Run a 5K, find a spiritual path, begin meditating, host a charity event, travel and find my purpose in life – these were just a few intentions on my long list of resolutions for 2009. Many people make New Year’s resolutions yet very few actually follow through on their intentions. It’s common knowledge that diet and exercise is the key to losing weight, but many people give up on their fitness resolutions after a couple of months – if not within the first month. If that’s true, how was I able to run a half-marathon, find God, practice meditation, travel to Cambodia on a charity bike ride and find my purpose in life – all in 2009?
When we think of the New Year, we think of a new beginning. We start setting intentions thinking that the intentions alone will make a difference in our lives – even worse, we carry unfulfilled intentions with us into the New Year like empty baggage. Before I get into how you can stick to your New Year’s resolutions, lets get complete with last year’s resolutions. To do this – find a partner or a group of friends and then list the resolutions you created for 2009 followed by a list of accomplished intentions, unaccomplished intentions and unintended accomplishments – say what needs to be said and release it (Tip: Don’t spend too much time on this, but make sure you’re not left feeling incomplete).
Now, lets create 2010 or even better – design your next decade. A painter needs a paintbrush to paint, a writer needs the words to inspire and an inventor needs a vision to create – you need the tools to fulfill your on personal resolutions. To manifest those intentions, you will have to declare them out loud, commit yourself, find yourself an accountability partner and create a vision board. These are only a few tools but they are the most important tools that will help you in designing your next decade.
Start with an intention and declare it by writing it down and then stating it out loud. It might sound like this, “In 2010, I will be 20 pounds lighter, healthy and satisfied.” This can be done alone in font of a mirror or even better – with a partner.
After creating your “purpose statement” and making your declaration, you must commit yourself. You will not lose 20 pounds with intentions and no actions. You might be thinking, “I don’t want to commit to something I don’t know how to do.” We know that diet and exercise is the key to losing weight. If knowing were enough, there wouldn’t be thousands of books and programs on losing weight.
Once you commit yourself, your intentions will begin to manifest itself in reality. Notice how the dynamic of relationships shift after couples are engaged even though the actual wedding is two years into the future.
Commitment is being in action, this could mean registering for a marathon, purchasing a yoga membership or hiring a personal trainer. It’s physically scheduling a fitness schedule into your calendar – not just thinking about doing it. By taking actions, you are cutting up your credit cards, booking your plane tickets and scheduling in family nights every third Wednesdays of the month – take actions that are consistent with your intentions.
Sometimes being committed isn’t enough. We break promises to ourselves all the time, which is why an accountability partner is a great tool. Make your declarations to this person. Find someone who isn’t afraid of saying, “Ranny, it’s time for you to start meditating like you said you would two months ago.” You can have an accountability partner for each resolution – it works better when the person is relevant to your intention.
Now, for the fun part – create your vision board! Cut out images, words and anything that inspires you and what you are out to do in 2010, paste it onto a poster board and put it in a place where you will see your vision everyday. My 2009 vision board was placed on my desk at work. Six months later, I created a new vision board because my vision came to life.
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be disempowering – make it a game. You might not have accomplished any intentions last year, but look – you came out alive. Good news -2010 is a new year, how are you going to begin the next decade?
How to follow through on 2010 resolutions
3. Accountability Partner
4. Vision Board