How to Convert New Years Resolutions into Every Day Solutions

Enjoying a view on the way to the top at Crater Lake, Oregon

Goal setting.

2021 is upon us and – no doubt – many think it hasn’t arrived soon enough.

I can’t even begin to imagine what you’ve been through in 2020. My friend Astrid said it best; ‘We’re all in the same storm,  we just have different boats’. Sums it up perfectly.

The new year brings with it optimism for new opportunities. A whopping 74% of Americans made resolutions. No surprise after the year we’ve had, 45.59% of the resolutions are improving health; while family as a category makes its debut with 24.7% (I also suspect due to the year we’ve had). I highly recommend reading Catherine Choi’s full article here which breaks down:

  1. Resolution categories
  2. Resolutions by generations
  3. Likelihood they’ll be achieved (broken down by segments above)
  4. Reasons for not achieving them.

It’s a great summary.

A dose of Reality

On average, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. And only 8% will achieve them (Ref: www.thetimestribune.com)

So why is this still a thing?

I believe because we’ve been lied to. We’re told setting lofty goals is what will ‘change our lives’ (as if we need to wait until the new year starts too, to make that happen)

Stop waiting for a new year. Stop waiting for next week. Stop waiting for a better time.

Just. Stop. Waiting.

Without creating a clear understanding of what to do today, most attempts fail because the end point is made out to be the most important.

I’ll be happy when…. I’ll be successful when… I’ll be healthy when….(feel free to insert your relevant health, relationship, career, money, exercise goals appropriately)

My most valuable lesson learned while becoming the first person to climb Table Mountain every single day for a year:

The process IS the goal. Fall in love with the process, and you’ll enjoy the process as much as reaching your goal.

If the goal is to lose weight – falling in love with a healthy lifestyle will create that as a natural by-product. Much like plants don’t aim to make oxygen – they just want to grow using their inputs sunshine, water and carbon dioxide.  

Practical steps to turn NY resolutions into Daily actions

Firstly, one of the most debilitating ruts – is being sucked in by technology. I think we can all agree the lock-downs have worsened this. Whether endless scrolling on social media or binging Netflix and YouTube videos, we’re left feeling unsatisfied and drained. The scary thing is we’ve been purposefully sucked in by companies competing for our attention because we’ve become the commodity. One of the greatest gifts I’ve given myself is learning how to use my phone – instead of it using me.

Becoming intentional means knowing what my problem is and who can solve my problem – that’s where NourishX’s Digital Balance online course comes in. Taking me through a step-by-step approach highlighting what the issues are (most of which I didn’t even realise!) and then providing simple solutions to take back control of my phone and ultimately my time – is a game changer. It’s helping me build healthy habits to lose that sinking feeling in my stomach about not having enough hours in the day. Instead of distracted I now feel nourished.

One of their greatest tools is how they work with me to build the habit gradually, which brings me to the next important point:

Sustainability. If one word sticks out in this piece, I hope that’s it. Defined as being able to maintain at a certain rate or level.

Therein lies the key: maintain.

Designing a lifestyle that fulfills you and leaves you energised and full of purpose each day is the goal yes? By focusing on what we love and wish we did more of, will naturally improve how we feel.

Losing weight has a finite point; but then what? That is an infinite challenge, which explains how you can reach it and still be unhappy (or not as happy as you’d hoped) and then what? Step 1 is making sure we match an infinite challenge (mindset) with an infinite approach (actions).

It’s a simple concept. But who ever said simple was easy? Step 2 is having the awareness and deep introspection to understand what drives and engages us to pursue infinite actions. Another reality dose: Even when you know exactly what you love doing and pursue it – there will be challenges and it’s hard.

It’s why falling in love with the process is critical. Mindset trick: To keep that internal flame burning infinitely, start seeing challenges as fuel for the fire, instead of an anchor.

Create your perfect day which is sustainable as you move through life and grow. Building discipline with sustainable habits means you can progressively increase your effort.

Some questions I constantly use to help me:

  1. What am I capable of?
  2. What am I made of?
  3. What are my philosophies that act as my guiding principles?
  4. When do I want to be filled with joy, now or sometime in the future?
  5. What did I learn from my last challenge?

Our life is a journey – fall in love with exploring your process today.

Final reality check: if you thought the answer to your problems lay at the end of this post, NOPE, this is the first step in building your awareness. Now you need to decide what lifestyle you want and start actively pursuing it every day injecting purpose into your actions and being relentless in your execution.

Take today to reflect on all the challenges you’ve overcome to make it this far. Doesn’t that fill you with pride? That same strength exists to tackle what sets your soul on fire. Now is the time to pursue that with passion and relentless energy.

Do you need help creating what that looks like? Reach out to me here and let’s chat.

It’s one day at a time, step by step.

How to Unlock Self-Doubt’s greatest Gift

PHOTO CREDIT: Seth Winterhalter

A gift from self-doubt? I hear you ask suspiciously. I know! Who knew right?! If you’re like me, then you’ve probably been plagued by self-doubt in your life. That’s 40 years’ worth of struggle for me. Frankly, I’m over it.

Let me take you through the events that unlocked it for me.

Self-Doubt’s icy grip

Self-doubt’s frustrating. I get a great idea, only for that little gremlin to arrive and keep poking me, “Are you sure you want to do that?”

It doesn’t take long for it to call back-up: its wicked stepmother fear.

Fear’s that dark room with a supposed grizzly monster waiting to do unthinkable things to me.

But when has that ever happened??? The worst parts I mean. I’m still here. I haven’t lost any limbs to monster fear activity.

It makes sense that my DNA is encoded with the fight or flight response to being outside of my comfort zone. In the stone age being alive meant what I was doing was working – and stepping out the cave jeopardised that.

No matter how many times I rationalise this though, it doesn’t stop self-doubt from creeping in. Ever.

So, what can I do??

Unlocking the gift

There is hope. I recently enforced an 11 day ‘silent retreat’ while on our stay home order in New York. This was the result of attending NourishX’s ‘digital balance’ course and seeing how much I use my phone each day and how quickly that time becomes a full month out of the year. Throw in a bombardment of news from every angle about COVID-19 and quite frankly, I’d had enough.

I needed a mental break away from the barrage of fear being pushed into the world.

It was exactly what I needed.

The break gave my mind the freedom to explore ideas like self-doubt from a place of love without distraction, to analyse it’s recurring role in my movie.

It was only on the Tenth evening that I wrote this epiphany in my reflections before bed:

‘We can’t remove self-doubt – it’s ALWAYS going to nag us – like our moms to pick our clothes up off the floor. They only stop nagging when we take action and pick up the clothes! It’s not the self-doubt (nagging mom) that’s the problem, it’s the inaction that is’

Mind. BLOWN.

Jesus only took 40 days in the dessert. I took 40 years…

Jokes aside, I’m incredibly grateful to understand this at such a young age.

I re-framed my understanding of self-doubt and realised it’s not something to overcome: it’s a guide, a neon sign shining ‘THIS WAY’.

How crazy is that???

Fear and self-doubt are actually here to show me the way.

That’s their gift – they confirm I’m on the right path.

What I love about this revelation, is it reinforces all the ancient wisdom around flowing with life, not forcing it.

Think about it. Who ‘wins’ in any battle?

Good versus evil. Man versus woman. Beach versus ocean.

Self-doubt isn’t something to overcome – but rather understand and use.

Instead of succumbing to it, I’m learning to pause and reflect realising:

The bigger the doubt, the greater the growth waiting on the other side of taking action.

It’s about the Journey

Since my teenage years, I strive to improve, grow and learn. I was aiming for a specific point I was supposed to reach before serving others.

The question at the center was always ‘why am I here?’

That’s a pretty broad (never mind daunting) question, implying something to reach waaaaaaaay in the distance.

It was only while climbing the stairs in our building training for my next challenge that I had a better question enter my head:

‘What am I made of?’

I tell you, it was like fireworks went off in my brain! Such a simple question to constantly push me to do my best now. Whatever I learn, will be carried into my next challenge I create to face; or the bigger ones like a world-wide shutdown.

This was first taught to me climbing Table Mountain every day for a year and I’m happy to report – the lessons were learned! I know this because my gratitude and enjoyment happened every day – and not when I completed it. It happened along the entire path – and not just at the top.

This taught me why someone can experience depression or a lack of fulfillment when completing a goal.

The goal doesn’t bring fulfillment, appreciating the growth along the way does.

I have a bonus secret to share:

Whatever idea you have that sets your soul on fire? Everything you need to achieve it is already inside you. It won’t magically be given to you once you complete it, as though a queen appears to knight you.

I’m picking the clothes up off the floor now without being shouted at.

I hope you do too.

If you want more information on the Digital Balance Course click HERE