I love the New Year. It’s a chance to start anew, it feels so refreshing and gives us hope for new beginnings. Like many, I try and make a few New Year’s resolutions each year. I don’t overdo it though, as then I wouldn’t keep any at all. Truth be told, the majority of people don’t keep them anyway, present company included. I am looking for a new resolution to add this year. It is that I actually keep the resolutions I make. I have a bonus to work with this year and I am going to share it.

I had the opportunity to listen to Jack Canfield, the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. He was very engaging and thought provoking, and he has a way of turning the way we think upside down. He gave me many new ideas to think about.

He said to think of something that you have a hard time with; that you can’t do. For example, I cannot lose weight, I cannot quit smoking, I cannot find time for (insert your own words here), I cannot get places on time, I cannot start a business, etc. The list is endless.

Let’s use “lose weight” for this conversation, my all-time personal favorite. So I would say, I can’t lose weight. Jack says, turn that word can’t to won’t. I won’t lose weight. Uh oh, now I am accountable. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I WON’T. Big mental difference there.  Now I own it, and I am responsible for it.

So I decided to take the WON’T and make it WILL. I WILL lose weight. Think about the things we could accomplish in life, if we take our CAN’T’s and make the WON’Ts and turn them to WILL’s!

It’s freeing, it’s empowering, and we are all accountable for our CAN’Ts. But if we say we can’t, we think it buys a pass. Nope, we are accountable, and we are kidding ourselves. And hurting ourselves and perhaps others.

So, in addition to making a resolution to keep my resolution this year, my resolution will be to really think about those things in my life that I say I can’t do, but wish I could, but just can’t…. and change that “can’t” to “won’t” and make myself accountable for my own shortcomings, and then change it to “will” and fix them.

Here are my FIVE TIPS to help you keep those commitments you make to yourself in the New Year:

  1. Make your commitments in small “bites”. Just the commitment to get to the next step, and then the one after is a new commitment. If your plan it to lose 50 lbs, lose in increments of 5, as each 5 is a success you can build on. When you lose the 5,   immediately set the next goal. If you miss hitting that goal, reset, all is never lost!
  2. Don’t overpromise and under deliver. Committing to an overwhelming task sets us up for failure. Commit to a goal you can keep, and then move forward to the next increment.
  3. View your “resolution” as a commitment to yourself, rather than a New Year’s Resolution. It just feels better!
  4. Make commitments in different areas of your life. You can set new personal goals, new business goals, new health goals, new family goals etc. Make the commitment finite, not open ended. For example, I will lose 5 lbs by 2 weeks from now, rather than I will lose 50 lbs this year.
  5. Think about where you want your life to be, and what you want to be doing in 10 years. Make this year one. What do you need to do to start the process of getting to where you want to be in life in 10 years? Take that first step this year! You are on the way to your life goal!

Think of your own life and WHAT IF the ”I CAN’T” becomes “I WON’T” and then “I WILL”! The possibilities are endless, and the door is there for the opening. You can! You will!

Happy New Year. Wishing love, happiness, and self-empowerment for YOU.