New Year, New You?

Why new year’s resolutions don’t work

Are you tired of hearing about the new year? And the pressures of making positive change in your life as the calendar shifts from 2012 to 2013?

Grace has always loved basking in a sunbeam. She finds the right spot and settles in, allowing every part of her to be wrapped in the warmth and to soak in the sensation. Today’s workplace culture places a high priority on a constant state of motion, keeping busy, answering the next call or responding to the next email. But taking a few moments out of each day to do the thing you enjoy the most will make you more productive in the long run. What is your sunbeam?

The reality is that January 1 is no better time to make a change that Dec 31. But it feels like it should be, doesn’t it?

I fall into that trap — energized on the first of January with the false notion that the next 12 months will be better, greater, more perfect than the previous ones.

It’s natural for us to take this symbolic date change to create an opportunity for improvement. We all want to build skills, to learn new things, and strive to be the best we can be. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, we should be reaching to new heights. But our good intentions overwhelm the reality of how we can best incorporate changes into our lives, and we don’t focus on the right things. That’s why new year’s resolutions don’t work.

The irony is that when we try to do too much, or focus on the wrong objective, we end up with too little or nothing at all.

I’m still the same old me that I was a day ago. Change doesn’t happen overnight. So I’m not going to expect it.

But I still have my desires to grow personally and professionally. I believe my best shot at making that happen is to find out the core of what I want out of life. Truly understanding what I enjoy, how I can tap into my natural talents, and do more of that, is the key.

So you might say, how could I lose weight if I do more of what I really enjoy, which is to eat lots of chocolate every day? You can’t. But if you uncover that weight loss isn’t really the true goal, but rather it’s to live healthy or be fashionable, those deeper desires will drive your actions successfully. You’ll enjoy the occasional chocolate bar as you achieve a healthy weight that allows you to participate in activities that have been limiting to you, or you’ll be able to sport the type of outfit that you’ve never dared before.

The same holds true in your profession. Are you holding on to work that doesn’t fulfill you?

As we journey into another year, I’m excited about exploring some new avenues that will offer more of what I enjoy and do well in. I’m going to focus my time, my energy, and my thoughts, on finding those places, people, and events that are a fit. I’m committed to building in time to focus on the activities that fulfill me. Because when that happens, everyone else benefits, too.

My new year’s wish for you is the same. Block out time and allow your mind to discover what you want out of your life, instead of feeling bad about where you’re not. That’s a paradigm shift in thinking that takes time to develop. Change doesn’t happen overnight. (Oh, I think I said that already.)

Another resource and helpful way for you to begin this thinking is our upcoming free webinar, “Find Your Authentic Career Path in 2013.” We have two sessions, learn more and register by clicking the date that works best for you:

REGISTER HERE: Thursday evening, Jan 10, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. ET
REGISTER HERE: Friday morning, Jan 11, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. ET

This year, starting right now, I hope you will take the lead from Grace. Find your sunbeam. Be clear about what you enjoy and what you do well. Then determine ways that you can do more of it.

Grace and I see a bright year ahead if you do that.

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  1. Kas on January 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I love the “find your sunbeam”! It’s definitely important for me to take time every once in a while, as you said, and relax and do something that I enjoy. For me, that can be something as simple as playing frisbee with the pups each evening. Helps clear my mind!

    • Robin on January 17, 2013 at 8:43 am

      What a great example, Kas, of the perfect way to find your “sunbeam.” Thanks for sharing with us!

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