These are my goals for 2014:
Be content. Be mindful. Be joyful.
I like the idea of choosing feelings rather than actions for New Year's resolutions--it's maybe a little more 'life coach' than I tend to operate, but isn't the ultimate goal of a typical New Year's resolution to feel a certain way? Don't people resolve to lose weight so that they will feel happier with their bodies? Don't they resolve to save money so that they can feel more secure? Or resolve to get organized to feel more in control? Why not just cut to the chase and resolve to feel how you want to feel?
If I set my goal to be content rather than to lose 5 pounds (and, as a result, become content), I'm already setting myself up for success. I can feel content doing lots of things: reading a book, doing yoga, cooking a healthy meal, doing the dishes. I can experience contentment, even if it is fleeting, every single day of the year. By contrast, if I make it my mission to lose weight, there's a period of time during which, by the standards that I have set for myself, I can't feel content because I have not reached my goal. And, of course, I would need to maintain that weight loss to avoid undoing or giving up the contentment I have 'earned.'
There's also the possibility that reaching the goal won't actually have the desired emotional outcome. What if it is a struggle to maintain my weight once I reach the "-5" mark? What if my natural, healthy weight is higher than my desired weight and my goal isn't realistic? What if I can't indulge in the foods and drinks that I like? Is this contentment? I may have met my weight loss goal, but if I am carefully budgeting calories and have a list of 'bad' foods a mile long, that doesn't sound like I have found myself in a state of contentment.
How do you want to feel in 2014? What steps will you take? Please feel free to take a page from my book and download the 'Content Mindful Joyful' image above. I made it as a reminder to myself, but I would love it if someone else found it inspiring, too! Use it as your desktop background or print it out and post it somewhere as a reminder.