Don't Waste Time on Resolutions - Do This Instead

My husband and I were sitting alone on the beach of our home on Hilton Head Island last week on Christmas eve. COVID had altered the travel plans of our six children and their families. We had decided if we were going to be alone for Christmas we'd be in a place we love. We sat there talking about how COVID has changed so much for everyone this year. I deliberately got up from my chair and snapped this photo as my commitment to moving forward with a fresh perspective. Hope is on the horizon. Though hope is not a strategy, it reminds me that it is time to plan.

Would you take a trip without a map? Of course not. So why do we think we can create a New Year’s resolution and get there just because we want to? The reason most resolutions fail is because they are simply notions centered on “getting” something and not grounded in your values - the root of what drives you. They aren’t authentic and aligned with your core.                         

11 Reso-YOU-tions for Results in 2021 

  1. Set and talk about goals. These are not resolutions. Write down your big goals for the year using the guideline “Does this align with what is important to me?” Studies show that people who write down their intentions and talk about them reach them far more than those who don’t. 
  1. Use a daily planner or app to track daily activity toward that your goals AND well being. Use what works for you. I recommend that my clients use a hard copy planner for big goals and well-being. We all have electronic calendars for appointments. It's much easier to remember and not neglect your mindful daily routines when the mechanism to do so is sitting on your dresser. My clients and I use my Flow-on-the-Go Guide. We hate not checking off the boxes we committed to. :)
  1. Define WHAT you will let go of. What’s the head trash that inserts itself in your life every time you want to make a leap? Often my clients will write these down and burn the paper (outside please) in physical demonstration of commitment. 
  1. Define WHO you will let go of. People are toxic too. Who would you be without negative influence? 
  1. Sure up a financial safety net. It's been a challenging year for many people, no doubt. If possible, max out your 401(k) contributions. Take only short-term car loans. Automatically deposit a certain amount from each paycheck into a non-accessible savings fund. Revisit your estate plan and bank accounts for changes in beneficiary status. Delay social security. Cancel all recurring subscriptions that you are not using. 
  1. Put a mirror on your desk. Do you smile on the phone? What can you learn from inviting feedback without self-criticizing or being defensive? 
  1. Accept yourself. You may have had a lot of rejection in your life this year. When you accept yourself in spite of life messages, your world changes. What is at the root of your undesirable behavior or thoughts? It is certainly a feeling. “I'm feeling a little freaked out by the risk and I’m still ok – I’m capable!” not “I am so freaked out and overwhelmed – I don’t have time to do that.” Name brand clothing, designer shoes and expensive accessories are no substitute for character, humility, talent, influence, self-awareness and charity. 
  1. Pick one word to describe your intent for the next year. Post it with the anniversary date where you will see it every day. Open, Influence, Leverage, Courage, Explore, Welcome, Innovate etc. Pick a new word and revisit your intention daily. My clients put that word on their night stand. 
  1. Start a Gratitude Journal to release expectations and center in the present moment. Write one thing you are grateful for each day. Write one thing you notice about yourself each day. It’s hard to compare yourself to others when the bright light of thanks is shining on the good things. (My Flow-on-the-Go Guide has a place to note these things.) 
  1. Simplify by scheduling systems into your life. Bookkeeping night, laundry day, grocery shopping day, expenses analysis time, date night, monthly measurement of key indicators. 
  1. Plan one BIG "Leap." It should be something that really scares you and excites you! Let me know what your one big lead is. I'm interested! My one big leap for the New Year is to start a podcast or video platform. If any of you know anything about podcasting, I'm all ears. :) 

If you don't know where you'll be by the end of 2021 you are already there. Don't have an accidental career or life. Download my free career plan and start the year with a plan and not dreading more time on the treadmill to nowhere. Mary Lee’s FREE Career and Life Planning Tool

If you are struggling with uncertainty and feel exhausted and ineffective watch my FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you before you even get an interview. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there.  

Make a commitment to do something for yourself in 2021. Success is freedom. Not more hours.

Your coach,

Mary Lee 

P.S. Feel free to forward this email to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.

Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request a free consultation call.

For more executive presence tips here's a link to my FREE eBook - 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World 


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