Forget Resolutions: Countdown to Twenty-Twelve

Forget Resolutions: Countdown to Twenty-Twelve

In case you’d rather listen, click here:

Forget Resolutions: Countdown to Twenty-Twelve

The holidays have peaked.  You’re sitting back, basking in the warmth of family joy.  There are leftovers in the fridge, and bags of torn wrappings for the garbage pickup.  (“Hmmm, there must be a more environmental way … but the kids do love to tear off that paper …”)

All the planning, all the adrenaline build-up, all the checklists made for a perfect couple of days.  Except that little glitch, of course, you know the one.  (There’s always one.  What was it this year?)

Your emotions ricochet between satisfaction and exhaustion and relief.  It’s over.  We made it past this first phase of the holidays.  Done.

Now starts the countdown to Twenty-Twelve.

This last third of December comes under some sort of “fantasy umbrella.”  Rules are broken.  We allow ourselves little no-no’s, and then say we’ll make up for them in the New Year.  And, after the tough year some of us have had, maybe we really deserve the respite.

But I challenge you to fit one new piece into the countdown to New Year’s.

Sure, you’re thinking of how you’re going to usher in the New Year.  Where you’ll go, what you’ll do, what you’ll wear, and if those holiday pounds will show.  Or, how to make that sensible stay-at-home celebration meaningful.  No, not meaningful.  Glorious!

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re also thinking “resolutions.”  Everyone is.  And everyone knows very few resolutions ever make it past January 5th.

So this year I propose a new little challenge.

In the next few days leading to the New Year, write down the five things you wish had been different in 2011.  Maybe you already know what they are and can write them down right now.  Maybe you need to let the task simmer in your brain for a few days, and let them come to the fore one by one.

By sometime around December 30th, be sure you have your list of five things.  Sit down over a cup of tea or coffee, somewhere quiet, and think of the opposite of each of those five things.

•    “I wish I didn’t have to work so hard and had more time for my family” becomes “I put in reasonable work hours and have more time for my family.”
•    “I wish it weren’t so hard to close out each month because my income is too small” becomes “It’s easy to close out each month because my income is large.”
•    “I wish I weren’t so tired all the time from carrying this extra weight” becomes “I’m full of energy because my weight is in a healthy range.”

Write them on a clean piece of paper.

At the top of the page, write “What 2012 Will Bring Me.”  Make it fancy.  Make it simple.  Do whatever you want, but “make it.”

Post your intentions for the year somewhere where you see them all the time:  over your computer, on the fridge door, in your top desk drawer.

Goals are supposed to be real specific:  losing 25 pounds, earning $35,000 more, for example.  But that’s how resolutions get broken, and then abandoned.

Instead of defining exactly how and what you’ll do, you’ve plotted out your direction for the year.  Your subconscious now knows what you want.  And each time you have a decision to make, looking at your list will help you decide which way to go.

I bet by the end of 2012 you’ll find you’ve made some major strides on some of the things you said you want.

Give it a try.  It’s infinitely better than making … and breaking … resolutions.  As we all do.

And, if you’d like to post one or two of your intentions in the comment section below (after all, some are too private to post!), please do so.  It might be just the incentive someone else needs!

Here’s to making Twenty-Twelve a truly stellar year!

  • LOVE this Sharon!  I am really looking forward to 2012 and the growth that will take place with My Soul Mission!  I’m giving it all I’ve got!  Hope you had a great Christmas! 

    • Anonymous

      Jen, I’ve been watching you build your My Soul Mission this year and know you have a clear path forward.  I don’t think 2012 will be a ‘more-or-less’ year for anyone. Instead it’ll be great or not great.  And you’re headed for great!  😉

  • What a great way to start Boxing Day, Sharon. Love this article because resolution hardly works. Looking forward to 2012. Thanks for being part of my journey 2011. More prosperity and influence 2012 to!

    • Anonymous

      I’ve loved being on the journey with you, Claudia, and look forward to the marvelous changes you’ve hinted at for 2012.  Can’t wait!

  • Anonymous

    Sharon, this is a great post. I was thinking of what I REALLY want to accomplish in the New Year, and feeling almost intimidated as it looked like Mount Kilimanjaro on display. I do need to rein it in, and will start by stating (as you wisely suggested) what I wish had been different in 2011. Not a blame game. Just a simple statement of fact. Seeing is believing.

    • Anonymous

      What I like about this exercise, Diane, is that it is not limiting at all, but instead sets the general direction of where you want to head.  Then, instead of facing Mt. Kilimanjaro by yourself, let your subconscious act as guide and porter … let it do your heavy lifting!  See you at the summit!   😉

  • Yes, I agree with Claudia, what a great way to start Boxing Day! I am a Virtual Assistant and I always plan ahead. I love it because it does help me to move forward and achieve my goals. Great article Sharon! Thanks for sharing.

    • Anonymous

      I know you plan ahead, Anastasiya; it’s what makes you a good VA.  But is there nothing from last year that couldn’t be better?  Whatever it is, identify it, and then let your great planning turn it into reality!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you dear Sharon for yet another brilliant, final post for 2011!
    You are indeed quite right to take this approach rather than the “resolution” path, which is almost guaranteed to become a flop within a few days of its inception.
    The power of the mind, or should I perhaps say: “mind over matter” is quite impressive in addition to being a considerable weapon in one’s arsenal to tackle whatever change has to take place in one’s life…
    It all begins in the head!
    You might find the following link interesting in that context…

    Your post has actually made me think about the way in which I carry out my day-to-day business -in the loosest term of the word- and I realize that I shall need to tackle my biggest personal issue: FOCUS!
    There… I’ve said it! In my mind I’m already working out a strategy…
    Bite-size baby-steps toward success, I’d say!

    Wishing you a successful 2012!

    Тhe way I judge you, I’m pretty certain that you have clear ideas of how you’ll be walking the path that you have plotted for the year to come! So, may the new year ahead be all and much more you could possibly wish for!

    With sunny smiles from afar,
    Emm 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Surprise, surprise, Em, one of mine has to do with focus as well!  Doing less so I can do what I do … better.  I loved the video on the brain and on understanding “the world of difference between what we want and what we do.”  We actually know so little about it …

  • Anne (Annie) Berryhill

    Great advice Sharon! I am definitely going to try it this way! Happy 2012 and keep the good stuff coming!

    • Anonymous

      Oh, Annie, you can count on “the stuff” coming in 2012!  I see it as a really important year: one where people finally accept that all the national promises won’t change anything, so it’s up to the individual.  That’s when some will, some won’t.  (You will!)  Here’s to the fun … 😉

      • Anne (Annie) Berryhill

        You have great vision and the graceful ability to articulate it wonderfully!! So many similar ideas are converging for me right now and this fits right in!!

  • Scott

    A great way to set goals and maintain focus going into 2012, Sharon. I think if people follow your suggestions and the WHY behind their goals is strong enough then you have a pretty good recipe for success there. Thanks and all the very best for a happy, healthy 2012!

    • Anonymous

      Scott, whatever means you use to get focused on what’s important in 2012 … focus is what it’s going to take to turn it into a super year.  And, you’re right, the WHY is critical in feeding that focus.  I look forward to watching your year evolve … and watching you soar!

  • Shahina Lakhani

    YES! I love setting intentions, way more powerful! And I have noticed that our psyche moves us towards the intentions we set. Where as resolutions really do not have the emotional appeal and umph. Great article!

    • Anonymous

      It’s such a seemingly small shift, Shahina, yet it makes a world of difference!  Here’s to your powerful intentions taking you precisely where you want to go in 2012!

  • Done! Thank you Sharon for the simple “push” to close out 2011 and set up 2012. Goals adjusted and new year results posted on board. Now that just eliminated one more item on to do list – “got” ‘er done!

    Intention #1 – pay off 2 credit cards in full this year

    Intention #2 – earn extra $50,000 this year

    Intention#3 – #1 & #2 will happen due to extra income generated by achieving Pro7 rank in anti-aging business

    Thank you, love how you broke it down and took a new look at an old task.

    • Anonymous

      And I love how you don’t hesitate to implement … and in that way get stuff off that To-Do list so you can focus on your new targets.  Bravo!

  • Anonymous

    Great advice, Sharon! I have started speaking and thinking in the positive and I can feel the difference.

    • Anonymous

      It’s so important to realize we communicate with our subconscious, knowingly and unknowingly, all the time.  And by harping on the negative, we don’t do ourselves any favors.  Glad to hear you’ve shifted over to the positive, Phil; it will make a huge difference in the choices you make and the results you achieve.  Here’s to a positive 2012!

  • Theis1

    I really like this idea! Thank you for sharing. I think I’ll be doing this before the 30th! 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Jandi, we look forward to hearing how you do by then!  😉  Do share …

  • Great advise Sharon.  I saw goals need be specific but should they be date sensitive by certain date in 2012?   

    • Anonymous

      Different things work for different people, Carol.  For some, intentions are the strongest motivators.  (It’s just resolutions that tend to be fleeting, and that set us up for failure.)  But for goal-setters, goals should be S-M-A-R-T:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and (you’re right!) Time-bound.

  • Yes Yes Yes! Excellent exercise to a positive New Year…I love that you recognize the importance of identifying what you don’t want via looking over 2011 to determine what you do want in 2012. Too often in today’s society we are encouraged to think only “positive” thoughts…and for many that seems near impossible therefore discouraging. Acknowledge what you would like to change, learn from the experience and then make doing better the goal in 2012! Thanks for always providing such enormous value in your articles Sharon. Here’s to sharing a fabulous 2012!!! 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Denny, for all your support throughout 2011!  As we both stretch to reach as many people as we can, to share the lessons we’ve learned (whether the hard way or the easy way, makes no difference) with those who could benefit … I love having a buddy!  Here’s to both hitting it out of the ballpark in 2012!

  • Aj

    Sharon, these are great tips to apply to goals for 2012. I always love simple tips that will make people and myself more effective. Goals are part of the secret sauce.

    • Anonymous

      Glad they’re useful to you, AJ!  I keep throwing out ways we can stop, look inside ourselves, cut ourselves some slack, take some responsibility for our actions … and move forward.  Step by step.  Here’s to a 2012 filled with “secret sauce!”  😉

  • Hi Sharon…you have an excellent way to ‘Awaken Genius’, not just ‘Financial Genius’ but genius in every facet…thank you for sharing and contributing your great education, wisdom and common sense which isn’t all that common…Cheers to Ya! …Thank you, Hughie 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Hughie.  Sometimes we just need to stop, take a deep breath, filter out all the external chatter and figure out what’s best for US as individuals.  And, surprise-surprise, it’s often pretty common sense!

  • Hi Sharon,
    I am a big fan of writing out my intentions and I post them right in front of my face on my desk. I am happy to say that this works for me because I am constantly reminded everyday of my goals.

    • Anonymous

      It really works, doesn’t it Justin?  Here’s to writing some powerful intentions for 2012 and watching them all come to pass!

  • Tbanks3597

    I wish I wasn’t so stressed all the time worried about money and bills. So for 2012, I will not stress over money and my bills will be paid on time.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing that intention, Tbanks!  As you make different life decisions going forward, that focus will help you make good ones.  (I know it did for me.)  It can be a powerful tool if you let it.  Here’s to financial peace of mind in 2012 … something we all want and deserve!

  • Wendy Hanlan

    This was the perfect article for me at the perfect time. I’m going to do it! Thanks Sharon! 

    • Anonymous

      Wendy, here’s hoping you come up with some whopper intentions … and that you achieve them all in 2012!  I don’t see this as a wishy-washy year … instead I see decisive people changing their lives … decisively.  😉  Happy New Year!

  • I just did this exercise, Sharon, and am feeling very clear about the upcoming new year.  What a smart way to turn the negatives into positives that move you forward!  Wishing you the best!

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t that a cool little exercise?  I sat down to write the week’s article and said, “What’s going on in people’s lives this week?  What simple thing (that people can fit into their busy holiday schedules) could make a world of difference?”  And that’s the answer I got!  Warm, warm wishes to you and your lovely family, Amity!