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Why I'm not creating New Year's resolutions this year

Kicking off the year always seems to feel like we’ve got the chance to hit the refresh button. Start again.

January’s vibe is way more chilled. Everyone seems lighter. The calendar is less jam packed than December was. It feels good right?

Then straight up I find myself wanting to lock in something new to look forward to. To keep me excited. To motivate me to work towards. To make 2019 more memorable and different to 2018. My rationale is the best years are the ones you can vividly remember with big events like weddings (got married in 2015), birthday parties/ getaways (had so much fun last year at Byron Bay with my besties and mum and I planned my husband’s 40th 70s themed birthday party which was awesome) or big purchases like a house or a move (2008) or trips overseas (every year) or business ventures (Temple Yoga & Retreats Est. 2016) or years of massive growth and learning (most) or when you take time to truly savour moments (like over New Years with my adorable 88yr old gran on a lime scooter or in Bali looking around at our retreat guests loving their week sick).

I love that my family, friends and work mates are the types of people that often want to reflect on highlights together and check off what goals or intentions we’d set for the year and whether we had achieved them.

Keep reading to find out what I set out to achieve last year and which elements I’ll carry into 2019, why I didn’t hit all of them, and the plans to rectify it this year.

Friends of mine Koes, Lindsay and Sam (who I met on camp Good Life Project) just did a killer podcast to kick off the year about “A self loving approach to goal setting” you can find it here. I freaking loved it.

Some great points included:

  • Studies have shown only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Goals... dismal right?

  • The notion of unhealthy goal setting eg. I will train my ass off to impress this person and eat less to look skinny even though I feel like I’m dying on the inside and it makes me miserable.

  • The difference between goals and habits and why sometimes setting goals can be counterproductive.

  • The importance of intrinsic motivation and setting feelings based goals.. How will you feel as you work towards your goal and when you hit it?

  • Being kind to yourself in the pursuit of a goal. Like not calling yourself a fatty boom batty every time you bow out of your healthy eating goal

I love this because I’ve realised how much more effective achieving my goals are when I create a habit that allows me to achieve them eg. 'I move my body every damn day' was one I had this year. The habit I created was waking up at 5am every day to do some form of fitness for at least 30 mins.

Something we delve into on retreats is how to set and keep habits. I’m super fascinated by habits and am aware that they can you craft a life you love and am constantly reading/ listening to books on the topic (my current one is Atomic Habits by James Clear). I’ve found Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies framework helps the process by revealing whether a person is an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.

You can do the quiz here to find out which one you are.

It’s based on you respond to expectations. We all face two kinds of expectations—outer expectations (meet work deadlines, answer a request from a friend) and inner expectations (keep a New Year’s resolution, start meditating). Our response to expectations determines our “Tendency”—that is, whether we fit into the categories of Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. In a nutshell Upholders want to know what should be done. Questioners want justifications. Obligers need accountability. Rebels want freedom to do something their own way.

For me knowing that I’m a Questioner gives me the awareness that if I want to create a habit it needs to be justified ie. I need to really believe in the benefits of the goal and understand why I want to achieve it. I will often speak to someone I respect for advice on the matter and truly delve into why it’s important to me. I usually go and research the crap out of it. The more I know the easier it is for me to adhere to sticking to it.

A visual representation of my intentions/ goals was pinned on my wall at work right in front of me so I had to see it everyday.

In a nutshell here’s where they stand now.

Work with the best people – TICK. After working in the same job for 10yrs I have found regardless of the dollars attached to the client - my mind works better when I get to work with clients that I enjoy spending time with, funnily enough I managed to attract the right people this year that inspire the crap out of me.

Move my body every damn day.TICK. 5am alarm goes off. My mum and husband and friends come with me to gym and yoga classes each day. Variety is the spice of life with me for classes. From anti gravity yoga flow to a spin class. I know the benefits of fitness and consistently listen to podcasts that promote the mental and physical benefits to remind me when I want to slack off.

Eat Mindfully. Enjoy every bite. This is one I probably wasn’t super great at. Maybe half a tick for this. I really wanted to sit at a table for every meal, take a breath and be aware I’m eating. Eat food that fueled my body. There were many times I ate brekkie in the car on the way to work or a meal at my work desk or didn’t get a chance to eat and was super hangry (hungry angry) at times which makes me want to punch people in the face (please note - I didn’t.. no one in 2018 was physically harmed by my hanger.. can’t confirm mental harm numbers). This one needs work in 2019.

Up year on year finances by 20%. This one was really the only clear smart goal (specific, measurable, achievable, relative, time framed) where I articulated how I would do this and I did it. Bang on 20% it’s funny how when you write it down it happens. Not 19% not 21%. 20% up YOY.

Barefoot Investor Money Strategy – if you talk to me about money and finances be prepared to get the low down on why you need to read Barefoot Investor. Actually I highly recommend you click this link and buy it now. This has completely changed my mindset towards money and I feel lighter and more in control by following Scott Papes steps.

Daily rituals. For me this is including gratitude’s and meditation as a daily ritual (difference between habit and a ritual for me is that habit is less conscience, more automatic and ritual is done intentionally, somewhat spiritual). Again half a tick. I didn’t do this as constantly as I would have liked. One to work on in 2019.

Learn Teach Learn Teach. I feel like I achieved this – consistently reading and listening to a new books and podcasts (feel free to msg me for my favs on whatever topic that interests you) or doing an online course like Yales Science of Wellbeing (you can do it for free here it’s fantastic) and I taught what I learnt to really anyone that asked for advice (sorry to those who didn’t!) and on retreats in my inspire and insight workshops. This shit lights me up. I love it and I teach what I most need to learn.

Find the Play in Everyday. I’m pretty good at this. What a skill. For me breaking up my day by getting my nails done, a facial, hair blow dried or a fancy cocktail or dessert for lunch just makes my day. I am a token woo girl and with the help of a friend or two can pump up a room with a little woo here or there or a dance break. Playing with my nephews and nieces always brings me back to being a playful kid too. Booking a getaway or getting creative decorating my house or desk at work also work wonders for me. Or to get amungst naaaycha.. breathe it all in and get my toes in the grass. Even a few minutes spontaneous break will bring me back to me.

Stop looking at your phone. Ok so here’s one I didn’t succeed at. With the new updates for iPhones now giving you the ability to chart your screen time which shows you exactly how you’re spending your time and allowing you to set limits for yourself. Go now and check yours (go into settings - screen time - click your name and last 7 days) you might need to enable it so you can track it. Let me know how you go. I thought this would really help me... but apart from being a questioner I have a slight rebel tendency too – which allowed me to continuously ignore time limits "whatever phone you can’t tell me what to do" and over ride my own self imposed limits. On average in December I was on my phone for over 3 and a half hours A DAY with over 70 phone pick ups each day.. and on some of those days I thought I didn’t have time to meditate.. whaaat. Over an hour spent mindlessly scrolling social media... and I thought I was super busy this month but clearly had time for that, as much as I want to say its all work related your phone stats will tell you the truth.

So here I go into 2019...and instead of banging out another 9 intentions for this year I’m going to do what another epic podcaster Kate from Neighbor Me podcast (and who I also met at camp Good Life Project) did last year (you can find it here) where each month she ran mini experiments for herself for the month – sometimes it was about health, other times trying new things like wearing red lipstick and reporting back. What I will do this year (I am writing this here so I am committing to it eeek) is practice what I preach and take on setting a new healthy habit for the month each month and report back with how I went.

What better way to start the year off is the one I really missed last year – stop looking at my phone! I’ve already started this by reading a book called Breaking up with your Phone. The more I know the better it is for me to keep the habit. Love for you to play along and give it a shot too. You can buy the book here. So far I’m into the second week’s plan to help me use my phone less. I’m now charging my phone in another room, all my notifications are turned off, I’ve changed my screen to say “what do you want to pay attention to? Look UP! And I’ve deleted my social media apps. Stay tuned for an update at the end of the month to see how I go and if I’ve managed to curb my screen time habit. And Feb through to December I will try a new habit each month to report back on.

Sound good?

Thanks so much for reading – love to hear your feedback. Your thoughts. Your ideas.

Lis xx

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