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So we’re six full days into a brand new year and for some reason, all I can think of is that somewhere around the world, there is at least one lifestyle columnist on the edge of their seat with anticipation for the latest results on how well people are keeping up with their resolutions so far. Isn’t it amazing how much attention our personal goals seem to get around this time of year? Well it amazed me so much that I took a moment to actually look at the correlation between stress and productivity, and what I found in this article from Harvard Business Review might surprise you. I think it’s interesting that a lot of disappointment surrounding New Year’s Resolutions could be related to either an excess or insufficiency of pressure to stick with them.
There are countless articles and video clips of people who wish to give you advice on how to effectively manage your resolutions this time around. Many of them encourage you to defy the odds and push towards your goals-no matter how challenging or unrealistic they may be, while others strongly suggest some modifications for practicality. My personal favourite? The few that recommend getting rid of them altogether. According to research, a great lot of resolutions fail for three reasons: they are unrealistic, rootless, or immeasurable. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely a great number of “good goals” that are well worth creating and committing to, however, there are a few important steps one should consider if they are looking to improve any area of their life. Regardless of your level of participation in the annual ritual of NYRs, take a look at the three universal keys below to see how you can make an immediate and lasting impact in both your life and the lives of others.
1. Live Grounded.
Have you ever heard about the importance of roots? Okay- let’s assume your answer is yes. What I’m getting at here is that whenever you consider growing new habits, or clipping others, you should consider your roots first. For example, if you’ve planted yourself firmly in gratitude, positivity, and truth, then chances are you’ll be more likely to find success in your resolve to communicate more effectively this year, or in your goal to build better relationships in the future. Similarly, if you are hoping for “positive vibes only,” you may want to first address any potential “hater-behaviour” in your heart. Remember that an apple doesn’t grow from an orange tree, neither can love grow from a place of contempt.
A couple months ago, I wrote an article for Lucille Khornak Studios, and while the focus of her work is in photography, we had a real opportunity to get to the heart of where our decisions come from, and what it looks like when we make them. What we know, is that when you build your life on a firm foundation, every decision you make -even those of impulse- becomes more strongly connected with your long term goals as a person. Search your heart and really think about what matters to you in this life, and you will be able to make a conscious decision about your personal foundation and core values.
2. Live Surrounded.
The first thing that comes to my mind right now is actually a counterargument that I’ve seen being popularized on social media and even more recently- real life. The basic idea is that one should laugh, cry, win, suffer, lose in secret or alone. Now, I am sure we all understand that everybody doesn’t need to know everything about you, however, it is important to know that solitude or confinement is not conducive to a full life. In fact, none of us are purposed to live alone.
Literally, the way in which we were created requires community! Research shows that community connects us in relationships that challenge us to grow both individually and collectively. So make sure you surround yourself with people who will build you up and hold you accountable to make real and consistent decisions in your life. The right people will challenge you not only to live out your purpose, but to support them in living out theirs as well.
3. Live Free.
You might think at first glance that these three points wouldn’t necessarily go well together, but when you really take a moment to consider the significance of each part, you understand how embracing this unique combination can open up the doors to a truly abundant life. The first step to being free is to let go of worry. According to wikiHow (one of the most generous websites ever built in my opinion), focusing less on what others think of you is usually a good place to start. Let go of unreasonable expectations devoid of goodness and joy. You have the power to be, and all you need is to embrace it. Honestly, I believe you can take it from here.
Maybe you’re being introduced to these keys for the first time, or maybe you are familiar with these ideas already. I’m curious to know how this post has challenged you to learn more about yourself, so hit me up on social media @highaski or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to keep the conversation going! It’s a brand new year. Tell me, do you feel new yet?