With the dawn of every New Year – we’re compelled to create grandiose New Years resolutions. This over indexing concept asserts that everything we’re doing right now is WRONG – followed by taking on the #NewYearNewMe war cry. In the New Year rush for transformation, we forget to reflect on our successes of the current year. However, we forge ahead - committing to total change and reinvention. In many cases doing so on social media – inviting the world to witness the ultimately doomed and elusive mega transformation. #NewYearNewMe resolutions include but are not limited to: #ChangeMyLife / #LooseWeight / #NewFace / #NewWardrobe / #NewBody /#NewJob / #NewRelationship #MoreMoney and so on. Looks familiar?
Many studies have shown that this over indexing “New Years Resolution” phenomenon is designed to fail. Why? We are in fact designed for change - but change that is incremental, reinforcing and makes us feel good. Not change that makes us feel chastised and publicly shamed into submission. Research has also shown that a little annual reflection and positive self assessment; helps create more realistic “New Years Resolutions”. The change needs to be affirming, incremental and maintainable over a sustained period.
So, if you’ve fallen off the “New Years Resolution” wagon – don’t despair – most of us have.
Here are my “New Year - Same Amazing Me” tips to get you started.
Step 1: YOU ARE FABULOUS!!!
Step 2: You don’t need to change everything!!! Can we all do better in 2019? Sure – with small, realistic and affirming movements forward.
Step 3: Use the “Peter P Live Your Best Life” list below:
1: Reflect on Your Previous Years Success – To build a Template for Success
This is your opportunity to celebrate all your wins . The key here is to create a short list of Wins you built/created/changed/achieved – no matter how big or small. This is your time to basque in your own glory – not using anyone else’s barometer for success – just your own. Do this step in your reflective, happy space with music / a cup of tea / on your favorite mountain / at the beach – what ever works for YOU!! Make sure you also write/record your Wins list for future reference. Then give yourself a time frame of referring back on these wins. Studies have found that the positive endorphins you create from this experience, helps fuel more positive outcomes / change for the year to come. It also helps you create your own “Template” for success. Try it!
2: Smile – To reflect what you want back
“The simplest and most reliable way to make someone smile is to smile at them,” says Marianne LaFrance, a Yale University psychology professor and the author of the book “Lip Service”.
“Smiles are the most contagious kind of facial expression, even among people who don’t know each other,” LaFrance says. That’s because seeing a smile and showing a smile originates from the same area of the brain.
Doubtful you can change your world by just smiling more often? LaFrance suggests trying this experiment: For one day, don’t smile at anyone. The next day, smile at everyone. Then compare both days. Chances are the second day will be one of the best you’ve had in a long time.
3: Sleep Well - To Look Younger
Researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center have shown for the first time that poor sleep can contribute significantly to looking OLDER!! Women ages 30 to 49 who said their sleep habits where poor had more fine lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and reduced skin elasticity and recovery than those who said they regularly slept well for at least seven hours per night.
According to Jeffrey Benabio, MD, physician director of healthcare transformation at Kaiser Permanente here in San Diego Research that sleep acts as a repair shop for our skin. While we sleep: inflammation subsides, soothing conditions such as eczema and acne.
“Beyond using sunscreen and not smoking, the best thing anyone can do to preserve their looks is to get a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep every night,” explains Dr. Benabio.
4: Be Appreciative – To create the world you want
Research has found that an individuals affirming / appreciative focus helps build positive outcomes in our lives. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t proactively address illness, destructive behaviors in others or the mistreatment of ourselves. Day to day however, we can be more aware of our neural thought patterns: Positive V’s Negative. Not convinced? Take the Positivity Test. In a full day, record your Positive V’s Negative response to your life on a note pad. At the end of the day - tally your outcomes. How many times did you respond Positively V’s how many times did you react Negatively? You may be surprised.
So - how do we shift from Negative to Positive thoughts? We can be more appreciative by practicing Awareness, Vigilance & Making Small Changes Every Day. Why change? Studies have shown that our brainpower combined with our emotional intent elicits very distinct outcomes for ourselves. In other words – whatever we Think / Feel: We DO! Try Awareness, Vigilance & Making Small Changes Every Day to be fully appreciative for a week and see what happens.
5: Fail Fast – To learn and move on
Fear of failure can deter us from taking action yet if we never try anything we’ll never achieve anything.
In fact, falling on our face can be a good way to learn valuable lessons. Successful entrepreneurs, for example, realize the importance of “Failing Fast” when launching a new venture. Why? The faster they find bugs and problems, the quicker they can get rid of them.
Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure - it means you tried, you learned and now you pivot!! Learning to “Fail Fast” is all about making continuous, small changes and pivoting when you’re not happy with the outcomes. For example – take a different mode of transport to work for a week. During that week – course correct where necessary. At the end of the week - gather the data that’s important to you, evaluate, and then keep the new routine or pivot (change). Try something different the following week and so on. This process will help you build mental dexterity and comfort with change. Ultimately learning to “Fail Fast”
May your future be Outstanding – Just like YOU!