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Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Already Failed You (and What You Can Do to Turn It Around)

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Already Failed You (and What You Can Do to Turn It Around)

We’re barely halfway through January, and if you’re like a lot of folks, not even one New Year’s Resolution is still standing.

That exercise program? Made it to the gym once. Taking steps toward those “important but not urgent” projects, like writing your book, or working “on” your business versus “in” your business? Yeah, right! Who has the time?

But, before you throw your hands up in despair and declare the year a failure (okay I’m exaggerating a bit), there’s still plenty of time to get back on track.

The first step: take a good, long look at your goals and each New Year’s Resolution you have for this year.

Answer these questions (I suggest getting out a pen and paper, and doing some journaling around them):

  1. How did you actually come up with the goals and each New Year’s Resolution? Was it a purely mental exercise? (In other words, did you just sit down and brainstorm or think of a list of goals and write them down?) Or did something else inspire them?
  1. Do your goals and resolutions come across as a bunch of “shoulds” or “have to’s?”

For instance:

* I should lose weight.

* I should exercise more.

* I should do a product launch.

* I should finish that new business program I’ve been working on the past two years and I really just need to get it off my plate.

  1. Are your goals and resolutions clear? Or pretty vague, making it feel even harder to actually turn them into reality?

Like:

* Spend more time with my family. (But how? I’m already drowning in to-do’s. Where do I find the time?)

* Make more money. (But how? I’m already doing everything I know how to do.)

  1. Are your goals and resolutions realistic? Or super big and intimidating?

Examples:

* I finally write my book.

* I finally start my business.

Once you’ve looked closely at your goals and each New Year’s Resolution for 2017, consider this:

The problem with all the goals listed above is that they’re setting you up for failure.

If you set goals for yourself that you don’t really want to be doing (no matter how much you feel like you should do them), or if they’re vague, or too big, or lack clear action steps that lead to their accomplishment, you’ll never achieve them.

So, how do you know if your goals fall into any of these categories? Take a moment to read what you wrote in your answers to the above questions, and pay attention to what feelings come up in your body.

If you feel tired, drained, overwhelmed, uninspired, confused, then you’ve probably set the wrong goals for you.

Now, if this is the case, the first thing to do is not beat yourself up or feel bad about it. The way we’re traditionally taught to set goals more often than not leads to our setting goals that aren’t right for us.

And there’s good news: January is considered the dreaming month, so you still have plenty of time to dream into what you want your new year to look like!

What I like to do is take some time and really feel into that – into what I want my year to look like. Don’t try and use your head or mental energies to decide what your life and business “should” look like — how do you want to feel? What lights you up? Where is your passion?

You may want to do some journaling around this topic too … how you want to feel this year. Also, you may want to ask your intuition/inner wisdom and/or God/Source/Universe/Spirit for guidance on what they think your goals should be.

Most importantly, don’t rush this process.

Once you do, chances are your goals will literally write themselves (and they’ll feel much more grounded those you had before).

And, once you’ve discovered and set goals that excite you rather than drain you, you may want to come up with a system to help you reach those goals. If that sounds good to you, check this out.

If you’d like a starting point to get more clear about where you want to go with your business, you might like my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book — you can grab your copy here.

Position Yourself for the WIN: A New Way to Set Goals

Position Yourself for the WIN: A New Way to Set Goals

How important is goal setting to making your dreams come true?

You may have seen the numbers — the most successful people in the world, the top 1% — are the ones who not only regularly set goals, but who also write them down and review them regularly.

However, most people spend zero time figuring out their goals (much less writing them down and reviewing them) beyond the immediate: what’s for dinner and what will be their next Netflix show to binge watch.

So, if setting goals really is the secret to success, and the vast majority of folks say they want to be successful, why isn’t everyone doing it? I mean, it seems like a relatively painless habit to develop, right? So what’s stopping us?

I think it’s because …

For years, I would set goals using what I would consider a very traditional process. I’d sit down and brainstorm a bunch of things I wanted to accomplish the following year, and then write them down. It was pretty simple, straight-forward, and very much a mental exercise.

Now, there’s nothing really wrong with this approach, and if this is something you do and if it’s working for you, great. It also sort of worked for me — I did see success from at least making the effort.

However, this is only one of many ways to set goals.

For instance, in his book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big,” Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, talks about how “Setting goals is for losers,” and what you really ought to be doing is creating systems.

His argument is that when you set goals, you constantly feel like a failure because you haven’t reached the goal. And, because you’re constantly feeling bad about your goal, you stop working toward it.

But, if you have a system, all you need to do is follow it, and you’ll feel good about yourself regardless of results.

For example, let’s say you have a goal to lose 10 pounds. Every day you haven’t lost 10 pounds is another day you feel like a failure. But, if you set up a system that revolves around exercise and eating better, and you follow that system, you’ll not only eventually lose the 10 pounds, but you’ll also feel like a winner as you follow your system and start seeing results.

While I find a lot of this intriguing — especially how it actually feels (I know the old way I set goals made me feel constantly impatient as I waited — and tried — to reach them) — it also seems like you need an initial goal to start the process of following your system. Otherwise how will you know your system is designed to actually help you reach your ultimate goal? (I know, that seems obvious, but stick with me.)

Let’s say your system is set up to support you in eating better and exercising. That’s great, and it can certainly end up making you healthier … but because there are so many ways to eat better and exercise, the system you set up may not actually help you lose weight. And if that’s the case, you won’t reach your ultimate goal, and I suspect your system will end up leaving you feeling frustrated with that constant sense of failure.

For me, what works best for me when it comes to goal setting is to use a mixture of techniques.

First off, it can’t just be a mental exercise like how I used to do it — I want to give myself the space to feel into where I want to go. I also want to make sure my inner wisdom, intuition, and God (or Spirit or Source) has a chance to weigh in.

And, once I know where I want to go, then it’s time to structure my day, including my daily habits, so I’m fully supported along the way to get there. (I suspect this is what Adams would likely call my system, and I work the system rather than fixate on the end result and feel unhappy waiting for it to come to fruition.)

Ready to give it a try? Go for it! Create a system, and reach your ultimate goals.

And if one of your goals for the New Year is to make more money, you may like my new book “Love-Based Money and Mindset,” as it includes a blueprint to help you actually create a system to make more money. You can learn more and grab your copy here.

A Powerful Ritual to End 2016 and Start 2017

A Powerful Ritual to End 2016 and Start 2017

I’m a big believer in rituals. In many ways in our Western culture, I feel like we’ve lost the magic and power of what a ritual can  bring to our day-to-day lives. Other than a few really big milestones, like weddings and deaths, we don’t celebrate many rituals in our lives.

One of the reasons why rituals are so powerful is because they mark a beginning and an end. Plus, they provide a “container,” which helps us move forward. So, there’s really no better way to end an old year and begin a new one than with a ritual.

Now, I know many of you use this time during the start of a new year to set goals or resolutions (I did myself for many years). While getting clear on the specifics for how you want your new year to look is definitely a good thing, it may not be the best place to start. (After all, look at how many New Year’s resolutions “bite the bullet” just a few weeks into the New Year.)

I think taking the time to end the last year with a ritual before getting into the nitty gritty of what you want your new year to look like is a far more effective way to actually turn your goals into reality.

My friend Christine Arylo is the one who introduced me to the concept of using a ritual to end the year, and I like to use a variation of the one she taught me.

So, the first step in a ritual is to prepare the space. I like to light a candle and select music. (I actually spend some time choosing the candle and music, to make sure they’re just right for the situation.) Some people use chimes or Tibetan singing bowls, some people use essential oils or incense, some burn sage or place crystals around the space — basically, do whatever works for you.

Along with preparing the physical space, also take some time to prepare the emotional and time space — clear your calendar, turn off email and Facebook, close your door, let your family know you’re not to be disturbed, etc. You could even leave your house and go to a coffee shop or a restaurant, if you prefer.

Next, get out some pens and paper.

My end-of-the-year ritual has a lot of journaling involved. What I like to do is really think back and review my year, first taking time to celebrate my successes. (Think about it – how often do we pause to celebrate our successes? We are so quick to rush on to the next thing, cultivating a feeling of being perpetually behind on our mile-long to-do list, rather than feeling good about what we accomplished. When we don’t pause to celebrate, it’s almost like those successes never happened.)

Next, I forgive myself for my failures, so I can move past them. (If you acknowledge your failures, you can take the learnings and wisdom with you into the New Year, and leave the failure in the old one — skip this step and you may find yourself doomed to repeating your failures over and over.)

In addition, I weave into the ritual any other things I want to up-level for the new year. This year, I wove in a money ritual to celebrate the publication of my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

I end the ritual by burning and releasing what I want to leave in 2016, and by being grateful for the lessons and growth I received.

Then I do something fun to celebrate! Maybe I’ll sit in a hot tub, or eat some chocolate, or even go out with dear friends (which is what I did this year).

Now that I’ve properly closed the circle with 2016, I can now dream into 2017 and what I would love to manifest. (And yes, that includes some goal setting and marketing plans in order to actually bring my dreams into physical form.)

If you want to learn more about daily practices and systems around attracting more money into your life, you may want to check out my new book “Love-Based Money and Mindset” on

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