My word is love. LOVE in 2013!
There’s an abundance of hope and inspiration being spread today and I just love that! Of course many New Year’s resolutions are being set in living rooms around the world. The New Year brings hope, promise and good intentions, perhaps like nothing else. (Read my NY Eve HOPE blog here.) I used to be an enthusiastic New Year’s resolution kinda gal. I love the spirit of the ritual and the focus on positive change and growth. So, like many others who set New Year’s resolutions, I approached change at the beginning of the New Year with hope and good intentions. And, like many of you, I created a “things to do” or “things to change” list focused on activities that I hoped would give me something I really wanted and needed in my life. Often, it contained a list of “shoulds.”
Of course, it’s no surprise that the most frequent resolution for me – one made year after year to no avail – was “to lose weight.” My ultimate goal was to become healthier and feel better about myself, ideally opening up doors of happiness that were not there when I weighed 381 lbs. I think you know the ending to the story.
As a New Year’s resolution, losing weight never worked for me. And, as it turns out, it didn’t work for a whole lot of others either. (Check out these NY Resolution stats.) I had battled obesity my entire adult life and, in addition to setting countless New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, I tried just about every diet known to mankind and signed up for the gym…countless times. Oh, the money I wasted on those gym memberships! I am sure the “regulars” at the gym had a good laugh.
Indeed, like so many others, my annual ritual of setting New Year’s resolutions never really worked to achieve lasting change in my life. That is, UNTIL I stopped focusing on it as a thing to do – a resolution made only at the beginning of a new year – and instead set a deliberate intention. An intention focused on who I wanted to “be” and how I wanted to “live,” not a thing to do. There is a big difference.
Change the approach & create lasting change in your life:
- Grab hold and leap when the opportunity presents itself, no matter the time of year. That’s right, I didn’t wait until the New Year to set my intention. I did it when the opportunity presented itself and the timing was right for me. Meaning, when I was ready. That happened in Sept. 2010. And I leapt (despite my fear) vs. waiting for a New Year or the perfect time to come around. My experience is that if you take the latter approach it’s possible the timing is never right. There’s always a good reason/excuse. Pay attention to that and see what lies underneath it for you. In my experience, it was almost always fear.
- Set a clear intention. I focused first on what I wanted in my life – how I wanted to be/live – and then how to get it. For example, I wanted to be in-the-equation of my own life. In the center of it. I didn’t want life to pass me by while I was busy working and/or taking care of others. My weight was a symptom of that, but not necessarily the core problem. The problem was that I didn’t believe I was worthy of love. Thus, I did everything for everyone else first and had precious little, if any, time for me. Yes, I wanted to lose weight and get healthy, but it was so much more layered than that.
- Commit. Go 100% all in. After setting the intention and defining what that looked like via my list of non-negotiables, I went 100% all in. I told myself there was no turning back, no matter what. Despite my fear. Despite how difficult it might get or how hard it might be. Despite how much it might “hurt” in the short run or how much I would have to sacrifice in the moment to get it. I told myself that it simply was not an option to quit. No matter what. And I meant it.
- Don’t go it alone. Find your support and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I knew I would need experts and a network of support to be successful at achieving big, transformative change. So, without hesitation, I put those experts and a support network in place. And that support was critical at just about every juncture. When you surround yourself with positive people, who support you positive intentions, and you go 100% all in, well, anything is possible. As evidenced by my success and those I have met along the way who also have achieved transformative change.
And the best part, not only am I now in the absolute center of my equation but I LOVE myself and accept myself. I finally believe I am enough. So the big, transformative change I sought was even bigger and better than I predicted. And YES, you can do it, too.
Embracing the opportunity of the New Year
It is important to embrace the hope and opportunity of the New Year when creating lasting change. For so many, starting something big at the beginning of the year is motivating and inspiring. That’s a good thing.
This year, I am excited to adopt a new approach thanks to a great blog post by Christine Kane. She suggests that we pick ONE word for the year – a word that encapsulates our intention and guides us in who we want to be. Or, I would add, how we want to live. I implemented a version of this last year guided by the words “YES” and “ENOUGH.” This approach appeals to me and I knew as soon as I read Christine Kane’s blog that I wanted to share my word here at the start of the New Year.
For me, this year’s word is LOVE! And yes, that’s LOVE! – with a slammer
It’s hard for me to imagine 2013 topping 2012. Last year was awesome. It was the year that I achieved my big, hairy audacious goal of putting myself in the center of my life and getting healthy and fit, reaching my weight loss goal. It was the year of an internal transformation milestone that surprised me in how much growth, happiness, joy and opportunity came along with the weight loss because I changed from the inside out.
But the cool thing about this new life is that I KNOW with intention 2013 can indeed top the awesome year of 2012! I know and feel in my bones that it will be a year of abundant LOVE! To me, that means wholehearted loving and living – doing work that I love, giving back to the world with love, falling madly in love, and tackling all of the things that I love to do that I didn’t do before because I was stopped by my weight and lack of self-love and acceptance, and the shame I carried around with it.
So 2013 will be the year LOVE! And it will be filled with happy “firsts” for me.
- Fall in love
- Do work that I absolutely love
- Give back to others and pay it forward through love
- Learn to XC ski
- Downhill ski
- Compete in a half marathon (and 5K, 10K) in places that I have never been (British Columbia, Hawaii, and Disney World top the list)
- Start my book writing process
- Ride a horse on the beach
- Learn mindful meditation
- Practice yoga
- Go sea kayaking
- Inspire & support others to seek transformative, positive change in their lives, our world
- Write an in the equation manifesto
And more. But for now, these top the list.
What do ya think? Could you pick a word that encapsulates your intention and guides you throughout the year? What would it be? I would LOVE it if you would share your word here.
Glass runneth over – focus on good things
You start with a big jar (mine is extra big for an abundance of good things). Starting today, on January 1st, and throughout the year you write the good things that happened to you on a piece of paper and put them in the jar. At the end of the year, Dec. 31, 2013, you open the jar and read all the amazing things that happened in your life and you are grateful for.
I LOVE this idea! Who’s with me? I think my nephew Jacob and a few others will do this. I would love for you to join me and to share some of your “good things” at year’s end.
Such a positive, optimistic and gratitude filled ritual. I can’t wait.
My wish for you: A New Year filled with abundance and LOVE!
And so it is that I embrace 2013 with optimism and my intention of doing everything with love – love for myself, love of my list of firsts, love for fellow mankind, love for our planet, and the hope of finding my one true love.
It is in this spirit that I wish you love, joy and success in finding your intention and making your biggest and wildest dreams come true. While you can be assured it won’t always be easy, happy and rosy, I wish you a journey filled with love. And, I leave you with this New Year’s wish. From the movie, New Year’s Eve:
“Sometimes it feels like there are so many things in this world that we can’t control. Earth quakes. floods, reality shows. It’s important to remember the things we can…like forgiveness, second chances, and fresh starts. Because the one thing that turns the world from a lonely place to a beautiful place is love. Love in any of its forms love gives us hope. Hope for the new year.”
Fun facts: Check out the stats here for how many of us set and keep New Year’s Resolutions. 45% of us will begin the new year with a goal or New Year’s Resolution in mind. We have every intention of following it and achieving our goal, but according to this site, only 8% of those who set resolutions will be successful. And what do you think is the number one resolution? You guessed it, losing weight. Perhaps, like me, you will have more success with a different more intention based approach and my steps to creating lasting change. Let me know if/how I can help.
- Change how you change, by Marcia Hyatt, MN Women’s Press
- Christine Kane’s blog on New Year’s Resolutions
- All things Brene Brown, especially her guide to Daring Greatly
- Good Times Jar Project
- New Year’s Resolution Stats from Statistic Brain
- Celebrating Two Years of Daring Greatly
- The Daily Practice of Gratitude
- One Brave Thing
- Life Before & After, Thank You to Those who Raise Me Up
- Believe in your awesomeness