Waiting for the midnight countdown, full of the champagne and party love, fireworks on the inside and out, is probably not the best way to create New Years Resolutions that will stick. So what is?
If you’re like me, wanting every new year to be a more authentic expression of the life you were born to live, you would’ve already started thinking about 2013.
A beautiful wave of new year change and transformation is building around us all as I type. Riding it as it peaks and breaks come December 31, to receive its offerings as a gateway for positive change, spiritual expansion and personal growth, requires some preparation now.
Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a psychology lecturer at Stanford University, whose courses, such as the Science of Willpower, look at strategies for powerful personal change.
When interviewed by Lauren Dzubow for Oprah’s O Magazine, in the lead up to a recent new year, here’s what McGonigal said about the inherent characteristics of a perfectly authentic new years resolution…
1) Want it for yourself.
Don’t choose a resolution because someone else wants you to change, or because you think you should do it, McGonigal cautions. In general, the mind-set of self-improvement—that there’s something wrong with you that needs to be fixed—is not constructive. New Year’s resolutions should be about being good to yourself.
2) Be specific but flexible.
The steps to achieving your resolution are important because they give you something specific to do and monitor. But leave room to revise these steps if they turn out to be unsustainable or don’t lead to the benefits you expected.
3) Get support.
Sometimes we equate New Year’s resolutions with personal willpower, but you don’t have to achieve your goals alone. What information or resources do you need? Who can help you? Can you find a group that supports the change you want to make?
4) Focus on the why before the what.
Before you commit to your resolution, make sure you appreciate the big-picture goal that’s driving it. What do you want in your life? What would help you achieve better health and greater happiness?