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My Best Tip for Making your 2024 New Year’s Resolutions Last

Updated: Jan 1

Don’t just focus on what you will DO,

focus on who you will BE




“Most of the old moles I know wish they had listened less to their fears and

more to their dreams."


Charlie Mackesy, from his lovely and brilliant, "The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse"



Ahh, a New Year.


365 fresh, shiny days ahead. No matter what happened in 2023, the new year is a blank canvas that you can paint any way you want. It’s a unique time, filled with promise and possibility.


It’s also a time of resolutions, when we make promises to ourselves to continue good practices, break bad habits, and set goals to improve our lives.


Here is what a typical list of New Year’s resolutions looked like for me in the past:


  • Work out 4+ times/week

  • Cook dinner for Tim at least 2 times a week

  • Drink more WATER

  • Journal daily

  • Eat 5+ vegetables every day

  • Dedicate x hours of time and energy to volunteering


Was I successful? Well, um, kind of.…. I’m consistent about my workouts and journaling. However, Tim would starve on Susan’s Nights to Cook if it weren’t for takeout and delivery. And potato chips still count as a vegetable, right?


According to time management company Franklin Covey, a third of us who set resolutions don’t make it through the end of January.


How about you?


I sat down and went back over my New Year’s resolutions for the past several years and noticed something interesting. The years in which I decided to focus on how I wanted to Be, and not just what I wanted to Do- I saw significant results in terms of personal growth and accomplishment. The years when I focused just on DO-ing, hitting a specific BMI, organizing my storage room, cooking for Tim- all blurred together or rolled into the next.


In contrast, I very clearly remember the year I decided to BE Courageous. I had a “good “job, with a nice salary, benefits, company car. I didn’t exactly hate it, but sure didn’t love it. I was solidly in the “Meh Zone.” The Sunday Night blues were a disheartening reminder of another upcoming week of Meh. I knew I was meant for more. To make the leap and follow my passion into the field of professional training and coaching, I needed to be brave. My parents, friends, colleagues all thought I was crazy. Why would I give up a sure thing for a commissioned position with a tiny start up in a field I knew almost nothing about? It would have been easy to listen to all those well-meaning voices. But I had resolved to be courageous, remember?


I found myself asking “What would a brave person do in this situation?” Sure- it meant making some big decisions, but also countless small ones.


Being Brave meant that now I would need to:

  • Leave my comfort zone and stretch myself try something new

  • Risk making mistakes

  • Say “No” to what I didn’t want

  • Say “Yes” to challenges

  • Be the first to apologize after an argument

  • Pick up the phone and make the call or send the note

  • Give candid, courageous feedback

  • Speak up for what I knew was right, and speak out against what I knew was wrong

  • Above all, trust myself


I look back on that time, so many years ago, and I hardly recognize that shy, hesitant young woman. I want to wrap her in my arms and say “I’m so proud of you. You didn’t spend life on the couch. You got up and danced.”

The Year I focused on BE-ing:

  • Creative- I registered for drawing and painting classes and uncovered a hidden talent and passion

  • Giving- I volunteered with Big Sisters, and grew a relationship with a lovely ten-year-old girl who,18 years later, I still love and cherish

  • Healthy – I signed up to work out with a personal trainer/nutritionist and made daily choices that have resulted in greater levels of health and energy to carry me through life’s adventures and challenges. That was also the year I entered a fitness competition! What a difference a year of BE-ing Reflective made, didn’t it?

And for 2024?


This year, I will Be a Brighter Light. I've been fortunate to have so many smart, strong, kind-hearted people lift me up- not just in my career, but in life. I feel a calling, and a responsibility, to help others in even bigger, more intentional and meaningful ways.


For me, this also means being a crusader for Kind, helping others tap into their own inner strength and shine their light in a world that so desperately needs it.

The thing that is so powerful about BE-ing is that, over the course of a whole year, this BE-ing is like our North Star, our compass that guides our daily habits and decisions to keep us on our path. Eventually, BE-ing becomes who we are- our new Identity.

Who will you BE in 2024?


What's just one first step you can take?


I wish you and your family a joyous 2024!


On any day, at any moment, you can Decide.

With so much Love,

Susan



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