Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Many of you have been with me for some time now. We’re friends in learning. We’re seekers together. I want to thank you for the past few years of association by giving you some real tools to make next year better.
Start by saying NO to ineffective New Years’ Resolutions!!
The year is almost gone! I’ve been thinking about the last year and I’m satisfied. No, I didn’t get everything done I wanted to do. No, my life isn’t always peaceful and put together. But, I have learned a great many things. I have made some significant changes in my own way of being this year. I have done some work that matters. I’m content.
My One Action Step to Make Next Year Better!
Now I’m facing a new year and I have determined that I want to flow into the New Year gracefully and move through the year making needed changes, learning and again, ending this year with a sense of satisfaction. So for the past few months, I’ve been taking that desire to the Lord and asking him for some guidance. I have phrased it this way, “What is the one action step I could take this year that would make the most significant change for good in my life?
You will notice I asked for an “action” step and only one of them. I have learned from 60-plus years of New Years’ Resolutions that there is a tendency at the end of the year to take note of all the weaknesses, imperfections, and losses and then create a huge list of to-dos for the next year, to fix all that stuff. I’ve also learned that this is a recipe for failure.
I have come to believe in and act upon the 1% principle; that when you make the correct 1% change it exponentially expands that change for good in your life – it affects not only the 1% you were focusing on but all the rest of your life as well. I have also come to understand, through experience, that focusing on my strengths and successes and then seeking divine guidance helps me clearly see the correct 1%. No more New Years’ Resolutions for me based on what hasn’t gone well during the past year.
I went through this process of discovering the correct 1% in 2013 and here is what I came up with – Stop complaining! I didn’t realize I was complaining so much.
This year, as I pondered my work in the area of complaining I realized that I have made some progress but I’m still not where I would like to be. So I again went through the process of discovering the 1% for this coming year – Be more grateful. Hmmm, I thought I was grateful. Back to the drawing board. : )
Three Steps to Change
There are some steps that are helpful to know in order to really make change stick and not feel discouraged in the process.
- Awareness of what to change. Now that I am aware of what my work is for next year, be more grateful, I can see when I mess up. Wahoo, progress. It looks like this. You mess up, recognize the mess up after the fact and then decide how to do it differently next time. When I find myself feeling ungrateful I will remind myself what steps I have decided to take to be more grateful and then I will commit to doing that next time.
- The second step looks like this. You mess up and in the middle of the mess up, you recognize it and stop and redo right then. So eventually, when I have an ungrateful thought or am beginning to complain, I will be able to stop and rephrase in a more grateful way.
- The third step is that you think about messing up and you don’t! The time will come when more often than not when I feel ungrateful and want to complain I won’t. I will change my thoughts and focus on what I am grateful for.
Each step takes time – weeks, months, and sometimes years. We have to give it what it takes.
Because I know the steps I can see that I am already making progress and it isn’t even the new year yet. I am on my way to success!!
The Tools in a Nutshell
Here is a summary of the tools for a better coming year in a nutshell:
• Stop focusing on what you didn’t get done in this year. Stop looking at all the problems that still need to be resolved. STOP!
• Look at all the successes you have had this year no matter how small. Make a list of at least 10.
• Ask your Higher Power for ONE action step for the coming year, a step that can make a big difference in your personal life.
• Hold that thought no matter how insignificant the change may feel to you.
• Make a commitment to work on that one thing all year long.
• Understand that the first step in change is awareness. When you mess up and then recognize the mess up, rejoice. You are in the first step. Don’t stress about how long you stay on step one. Don’t quit!
• Know that when you can stop in the middle of a mess up and redo right then, you are in the second step.
• Change has happened when you can stop the impulse to do the thing you want to change and instead do something better!
• Repeat the process at the end of the year in preparation for the coming year.
May each of you have a remarkable coming year filled with movement toward personal happiness.
Your friend and mentor,
I WILL BE SPEAKING at the Winter Homeschool Conference on January 27, 2018, in Layton, Utah. This conference is designed to support and rejuvenate home educating parents who want to thrive, not just survive the homeschooling experience. You don’t have to be currently homeschooling to attend! I will be speaking on Process vs Outcome. Knowing the Difference Can Change Your Family. If the topic resonates with you I would love to have you join me.
P.S. You can learn more about seven ways to get better self-care in my new book Becoming a Present Parent, Connecting With Your Children in Five Minutes or Less. Knowing the difference will help you let it be enough. You can also receive a chapter from the book on Touchpoints, creating points of connection rather than having points of contention, FREE by visiting becomingapresentparent.com It can be life-changing for your family. I promise!