Monthly Archives: January 2016

New Begining

It has been said, as a kid growing up the 1940s Scottish Highlands, they didn’t really celebrate Christmas. New Year’s was the big holiday for them.

Children got stockings on Christmas morning, but that was about it. People still went to work on December 25th. Then TV and consumer culture came along and changed everything etc.

So what is it about New Year’s that resonates? I mean, it’s just a number, right? So why the big deal?

Well, for one thing, it’s not just a number. New Year’s coincides with the winter solstice, when the nights stop getting longer and start getting lighter. When winter stops waxing and the waning begins. A faint promise of an eventual Spring, rebirth etc.

Sure, this would have special meaning to anyone in an agricultural society (e.g. the Scottish Highlands), but it also taps into a deeper psychological need we all have.

i.e. The need to begin again. The need to reinvent ourselves, the need to find new possibilities, both inside and outside of ourselves.

It’s what gives life meaning. It’s why we breathe.

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NO – new years resolutions

What?  Everybody always makes New Year’s Resolutions!  You know the ones:  you plan to lose twenty pounds!  You are going to work less and spend more time with family!  You are going to start an investment account or buy real estate.  The New Year comes and goes and within weeks, you are off your diet, working late, and wondering where all the money goes!  Welcome to the world of good intentions with no plan of attack!  If you want to make a New Year’s Resolution work, then stop making them!  No, that does not mean ignoring change or not setting goals.  It means begin with a reasonable plan that is attainable on a daily and weekly basis.

Start with the thing you want to accomplish.  Let’s say it is losing ten pounds within a certain time frame.  Write your goal on a 3×5 card in “results terms.”  An example would be, “On March 31, 2016, I weighed 145 pounds, which is ten pounds less than on January 1, 2016.  Why future terms?  Subconsciously, the brain interprets positive future statements as if they had already happened.

Your second step is to list all the positive benefits of losing ten pounds such as looking better, feeling better, or being healthier for those you love.  We have to see positive benefits to everything we want to accomplish.  We cannot expect to lose ten pounds if there is not a positive result that can be clearly stated.  Every human being works from the focus of positive motivation.  Once again, we have to repeat the positive benefits often.

The third step is to make a list of actions that you are capable of performing on a regular basis that will lead to your positive results.  If you list going to the gym and you know you are likely to run out of time to make this commitment, do not list it.  In fact, start your commitments in very small, workable time frames.  If you know you like to walk, then make one of your actions walking, but start with only ten minutes.  As you get in the habit of walking you can extend your time.  As far as eating, begin to eliminate small portions from your meals or slowly change your eating habits.  The reason people fail at dieting is they make such a dramatic shift in their eating habits and cannot sustain the change.

One of the most important steps is to find a coach or accountability partner that will agree to review your goals with you on a weekly basis and help you stay on course.  It is amazing what we will do when we know someone is watching.  Coaching tip: Do not make your coach your spouse or significant other!  I think you know why!

Last but not least: reward yourself for your efforts as well as results and stay away from negative influences! That includes negative people who are well-meaning but end up bringing you down.  No one can rain on your parade if you do not let them!

This is not a complicated formula, but it does work!  You can apply it to business, personal, family, investments, health, and your mental well-being!  Start today, you will not be sorry!

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