Practice Self-Kindness for Powerful Results in the New Year
If you’ve been following along this month, you’ll know that I am doing something a little different to kick off the new year. This is because studies show that by the end of January almost half of those who’ve made New Year’s Resolutions will have already given up on them. And I want you to be successful at achieving your most important goals in the new year!
This five-part series will give you a different approach. It’s designed to help you set a solid foundation with actionable steps to achieve your most important goals.
If you have important goals for the coming year, you’ve struggled to achieve what you set out to in the past, or if you’re feeling a little unclear as to what your goals are, the good news is that there are simple, effective techniques that do work.
These steps are powerful whether you’ve got big changes to make or your life is pretty good and you’re ready to take it up a notch. The five steps give you a solid foundation along with the follow-through that’s key to bringing your dreams to fruition.
If you haven’t read or completed Step One: Be Strategic, Step Two: Be Specific, and Step Three: Be Steady then I encourage you do do these first. You’ll need just a few minutes for each step – time well-spent so that you can bring your best out at work and live a more satisfying life.
Once you’ve completed the first three steps, you’ll want to find a way that this can be inspiring, fun and enjoyable. Studies show you’re much more likely to achieve your goals in a positive frame of mind.
It’s important to envision success and get a clear picture of what this looks like, but it’s also important to prepare in advance for those moments and times when things don’t go as planned.
This is the step where you decide how you’ll support yourself when things get tough or aren’t going the way you’d hoped. Commit now to doing what you need to do to acknowledge the challenge, to pause and rest or refuel if needed and to shift to a more positive mindset.
STEP FOUR: Be Softer
We can be our own worst critics. We all have an inner dialogue and that dialogue tends to be habitual. If you slow down and begin to pay more attention to your thoughts and inner dialogue, you may notice it’s more negative than you’d like.
This inner dialogue is informed by a set of beliefs that, like our computers, become the operating system of our lives. These beliefs are a key in determining the results we experience. Many of them are in our subconscious mind and so are for the most part hidden from our conscious awareness. Some are empowering while others are limiting.
If you set a reach goal and then you find you aren’t achieving it, take a moment to notice your inner dialogue. When you’re wanting new or different results, but you can’t seem to get them, yes, it may be time to adjust course. But often the roadblocks are more internal than external. When this is the case, there’s a good chance that some of your own thoughts and beliefs are ready for an upgrade.
When it comes to our habitual thoughts and beliefs, our own operating systems, it’s perfectly natural to reach a point where you need to do some upgrades and even re-programming. This is common when you’re on a path of growth and are not sure why you aren’t getting the new results you want. These times can leave you feeling unclear, stuck or just not moving forward in the way you’d like.
When this happens:
- Try being softer on yourself. While a healthy level of challenge and self-awareness helps us learn, grow and improve, when we push ourselves too hard for too long, it can be quite debilitating.
- Practice self-kindness and self-compassion by being more understanding toward yourself. Imagine you’re talking with a close friend or loved one. How would you speak to them if they said they felt they were stuck or had failed? Chances are you’d be kinder, warmer and more generous. Practice this with yourself.
- Remember that you are not alone. Suffering and feelings of inadequacy are a part of our shared human experience. This is something everyone goes through.
- Ask what you’re learning from a failure. It can help to remember that challenges are some of our greatest opportunities to learn – and to avoid repeating the same thing down the road. Is it time to adjust your approach or to consider a different direction?
- Take some time to revisit your WHY. Your why is the purpose and meaning behind your what – your WHAT being the intentions or goals you set for this year. Your WHY is usually a feeling or quality of being that is motivating you to reach for your WHAT. When we don’t have a clear WHY, it’s easy to get stuck moving toward our WHAT.
- Talk it out. Find a trusted friend, mentor, colleague or coach to talk through your thoughts, feelings and frustrations. Ask for honest feedback and advice. Having someone else’s perspective can be invaluable, especially during challenging times.
- Practice self-inquiry. If you find yourself not taking actions you intend to, ask yourself why. Is it that you are unclear as to the very next step? In other words, are there perhaps a few steps in between where you are now and what you thought the very next step was? Or is there a fear or uncertainty that’s tripping you up?
- Stay positive. As much as possible, try to find and see the positive. It helps to make time for fun and enjoyment. Play and fun are important at all ages – not just for children.
- Practice mindfulness and take a more intentional approach, especially with negative feelings and emotions. As you pay more attention to what you’re feeling and thinking, avoid over-identification with the more negative emotions so that you’re not carried away by them.
If you make any resolution at all, resolve to accept yourself even when you don’t achieve what you set out to. Accept yourself even with failure as a possibility.
Make room to appreciate how far you’ve come and to celebrate your successes along the way.
You’re much more likely to follow-through on commitments from a positive frame of mind… so it’s important to avoid shaming, criticizing or guilt-tripping yourself along the way.
How can you be softer, kinder and more supportive to yourself this year? How might acting from a place of self-compassion affect the way you choose to move in the direction of your most important goals? How might you learn from fears and failure?
Remember that when you are on the threshold of making changes, it can be supportive to talk about your thoughts, goals and feelings with a trusted friend, family member, colleague, or even with a skilled professional who can help you make sense of what is going on – as well as what steps are most effective to help you achieve what you’ve set out to.
If you are looking for professional guidance, I am here to help. Contact me to learn more and to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.
You can also learn more about me, read more blog posts, download free tips to create a business and a life you love, or check out the stories of people who have worked with me.