Happy New Year! So Christmas and New Year are over, leaving in their wake a trail of pesky resolutions. Let’s change the focus suggests Jessica Mcgregor Johnson

How many resolutions are you planning to make? How many do you think you will keep? Not many? I have a theory about that.

Most resolutions are about changing a habit, stopping or starting something. Trouble is that if we really wanted to do that then we probably already would be. Just because it is New Year doesn’t make us any more likely to have a stronger will power. In fact setting a resolution and then failing can make us feel even worse about ourselves.

So how’s this for an idea – setting resolutions for things you want to do, be or have.

Things that make us feel excited about achieving. Things that we have not yet done, not because we do not want them but simply because we have not yet worked out how to do them or have not made time for them. Things we are truly passionate about. Passions are so important in life and as I say when I take a client through the Passion Test – passions are the signposts to living a full and happy life. Whenever you are faced with a choice, decision or opportunity, always chose in favour of your passions.

I suggest you sit down right now and write a list of 50 things you want to do this year. No “shoulds” allowed, simply fun stuff for the pure pleasure of them. Not only can these be personal things they can also be related to your work too. You will probably want to add things like travelling to Thailand to go to that Spa you read about to visiting an art gallery that you heard about but never got around to going. Or maybe you have always wanted to make more time for quality time with an individual friend or time for yourself to simply “be”. I had one client who was visiting different areas of the city she lived in, places that had caught her interest but which she had never got around to visiting. It gave her so much pleasure.

However, you spend many hours in the day at your work so what are some things that you have wanted to do at work that you think will make it enjoyable – hopefully even more than it is now! Maybe it is being more flexible with your time so you get to have more control over your day. Or introducing the idea of a women’s lunchtime group once a month to get together and know each other better. Perhaps you can suggest that the company brings in a speaker every now and again – someone inspirational who will help the team gel. They can be small things too like wanting to change your environment or making sure you get to speak to new people in the office. Write down any of those things that you have thought “work would be so much more fun if we…”

These things do not have to cost a lot of money, they are simply experiences that you have had on your one-day list and now you are making them your New Year list.

It does not matter how big or small the things are you put on the list, the key is to write it and start to tick it off. You have a whole year which means that you will probably be doing something new every week.

Now think about it. If you were ticking one new experience off your list every week how would you feel? Excited, happy, fulfilled, chuffed that you did something new, energised, brimming with even more ideas? Yep all that and probably more.

Now imagine this – if you felt like that every week, those old resolutions, to be more healthy, stop smoking, lose weight, do more exercise, take a class, all those “shoulds” will suddenly seem so much more doable, in fact they may simply take care of themselves.

It is more likely that if you are happier in yourself then you probably won’t eat so much and you may not even need those cigarettes that mask the feeling of unhappiness and emptiness. And because you feel happier you will have more energy and so taking exercise could then become a fun thing to do. Your life will look and feel so different you will shift how you approach it, all happening because you set a resolution to enjoy your life, both at work and at play.

Life is supposed to be fun and this is the best kind of resolution that you can make – go have fun!

Jessica has been working as a coach for over 15 years and offers Life Guidance & Mentoring to people who are at a crossroads in life. She typically finds that for many having reached the success they have worked towards for many years there is a sense ... (Read More)

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