3 Keys to Your Best Year Ever......by Tori Bradford
As one year ends and a new year begins, many people feel hopeful. The upcoming year is like a blank canvas ready to be painted. Many use this time of year to reflect and notice areas about themselves, their career, or their relationships they don't like, and they think of the new year as an opportunity to “change” all of that.
I’m sure you’ve been there. There was something about your year you didn’t like, so you set “New Year’s Resolutions” to create the year and life you’ve always dreamed of. There are books, blog posts, and podcasts on this exact topic every year that promise to teach us how to set resolutions that will change everything. I used to read them….every year.
I didn’t like the weight I was at, so I would set resolutions that would help me change that. I didn’t like how loud I was, or how judgmental I was, or how stressed I was, so I would set “good” goals with the promise of being who I wanted to be by the end of the new year. This year will be different. This year will better. This year will be the best year ever. Famous last words, right?
Typically, those resolutions, while well-intentioned, would be forgotten by late January (if not earlier) because they were all about modifying my current behavior and forcing myself to do things that were unnatural to me. As soon as the initial motivation had worn off and I fell back into my normal routines, I would completely lose sight of those resolutions. Have you ever been there?
What if this year’s goals could be different?
What if it’s not about behavior modification or “changing” what you don’t like? What if the year you want to have and the person you want to be are more accessible than you think? What if you’re just a little locked up and, up until now, haven’t known how to unlock that version of you that consistently makes a difference in your own life and for those around you?
I don’t know about you, but those ideas give me hope, hope that this year really can be different and I really can be the person I want to be.
I will give you a few simple keys that I will use to make this my best year ever, and I invite you to do the same.
Key #1 - Get Clear about What You Want
This one seems simple but, for many of us, the idea of what we want is too vague. We say things like, “I want to be healthier”, or “I want to spend more time with my family,” but we really don’t know what that would actually look like. Getting clear (specific) about exactly what you want is an important key….it’s like a roadmap. Sure, you can get to Florida from Illinois but, if you don’t know that Florida is your destination, it may take you a whole lot longer. And, you may give up entirely when you realize half-way through the drive that you’ve ended up in Missouri!
Getting clear could sound like, “I will be working out three days a week by March and daily drinking a gallon of water by July,” or “I am present and intentional about spending one-on-one time with my daughter weekly.”
Do you see the difference? It’s easy to stay locked up if you don’t have a clear idea of where you’re going. Get clear on what that picture looks like and then get specific about who you will be and what you will be doing when you are there.
Key #2 - Live in the Present
Once you get clear about where you are going, now you can be present on the journey. If you’re a person who gets to the end of the year and says “Where has all the time gone?” or “Can you believe it’s already December?” it’s a good bet that you haven’t been living in the present moment. Many of us are in that boat.
Even though I know that every moment is precious and life can change in an instant, I still struggle with looking too far ahead, wishing I were doing something else, or dreading an upcoming event. Thinking about those things pulls me out of the present moment and continues a cycle where I believe things that may not be true. Living in the present is about getting honest with yourself about where you are right now, right here, and staying honest about the beliefs you’re having.
Our lives are 10% reality and 90% what we make up about it. When we make excuses about why we aren’t living the life we want, we are living in the 90%. We’re choosing to believe something that we may or may not know for certain, and it gets in the way of our goals.
Get honest about what those beliefs may be and stay present in the outcome you want for your year.
Key #3 - Ask A Lot of Questions
This key is my favorite and, in my own transformation, has made the biggest difference. Asking a lot of questions, or being curious, has opened up countless possibilities when it seemed like I was down for the count. It’s impossible to be angry and curious at the same time so, when I start to feel frustrated with my “lack of progress” towards my goals, I can shift to curiosity. I can ask myself things like, “What am I actually upset about right now?” or “What else could be true?”
Asking yourself questions, almost like you are a reporter investigating your own life, can open up possibilities and flexibility throughout the year as you continue walking toward the outcome you want to see next December.
The good news is the Beautiful Outcome team is here to walk through your year with you. We know first-hand how hard transformation and reinvention can be, and we want to offer you resources to make that trip clear and easy.
One big resource I want to make sure you know about is Julia’s UnLock Your UnStoppable online course. This course is packed with information, encouragement, hope, and keys to help you UnLock your best year. It includes group coaching calls to dig in and see what’s getting in your way when you hit road bumps.
If you want to have your best year but you aren’t sure how to do it, or you just want a little comradery along the journey, then do yourself a favor and check out the UYU course.
Whether you walk this journey on your own or with the Beautiful Outcome team, I know that, by this time next year, you’ll be able to look back and say “This was my best year ever!”
Happy New Year!