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Why Resolutions Are Useless And How To Really Make Sh!t Happen

    make plans-2016
    This whole notion of resolutions is a fantastic concept — it inspires life changes while setting the tone of positivity which makes a beautiful foundation for growth. But I find most resolutions are really just that…a concept. They’re these wishy washy constructs that have little foundation as they float around for a few weeks before finally drifting off into the waste-pool where all resolutions eventually end up.

    Every January, I’ve got these grand ideas on how I’m going to be better than before, yet they rarely see the month of February. I’m all gung-ho, ready to go, and then the steams fizzles out after a few weeks.

    Usually it’s because I got busy. I mean, who really has time to implement all these resolutions? Once my calendar gets booked up, there’s no room left to submit guest blog posts, or go through every book shelf and closet in the apartment to clear more space. The intention was there in January — backed by the rest of the intentions set within the world, and then POOF – they’re gone. By March, there’s not even a glimmer of their existence.

    But 2016 is going to be different. This year, I’m going to skip the resolutions, and put purpose behind my plans. No more float-y ideas on home improvement. No more half baked proposals for guest blog posts. Here’s how to make sh!t happen.

    1. Set goals.
    Resolutions are just a decision to do something. Goals give a real sense of purpose. So rather than resolve to write more for other people, I’ll create my list (Oh how I LOVE a To-Do list!) of who I’m going to target along with the topics I’m going to write on.

    2. Set a realistic timeline.
    Yes, life is what happens when we’re busy making plans which is why my timeline is going to be padded to accommodate life, when it happens. This way, when a full day of writing gets interrupted by GL home sick from school — I’ll have plenty of time left in the month to get it done.

    3. Get started.
    Sometimes I get so caught up in my lists and plans, I color code them — make them all pretty, that it turns into a procrastination project. There’s nothing wrong with a pretty list, if it helps motivate (which it 100% does for me!) but enough is enough. No need to spend 45 minutes on the color wheel looking for variations of dusty rose (guilty). Just get to the task. Start where you are, and begin.

    4. Be accountable.
    This is a toughie for me. I’m such a solo worker that to get others involved kind of cramps my style. And it has to be the right person…sadly, a husband or bestie may not make the cut. Find someone to share goals with so it can be an exchange…you both check in on each other. Think of this person as your coach who wants to see you win, yet won’t be soft when you fu*k up.

    5. See the future.
    I’m not advising to hire a tarot card reader (though I’m all for that, if you’re feeling the call.) This is actually a technique I use with my styling clients when they shop for themselves. I ask them to figure out exactly where they would wear the item that’s about to be purchased. It has to be a concrete plan, something in the calendar. This way they know the new item will be worn, and there’s a future for this garment that lives outside the closet. Do this for your goals. If you’re trying to eat healthier, invite a friend to dinner at the new vegan place. (This could also work well to tie in #4!) Give your plan a life outside of your head so it has a better chance of staying alive.

    What’s your plan for 2016?

    Photography by Rebecca R Photography, Prop styling by yellow house collective)

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    12 thoughts on “Why Resolutions Are Useless And How To Really Make Sh!t Happen”

    1. girlgatheringwisdom

      Great topic, Elysha! I agree 100%!
      I’ve been around a bunch of years. I always did the annual resolution list which got shredded by March. One year a friend and I made a list together: We would exercise more, exfoliate more, floss more, eat fat free, gluten free, yeast free, additive free and no white food…..yada and yada. (that one died in Feb.). The good thing is that a person who wants to self improve and keeps it in her mind before, during and after Dec. 31 year after year eventually figures out that there won’t be ONE special day with ONE special button to push. It’s basically living, chilling a bit, acceptance that “this is who I am folks” (but really I mean….”this is who I am me”), and the kicker……LETTING GO (like a balloon floating away) of the “guilt”, “disappointment”, “anger”, “self dislike” of what I haven’t yet finished, improved, perfected, solved….so that I have time to enjoy what and who are in front of my face daily.
      This works most of the time…..not all of the time.
      Happy New Year, Elysha!!!

    2. For some years now, I’ve changed the word ‘resolutions’ to ‘intentions’. And each day I practice, I do just that. I set an intention then ta-da!! My whole year has been filled with accomplished intentions. Whether they are the tiniest of intentions or something grand, when I devote my practice to that single intention, things start rolling to that direction… making it feasible and tangible. Not some far-fetched glossy-eyed resolution or half-baked proposals 😉

      My wonderful Ashtanga teacher, Jonathan, would always remind me each time I practice (and his voice rings in my ears lol) – “Do the work, Maia”.
      That’s all there is to it really. Devoting ourselves to fluckin do the friggin work.

      Happy new beginnings, Elysha! I looove your pic!! xoxo

    3. Thank you, Maia! How right you are– boil it down to intentions + just do the friggin work. And be devoted.
      Love this.
      Happy New Beginnings to you too!
      I’m looking toward to following along on your Ashtangi adventures in 2016 ❤️???????????? x x oo

    4. Words of wisdom — GGW, thank you! So true that it doesn’t all just happen on one particular day. (There is no magic button!) And why must it all go down on only one day? When we keep at it, there will be days when it is happening, and days when it doesn’t. And that’s just how it goes. Like you said – let go of the guilt. The expectations. And the pressure!! Happy New Year!!

    5. Wishing you a wonderful New Year with lots of joy and a whole world of happiness.

      Indeed we make resolutions to break it but when we make these resolutions to reinforces our resolute to do something different and commitment to self, not always easy to break away.

      best wishes…

    6. That’s a beautiful perspective, Nihar. Thank you for sharing. Here’s to doing things differently and the commitment to self! Happy New Year!

    7. Well, hello stranger ???? I was thing about you this morning and so I thought I would go looking for you! I have also been setting goals rather than making resolutions…working with the Leonie Dawson shining year workbooks (hard copy this year) has been so fabulous in weeding out and imagining and actioning. So good. I hope you are well, and that your goal setting sees you through 2016 in style!

    8. Hi Sara! I’m so glad you went looking for me. Thank you! A workbook is a great way to stay on track. I’m big on my to-do lists each week so could probably benefit from having a year long planner to put these little lists into the long term. Happy New Year! Hope your summer has started off well. x x o o

    9. Happy New Year, Elysha! Here’s to another spectacular year, 2016! I appreciate reading about your plans and wish you the best styling-and-everything year ahead! Love and hugs, Ka

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