I don’t know about you but I always feel like I’m setting myself up for failure when I make a New Year’s resolution. “I must lose 5 kilos in the next month” (easy to say when I’m bursting at the seams with my mother’s quite lethal, brandy-laced Xmas pudding) or “I’m never going to drink alcohol, never, ever, ever again.”
These brave but foolhardy declarations always end up becoming a jousting session between me and my will power - with me always being knocked off my horse, only to end up feeling more bruised than before.
Well, the other day I was listening to a CD by Blair Singer, the fellow who wrote “Little Voice Mastery” and the perfect antidote for people like me who are very wary of committing to unrealistic goals.
The fact is, all too often resolutions are a form of self-punishment and all about squeezing the fun out of our lives, or demonstrating how tough and disciplined we can be. When in fact what we should be really doing is shaping our habits around what we actually enjoy, and reminding ourselves just how very successful we are at things.
After all, if nothing breeds failure like recalling our failures, nothing breeds success like remembering our successes.
So this holiday break, instead of setting myself up for a fall again, I took Blair’s advice and made a list of all the things which would groom me for more success: what have I achieved in 2015; so all the important things that I actually did, rather than a dreary shopping list of future obligations.
Following Blair’s instruction, I then read this list out aloud while I recorded it on my iPhone, (equally you can read it out to your partner or friend.) Then I played it back, listening for where my voice brightened or my energy increased. Interestingly, one thing really jumped out for me and it was quite unexpected. It wasn’t any of our more obvious accomplishments like the fact that we’d successfully expanded our business into Bali or that we now have on board an amazing new team of people. Rather, the achievement that really resonated with me was:
“I’ve created with my partner, a business I feel really proud of.”
I’d never before articulated, or even realised how much I really love our business. And how good I feel about what we do and how all that hard work really affects others in so many wonderful ways.
By doing this exercise, what I realised was that I was giving my subconscious a chance to speak up. What it was telling me was that my motivation comes from my heart not my brain. It’s those emotions and feelings, rather than rational objectives, that get us out of bed in the morning.
So what I resolve to do this year is simply pour my energy into our business to make it as good as can be. To ensure that we deliver as much value to our couples as we can, for as many couples as we can. And yes, I will still set logical left brain goals around the number of weddings we aim to book, and by when etc.
But it will be the constant reminder of why I do what I do that will ensure the future success of our business, not slavishly following a set of numbers.
So my advice for 2016? It’s simple. Focus on what you love doing (and if you’re unsure of what that is, try the exercise above, it may tell you something you weren’t expecting.) And remember, if you do have nasty addictions that you really want to break, like over-eating, over-working or over-drinking, you’re far more likely to curb these if you address the lack inside that causes these addictions in the first place, by simply honouring your true self and doing what you love.
And with that, here’s to a happier and healthier 2016.