With the pop of champagne bottles and clink of crystal flutes one year rolls into the next. Resolutions are made, goals and intentions are set and dreams are dreamt all with the hope of achieving or being an improved version of the year before.
Many resolutions are abandoned, goals minimized and dreams dimmed by the season’s end. We rationalize them into vapor if we have not set ourselves up for success.
Simple strategies guarantee success. There are only a few differences between those who reach their intentions and those who do not.
- Keep it simple.
Leonardo da Vinci, regarded as a universal genius and polymath ( a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.) curiously stated, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Make goals, intentions or resolutions that are specific, measurable, clear and concise. Focus on one goal at a time until you have success and then move onto the next one.
Examples from my past goals:
Choose three points of gratitude each morning.
Do yoga three times per week.
Meet up with a friend once a week.
Prepare a meal plan and grocery shop every Sunday for the upcoming week.
Eat three fruits and five vegetables each day.
Drink 120 ounces of water daily.
Go on an art outing once a month.
Organize one closet per month. Organize one drawer per week.
Make bone broth every Sunday. *my active goal from October -February.
Simple goals require simple, straight forward action steps.
With a nod toward Leonardo, the “sophistication” appears upon your accomplishment because reaching a goal or desire appears as a multifaceted jewel whose brightness lights up every corner of your life. Furthermore, it reverberates and creates energy that propels you toward your next desire.
2. Activate your goals in the context of community.
I believe we lose our way because we are working in isolation. We need community and connection so that when we are tempted to give up, someone is there to whisper, “keep going,” “you’ve got this,” “you can do it,” “you are more powerful than you feel in this moment.”
I spent New Year’s Eve with friends celebrating one of their 25th wedding anniversaries. In the morning we women went to yoga followed by coffee and a chat. The conversation flowed towards resolutions, intentions and goals. There was a mix of responses from, “I don’t do resolutions,” “I’m rolling over my resolutions from 2016 to 2017,” and a suggestion to choose a word for the year. What we shared was less important than the connections generated by our transparent, authentic and open conversations.
Since we’ve all gone home, we’ve been texting and following up on the conversation and encouraging one another. That’s community. Research supports that people who pursue resolutions or goals in the context of community are more likely to be successful than those who pursue in isolation.
3. Celebrate your successes with pleasure.
Celebrating your wins is as much a part of the process as is the achievement. Along the winding road to transformation discipline is required. Reaching a goal requires routine, consistency, dedication and resisting temptations. Those are high functioning personality requirements that require brain buy-in lest your amygdala fights, flees or freezes and jeopardizes your worthy pursuit. Pleasure is the key to brain buy-in. You must soften the discipline required with points of pleasure. If there is no pleasure, you will be tempted to return to your familiar patterns.
My pleasure point rewards.
Reading a book for 20 minutes.
Watching comedy videos on YouTube.
Quiet time (insert, classic introvert)
Successfully reaching your true desires is as simple as:
*Keep it simple by focusing on one simple, measurable goal at a time.
*Share your goals within the context of community. No lone rangers on this journey.
*Recognize successes along the way and celebrate them with points of pleasure.
My 2017 goals start with my commitment to the community of people who have opted into my mailing list and readers of my blog. Every two weeks I am committed to sharing tips on optimal, healthy living. You can expect to see videos of me streaming from my kitchen sharing how to use nutrition and aromatherapy to impact your health, inspiration from my travels and other surprises.