Happy New Year. I hope your holiday season was all that you hoped it would be. This coming Monday is probably the least favorite of all Mondays. I’m sure all other Mondays get a bad rap because of this first new years Monday. Nonetheless, the new year is upon us and hopefully you’ve armed yourself with a handful of hearty life-changing resolutions. My only question to you is…are you resolved to achieve your goals? My only other question is…do you have a plan of action that will lead you to success?
I actually made my new years resolution to eat better and lose weight a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. I knew it would be easier to wait until after the holidays, but I really felt like I needed to confront my lifelong nemesis [food] on my own terms, resolving to the notion that any and everyday is a good day to eat healthy.
Holidays can be brutal psychological hurdles for dieters, often sabotaging our best efforts to achieve weight-loss success. For me, getting started ahead of the season was my way of creating the momentum needed to be firmly committed to my resolution while not beating myself up for having a dessert (or two) or having an extra serving of turkey and stuffing. With the new year upon us, I’m still resolved to continue on my path, but more importantly, the goals for this resolution are REASONABLE and ACHIEVABLE; and by that I mean, my goal is to lose 20 pounds—that’s it!
If you know me and have been following my progress at all, then you know I started this journey weighing in at 322 pounds. Considering that the optimal weight for my height is approximately 160 pounds, a goal of losing 20 pounds might seem a bit low-firing, but I decided that instead of focusing on a daunting 138 pound drop, 20 pounds at a time is much easier to visualize, easier to manage and is ultimately more reasonable and thus achievable. I’ve lost 24 pounds to date; 18 more to lose before I achieve my next goal of 280 pounds.Resolve For Success
Setting goals is essential for forward progress and what better time to assess your life than at new years. However, its easy to get caught up in the drama and festivity of the season, so much so that we might not fully consider what it will actually take to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. By all means, THINK BIG, but give yourself a fighting chance to succeed. A goal worth accomplishing is a goal worth planning for and a strategy worth implementing. Simplify your aspirations to the smallest manageable unit of achievement, follow through to completion and you WILL succeed.
A friend of mine discovered that she could not run a full lap around a quarter-mile track. She decided that her new years resolution for 2010 would be to run a full mile without stopping. Did she run everyday? No, but she ran consistently enough to build her stamina so that by years end she was easily running a full mile. Her goal this year is to run 3 miles nonstop. She plans on achieving this goal by mid-year when she will participate in her first 5K race. Another friend, after years of false starts, setbacks and perseverance, finished the year by successfully defending her doctoral dissertation AND bringing a new baby boy into the world; all in the SAME month. Success for me came in the form of helping several clients develop their brands and launch their websites, two of which being first-time entrepreneurs starting their e-commerce businesses. Another dear friend and client celebrated the first year anniversary of her new magazine in a very VERTICAL way; against the odds and during a time when magazine publishers were going out of business left and right.
Whatever your new years resolutions happen to be, remember, the operative word is RESOLVE. Be it financial, spiritual, organizational, health or other, you must resolve to taking the necessary steps (one step at a time) or your resolutions will amount to no more than wishful thinking. I’ve compiled a few resources that have been very helpful to me in my pursuits. As you embark on the journey that is 2011, perhaps they can be helpful to you too.Mint
Mint is a great site for managing your total financial picture. Recently acquired by Intuit (Makers of Quicken and Quickbooks), you simply link your financial accounts to Mint and their system will track your expenses and automatically categorize every purchase you make and present your expenditures in easy to read charts and graphs. You can create budgets with a single click, and once the system acclimates to your financial patterns, it will provide you with recommendations on how to more efficiently manage your finances. The service is secure and best of all, it’s free.Daily Burn
Another great free resource is Daily Burn. This is a great site for tracking fitness and nutrition goals. I use it to track my weight loss and will be using it to track my fitness goals as well. You can interact with others, participate in challenges and set and monitor goals for many different fitness and nutrition categories.
The 4-hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body
Tim Ferriss is a beast when it comes to lifestyle design and the art and science of reclaiming the one thing for which we can never get enough of—and that is TIME. These books are must reads if you want to glimpse the possibilities of what life and accomplishment can be like if we remove the number one impediment to personal success—OURSELVES. Tim’s Blog is also a must read if you want to keep up with his latest lifestyle experiments and case studies.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done is a worldwide phenomenon and de facto standard in personal productivity. GTD is essentially a methodology for dealing with the physical and mental clutter in our lives. This book uses a zen-like approach to dealing with simple things like the receipts piling up on your desk to how to start cleaning the garage or closet that you keep telling yourself you’ll get around to “one of these days”. David Allen teaches you how to dump all the content that occupies and clutters our brains enabling us to unstick projects so we can get busy “doing” instead of forever planning to do nothing. Cottage industries and hundreds of sites devoted to the principals of this methodology abound all over the Internet. Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People
Steve Pavlina stands apart from any personal development guru that I’ve ever read or heard. He defines his purpose much better than I could ever paraphrase so I’ll just quote directly from his site.
The purpose of this website is to help you grow as a conscious human being. This includes guiding you to discover and accept your life purpose; inspiring you to feel more motivated, energized, and passionate; helping you shed disempowering relationships and build a network of loving support; teaching you how to achieve stable financial abundance doing what you love; and encouraging you to make a genuine contribution to humanity — so you can finally experience the kind of life that deep down, you always knew you were meant to live.
Steve is known for bucking conventional wisdom on a range of topics as well as shattering and recreating paradigms. Some of his most popular articles include:
- 10 Reasons You Should Never Get A Job
- How To Discover Your Life’s Purpose In 20 Minutes
- How To Be A Man
- How To Decide When To End A Long Term Relationship
- How to stop Complaining
The list and variety of topics he covers goes on and on and his writing is very thorough, but be warned, Steve is on some next-level shit. Much of what he writes about deals with tearing down obstacles and reconditioning yourself to achieve your greatest human potential. He’s not afraid to confront the spiritual or political norms of our society, so whatever your leanings happen to be, be prepared to be challenged. Whether you agree with his ideas or not, Steve Pavlina’s writings will at least compel you to examine your positions and possibly reconsider your own ideas and approaches towards personal development.
I hope you find these resources to be helpful towards fulfilling your new years resolutions. May all of your goals and aspirations for 2011 be RESOLVED by years end or at least on course to being resolved. Happy New Year!!