Resolution Setting 101: 5 Steps to Creating a Life that Fulfills You

toastingA new year is upon us – and during the last week of December many of us slow down and reflect upon our lives. From this vantage point, with a fresh new start right around the bend, we have the opportunity to fine-tune our strategies for creating a life that fulfills us.

But before you follow down the well-worn road of many a failed resolution – let’s take a closer look at the fine art of manifesting your greatest desires. That’s right, there’s more to it than simply vowing to quit smoking, get organized or shed a few pounds. Here are the 5 steps to building a life that satisfies you:

STEP #1: Recognize your deepest intentions

writing-listThere is a huge difference between goals and intentions. Most people solely focus on goal setting by plotting out a step-by-step action plan to achieve their desired outcome. While an action mindset is good, setting goals without being clear on your greater intention is like setting out on road trip with half a tank of gas and no money in your pocket – it will only get you so far. Intentions are the why reasons behind goals. If losing weight is your goal, that’s great, but what’s your ultimate intention? Is it to improve your health, to increase your self-esteem, or simply to feel good in your own skin? Knowing your ultimate “why” will help to broaden the ways that you can fill that gap – and increase your chances of success. It involves not just bodily effort, but also the investment of your heart and soul.

STEP #2: Let go of your old story

tattooTrue change involves the ability to let go of what is and has been. That means challenging yourself to move beyond old limiting ideas that you may have about yourself based on past experiences. The truth is that every day is a new beginning if we will just allow ourselves to move beyond previously held labels. Yes, you might have failed at this in the past – but you are no longer that person. Time and experience continue to shape us until the day we die so allow yourself to mentally “wipe the slate clean” and approach your goals anew.

STEP #3: Think in “baby steps”

man-at-workA series of small steps equal huge leaps forward in the long run. It’s crucially important that we don’t psych ourselves out with unrealistic expectations of achieving our goals too quickly. You will get there – but you will have to build the road under your feet brick by brick. Allow yourself to occasionally look back at your successes and take pride in them. Remember to enjoy the journey along the way. Each small accomplishment is a win – not just the meeting your final goal.

STEP #4: Infuse your action with enthusiasm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis may be the greatest secret of all. We are meant to live with zest and vigor! Becoming too serious and focused on an outcome can suck the joy right out of life. Instead choose to be hopeful, celebrate your efforts, and enjoy the feeling of taking empowered action. Follow the example of little children and allow yourself to get excited about living again. It makes the trip a whole lot more fun.

STEP #5: Release expectations

file9121283256517And finally, once you know your intention and have set about your goals with enthusiasm, release any rigid expectations of what the end result will look like. You are already directing the path in which you’re headed – but we cannot always know what amazing opportunities will present themselves along the way. Be open minded to shifting the course slightly if something that interests you comes along. There really is a magic to creating a satisfying life and sometimes we are gifted with unexpected blessings. Be ready to seize them as rewards for a life lived with intention and enthusiasm. With intention, enthusiasm and a little flexibility it truly can be a happy new year!

Copyright © 2016, marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address. Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose, a Self-Help/Motivational finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards.