It’s the New Year, and everyone’s dusting off those New Year’s resolutions to give ‘em another go around.
I made a pact with myself some years back to NOT make New Year’s resolutions. Why?
5 Reasons to Skip the Resolutions This Year
1. Resolutions rarely work.
Stats from the Opinion Corporation of New Jersey: Only 8% of people always succeed in achieving their resolutions. 19% achieve their resolutions every other year. 49% have infrequent success. 24% (one in four people) NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year.
2. Resolutions are all talk.
Resolving or deciding to do something doesn’t get it done. Taking action gets it done.
3. Do we really need more ammunition to beat ourselves up with?
When someone resolves to make a change in the New Year and then messes up (binging on donuts and ice cream, charging those Kate Spade shoes, having just one more smoke) it’s too easy to give up. “At least I tried. We’ll have to wait until next year when I resolve to really do it…”
The cycle of Resolve and Fail, Resolve and Fail is just another thing to beat ourselves up with.
Lest you think I’m a Scrooge when it comes to this sort of thing, I do love seizing the opportunity for a “fresh start” presented by the New Year to do some soul searching and to engage in one of my very favorite pastimes…goal setting.
The Ultimate Scenario
Want to get more of what you want in life? You need to know what you want first, and get really specific about it.
The Ultimate Scenario exercise requires that you envision exactly what you want for your life in awe-inspiring, envy-inducing detail. But it doesn’t stop there; once you’ve created your Ultimate Scenario, you determine the actions you’ll need to take every day to get there.
If you can boil it down to three specific actions you need to take on a regular basis to make that scenario a reality, you have a clear path to making that Ultimate Scenario come to life.
Are you ready to give it a go?
Designing Your Own Ultimate Scenario
Step 1 – Write the narrative of a day in your life at the next level you’d like to reach in 1-5 years as if it has already happened. You’ll be writing this as your future self in the present tense, as if you have already achieved everything in your Ultimate Scenario.
For example, “I wake up at 6am effortlessly, refreshed and energized after a full night of sleep filled with inspiring dreams. I take a look at my income numbers for this month and discover that my wedding business has earned a record-breaking $20,000 this month!…”
What will your life be like on the inner and outer levels? Health, relationships, finance, career, family, recreation? WRITE IT DOWN. This should be a fun, extremely inspiring exercise.
Step 2 – Read through your narrative and highlight the most emotional words and phrases. (These are the ones that make your heart leap with fear or excitement when you read them.) Turn those phrases into a short affirmation you can use to inspire you each day.
Here’s an example: I am happy, healthy, confident, financially abundant and my books and teachings deliver massive value that helps people transform their lives.
Step 3 – Looking over your Ultimate Scenario, what actions will you need to take every day in order to make that future a reality? What will you need to do to reach those goals? WRITE IT DOWN.
Step 4 – What 3 actions on your list of daily activities you created in Step 3 would get you closest to that Ultimate Scenario in the next 90 days if you actually did them?
Write them down like this: “I commit to doing these 3 things EVERY DAY over the next 90 days…”
Step 5 – Print out your 3 activities and your affirmation. Put it in a place where you look at it daily and make sure you do those 3 actions every day.
Step 6 – Repeat the Ultimate Scenario exercise every 90 days.
What I love about the Ultimate Scenario is that it forces you to bring everything you want in your life down to three very specific actions.
If you’re like me, you can easily come up with dozens or even hundreds of things you’d like to change about your life. But the human mind can only hold about 7 things at a time before it gets really overwhelmed and confused, and when overwhelm rears its head, we end up doing nothing.
Looking at those hundreds of Things To Do is completely overwhelming. But anyone can do THREE things.
Goals are useless…unless they are attached to specific, motivating actions.
By committing to just 3 actions over the next 90 days, you will make significant progress toward your Ultimate Scenario future. Repeating the
Ultimate Scenario exercise again in 90 days allows you to make adjustments as you change and grow.
As I look over my goals from past years, I discover that I didn’t hit a lot of them.
At first I was disappointed, and then I realized that I got a lot closer to my goals by having them than I ever would have if I’d never written them down. And I DID make progress in every single area.
So be kind to yourself as you redesign your life, and don’t expect perfection. Change happens organically, growing like a seed in a natural way. It’s going to take some watering, feeding and caring for those seeds of change before they grow up into a full-grown tree.
Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.
What’s your #1 goal for the New Year? What action will you take daily to make it happen?