5 Strategies to SLAY in 2018 and Make Your Resolutions Skyrocket!
It’s that time of year again. The crazy, frantic last month of the year is here, equipped with holiday cheer, resurfaced trauma, and lots and lots of sweets. You might be caught up in family time, holiday shopping, and trying not to sink too far deep in your thoughts as you realize that 2017 is almost gone forever. This passage of time is bittersweet, and for those of you who are Highly Sensitive, you probably feel this transitional period deep in your soul, when the sun goes down, or during the soft snows of winter. Letting go of a period of time is never easy. It often brings a whole spectrum of feelings: relief that you’ve made it through another year, regret for not accomplishing some of your goals, fatigue of still holding on, pride for all you’ve achieved, lamenting for the relationships that may have dwindled, and excitement for a fresh slate.
For me, this time of year is often quite paradoxical emotionally and spiritually. Holidays are extremely complicated, and I am often flooded with memories that I tend to push away the rest of the year. These memories hit, like sweet snowflakes on the tip of my tongue, or like an unexpected blizzard that leaves me in an emotional flurry for days. For many reasons, this time of year brings some of the happiest memories of my life, but also some of the most tragic. I won’t go into detail, but I want to put this out there to say that holidays are not always gingerbread and joy. Sometimes, for people, they represent loneliness, scarcity, a family torn apart, disconnection, confusion, and/or isolation. They can often bring about the dark night of the soul for many people, and it’s important to remember that this time will pass.
On the flip side, if these times are extremely joyful for the time spent with family, friends, and gift giving, the melancholy after the flurry of joy can often leave you feeling depleted, empty, and depressed for days. My favorite way to get through both of these types of holiday experiences is to look forward to the newness of the next year! Of course I encourage you to be present, but once all the magic is gone, allow yourself to turn towards something else to make it through the last few days for the year.
Many people make New Year’s Resolutions, and I am a fan of this tradition. However my take on the traditional resolution making might be quite different from what you’re used to. See, I am interested in making resolutions that resonate with the heart, mind, body, and soul. I am interested in making resolutions that are open ended, and focused on the journey versus the outcome. I am interested in making resolutions that make you a leader in your life rather than a failure. I am interested in making resolutions that make you win every single time. If you are looking for a great way to welcome 2018 with a huge, loving, excited embrace, try one (or all) of these suggestions. They will make you SLAY in 2018 and make all of your resolutions skyrocket (not stick- i’m focused on growth not stagnation ;))
1) Choose a THEME
A few years ago my sister introduced me to this New Years Resolution concept that totally rocked my world. Instead of choosing one exact resolution like “lose 15 lbs, or go to the gym every day”, she suggested choosing a theme. Having an overarching theme, allows you to be more creative with the “how” of your goals, and for you to have more flexibility in your resolution. My last three themes for instance were “joy”, “creativity”, and “bringing sexy back”. The great thing about all of these is that at the end of the year, I felt like I ended up in a better place than I started. Take this last year for instance, my “year of bringing sexy back.” I started with that intention thinking of only superficial sexiness - getting in shape, learning how to apply makeup better, but instead it led me down a path of finding my way to my inner beauty. It opened the gateway that I needed, but never could have predicted. For 2018, I am picking up where I left off and am choosing the theme “inner beauty.” Try to play with a few words or phrases that resonate with you to find your theme, and when you find one that clicks, be open to the journey.
2) Rejoice in your accomplishments WEEKLY
One of the reasons resolutions don’t feel like they really stick is because we are all so focused on achieving an outcome that we don’t always take time to acknowledge all of our little accomplishments. I recently decided to challenge this idea because it’s something I have always struggled with. I noticed that when I achieved something I worked extremely hard for, I would often just move on like it was no big deal and set an even higher goal for myself. What this left me with was feeling like I still wasn’t good enough, and I never took the time to really be proud of myself. After watching this video by Brendon Burchard on celebrating the small wins, I learned a great new technique. He suggests choosing a day each week to reflect on all of your accomplishments and really let them sink in. I do this now every Sunday, and I learned that by allowing myself to feel proud of my accomplishments every week, I gain more perspective,and gain more internal confidence to keep striving for my larger goals. I feel more fueled up, and ready to take on the next challenge, because I took time to appreciate myself. I feel enough. Also, if you have a day or time of the week where you are particularly prone to anxiety, or melancholy, aim to schedule this exercise at that time. This is exactly why I chose Sunday night - as it helps to fight off some of the Sunday blues!
3 ) Commit to BEING not doing
This strategy works in the similar vein as the first one. Instead of choosing a resolution of doing, choose a resolution of a way you want to be: kinder, more confident, loving, accepting, forgiving..it could be anything you want. This allows you to seek opportunities that allow you to be this way, and causes you to reflect and turn inward when you are not that way. It opens the gateway for more internal growth, and focuses on the journey rather than the destination.
4) Join a CHALLENGE to kickstart the year
If you’re having trouble getting motivated for the new year on your own that’s okay. Sometimes it helps to have some outer guidance, and motivation. In this case I recommend joining a challenge that excites you to kickstart the new year. Two that I recommend are the Arts Activation Challenge hosted by my amazing sister Camila, that focuses on integrating creativity, social justice, and self development, or the Pop Sugar Fitness self-care challenge that chooses a new self care challenge each month. If you choose to take this route, I also encourage you to invite a family member or friend to join you so you can help to keep each other accountable. This method is especially great if you are someone who does well when you are more motivated by outside forces than internal forces. Try it out and see what you think!
5) When in doubt FOCUS on self-acceptance, self-care, and self-love
If you are stuck on what goal to focus on, or maybe you choose a goal, and half way through the year it doesn’t work out - remember that falling back on self-acceptance, self-care and self-love are always winning resolutions. Plus, the more you focus on these, the more fuel and power you have to take on all of your other amazing goals!