
- Be more adventuresome. Do something different every week.
You get the idea. But supposing 10 seems like too much.
This year I began to notice that I wasn’t paying close attention to each and every entry. My eyes were glazing over as I read the list, and so I vowed this year to reduce it to five. Or maybe one – one big audacious goal or one major life-impacting habit change.
Each morning after I write in my gratitude journal, I take a look at my manifesto. It sets the tone for my day.
And when I look at my list and see that I didn’t measure up to my goals or I let slide some new habit I’m trying to make stick on the previous day, it creates an immediate awareness of and accountability for holding to my commitments to myself that I otherwise might not have.
One other thing I do is every January I create a word for the year.
What is that?
A word of the year is one that will be a guiding force in your life in the upcoming year. It can be an aspiration or a desire. It can be an intention or a dream. It can be a feeling you’d like to embody in the days ahead.
The past two years my word of the year has served as a banner of truth for me. It has motivated me to do more and to take action. And each year it turned out to be a word I could rally around.
My 2017 word was Mobilize. My word for 2012 was Presence, for 2015 it was Actualize, just to give you some examples.
Think of what you want in terms of your best self. Perhaps your word will be one that you can reflect on over the days ahead. One that engages your enthusiasm. One that pushes you forward or one that triggers your motivation.
Looking at the word every day will bring about transformation because, if you choose your word with care, it will inspire, motivate, teach and encourage you.
If you’ve never done this exercise, I urge you to give it a try this year. It’s hard to believe that one little word can have so much impact on our lives, but if you place the word where you can see it daily, by years end you will be amazed with the outcome.
You can tend to a plant and watch it grow. And you can also tend to yourself, and reap the power of your own intention.
So now, please chime in, and let us know if you employ these two strategies and if so, perhaps you’d like to share your word of the year for 2018 and why you’ve chosen it.
I’d love to know if you have a personal manifesto as well. Please comment below, and let us know your thoughts. We love to hear from you.