I’ve never been a big fan of New Years resolutions. They always sound good, but in my experience, never amount to much actual change.
As a coach who is deeply invested in helping others to make positive changes in their lives – I’m all in. Goal setting, visioning, planning – bring it on.
But, I’m not into the empty and overwhelming promises we all make to ourselves that require truckloads of sheer willpower to carry out. Many resolutions simply increase the stress and pressure we all carry every day and push to try to achieve more, be better looking, beat out the completion, be more perfect…you get the idea.
I grapple with this both as a coach who has seen this go downhill many times for clients with the best of intentions and as a recovering perfectionist and overachiever always teetering on the edge of relapse. Underneath all of my predispositions to take on the world (every day), I deeply believe (and the science backs it up), that meaningful change to our habits and behaviors work best when they happen slowly and systematically over time.
I work with many people in transition and know that changing lots of things at once – jobs, moving, kids, partner etc. is a recipe for a lot of stress and usually a few meltdowns.
I recently began reading a new book, The Sweet Spot, and the complementary online course about building new habits that actually stick– both for my own benefit and to share with clients. Dr. Christine Carter, Sociologist and Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center is quite incredible; she is smart and funny, her claims are backed by research and she lives on planet earth with the rest of us. I love her work and would highly recommend checking out her writing, courses and videos.
My anti-New Years resolution this year is in developing the simplest meditation practice of all time, that will actually become a part of my life permanently. As an entrepreneur and mom of 2, I find myself easily going from 0-60 multiple times a day – managing meltdowns, running the nuts and bolts of a business, traffic jams, school pick-ups, dinner, client meetings, and caring for sick kiddos. I’m committed to bring more calm and joy into my life and reducing overwhelm. I know that quieting my brain and my body are the keys for me. This time, I’m not buying an app, or a meditation cushion or learning to chant. I’m choosing the simplest place to start from; my breath. Every time I feel the stress start to rise, I take 5 deep belly breaths. I’m excited to see the practice grow over time, but for now, I’m keeping my overachiever and perfectionist selves locked away so this beautiful new habit can take root in my neural pathways.