Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions
Welcome to An Owner’s Guide for Your Life, the podcast that combines psychology, coaching, common sense and fun. I’m Tracey Browning, an entrepreneur, life coach and lover of people. Now let’s talk about how to live, love, make money, and change the world.
Hey, I’m glad you’re here. This is my very last podcast episode for 2021, and we’re going to talk about why I’m not making New Year’s resolutions.
I’ve never really gotten into them. Now here’s why- I have a different approach, and I just call my approach ‘relaxed enjoyment’. Now, if you’ve listened to me at all, you know, I’m all about a good evaluation and a plan and figuring out what you want to do and what you like and what you want to do differently. So you would think that the idea of making a resolution would really resonate with me, and it doesn’t. And that’s okay.
I think there’s just so much baggage with New Year’s resolutions and so much failure. It’s got a lot of negative energy with it. And who wants to be associated with failure and negative energy? I don’t. So I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
But here’s what I do. I like to take some time at the end of the year to think back about what the year has been like- ups, downs, highlights. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on the lowlights, but I like to think about what did I like about my year? Something I accomplished, and it often is who were the people, who were the relationships in my year that were really meaningful? And what I really start thinking about is what do I want to carry over? And what do I want to have more of in the upcoming year?
A year is just a time frame that we humans have just agreed kind of arbitrarily to go,”Oh, yeah. We’ll talk about it in this unit of time.” There’s nothing really magical about a resolution at the end of the year, beginning of a year or the start of a day. It’s a starting point.
I think, for me, and what I see with people I’ve worked with and just people I observe is that there’s so much weight to this resolution. I should train for a marathon or lose 50 pounds or make a million dollars this year. I resolve to do this, and there’s just so much stress and pressure and oh, my goodness, if there’s something that we don’t need any more of right now, given the past couple of years we’ve experienced in our world, it’s stress and pressure and guilt and shame.
And “shoulds”- those are not really effective pathways to change. They’re pretty effective temporarily, not enjoyable, but effective. They can bring about some temporary change, but it doesn’t usually last if somebody’s guilting you into something and maybe that somebody’s you. But the change from guilt and shame, it just doesn’t last and if you want to make a change, don’t you want it to last? I do.
So what I like to do in my relaxed enjoyment approach, it’s really simple. I really like to keep things very simple.
What did I enjoy?
And what do I want more of now?
Something that’s very effective is adding things into your life rather than taking them away. I really stink at diets, and I am not the only person who feels that way. And when I’m subtracting, when I’m taking something away from my life, I feel deprived. And when I feel deprived, guess where my attention and my energy, my focus goes. All of it goes to that thing that I’m missing.
That’s not where I want my energy and my attention and focus and my motivation on- the stuff I’m missing. No, I want to rally the troops around the things that I want, the things I want more of, what I want to attract.
I do believe we’re energetic creatures. Our energy attracts that same kind of energy. That’s why I like to be very focused on positive things. I want more positive things in my life, and that’s a super technical term. Positive things. That’s what I want- more positivity.
But I’ll give you a specific example. Okay. So as I’m evaluating my year, something I want more of in this coming year, I want more health. So what does that look like for me? Strength, good physical energy, good nutrition. So what I’m boiling it down to is, well, one way I’m going to have more health in my life is I’ve really been slacking off on eating vegetables. So I want more vegetables in my life.
Now I can get really OCD about it and say, I’m going to absolutely have five servings of different kinds of vegetables every day, and I’m going to make a chart and I’m going to keep track of it. And if I don’t have my five vegetables in by supper time, then I’ll be sure I shovel them in.
I’ve used this kind of approach before, and sometimes it’s effective. I’ve done 75 Hard. This is the kind of approach you do. You’re tracking everything. But right now for New Year’s resolution, time of year, this isn’t the approach I want.
I want relaxed enjoyment. So instead of geeking out on charts and tracking everything down to every little spoonful, no, I just want to be aware that I want more health in my life and what that looks like. I want more vegetables and because I’m aware of it, you know, for so many goals what you really need for momentum is just to be aware that that’s what you want.
I want more vegetables. I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t have two to three cups of vegetables every day. But because I’m thinking about vegetables, I’m going to be looking at the grocery store. I’m going to look for interesting vegetables, look for recipes, different ways to have vegetables, because I’m thinking about vegetables. I’ll probably eat more salads. It’s already happened because over the past couple of days, as I’ve thought about vegetables, I’ve thought, “Oh, gosh. I had a vegetable with this hamburger and not just French fries.” No.
So tonight I roasted cauliflower where I might not have done that before, but I’m thinking, hey, more health, more vegetables. That’s what I want. It’s relaxed. It gets me where I want to go, and I’m enjoying my life.
The other thing that I like about this approach is for those of us who have the tendency to be really hard on ourselves, taking the step to be extra kind to yourself, to treat ourselves like we would our very best dearest friend, there’s something to be said for that.
And often the typical New Year’s resolutions, they don’t allow for a lot of self compassion, even if your resolution is to be more compassionate to yourself.
So right now, I am just all about the relaxed enjoyment of what do I want to carry into this New Year? What do I want more of? And there’s a few other things besides more health that I want more of. But just being aware, I want more health, more vegetables.
What do you want more of?
Maybe you want more rest or more kindness or more water or more money or better relationships. More authentic conversation. Whatever it is you want more of, think about the small steps you can take to add it in and remember that just being aware, “Hey, this is what I want more of this year.” that may be enough to move you into more momentum with it, to attract more of what you want.
For a lot of us. I’m willing to bet just that awareness is enough.
So I wish for you, my friend, a fabulous ending to 2021 and an incredible beginning to the year 2022.
May you have MORE of what you want!
Thank you for listening to the podcast. I so appreciate you.
Now let’s go live, love, make some money and change the world.
For a transcript of this episode or for more information about life and mindset coaching, visit my website https://www.tbrowning.com/.