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Why to Stop Creating New Year’s Resolutions and What to Do Instead

Posted Jan 02 2011 7:42pm

flickr: Katerha

I had the same New Year’s Resolutions for over 10 years:  lose weight and save money.

Each year rolled around with me creating the same resolutions, which meant that I had failed the year before, but for some crazy reason, I was convinced that the new year was magic.

Each year was yet another failure under my belt.

Perplexed, I wondered why it is that people desire to change, yet they fail time and time again, especially when it comes to resolutions?

Well, I discovered the answer.  It’s why lottery winners usually go broke within a few years, and 95% of diets fail.  People don’t focus on changing from the inside-out, which is the only way to create lifelong transformation.

The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.  I was tired of feeling insane, so I ditched New Year’s resolutions for something that really worked – creating my being.

When it comes to change, most people go about changing from the outside-in.  They attempt to change their outer world:  a new diet, budget plan or time organizational tool.  These are all action steps that are super important, but to be successful, they must be rooted in a deeper level of transformation that begins in your inner world: your state of being.

If your action steps are not aligned with who you desire to be, you will not experience fulfillment or permanency of your change.

For example, if you desire to create a six-figured business doing what you love, but you have not worked on being confident, capable and wealthy, it is likely that you will sabotage yourself over and over again.

The same goes for weight.  If you want to lose 50 pounds and you start a new diet on January 1st, but you don’t address your underlying beliefs that still keep you locked into thinking like a “fat” person, you will not create healthy weight loss.  You will find yourself slipping into old habits of bingeing out when stressed or eating too much of something just because it tastes good.

Ruling your own world requires that you change from the inside-out. It comes from transforming your mindset, beliefs and how you interact with yourself and your external world.  This is the only way to completely transform yourself, not merely try to mindlessly reach a goal.

After seeing this process work for myself, as well as my clients, I encourage you to drop the resolution insanity (unless you’ve been super successful with it) and try this instead.

Are you ready?

I’ve included a worksheet to guide you through creating your best year ever.  There are six parts, but each one will help you identify what’s been holding you back in the past and what you need to focus on to create your desired outcomes.


Have you ever been in the middle of something fabulous (a vacation, great health, party, etc) and thinking of where you needed to be next?

Part of creating and living a beautiful life is to stop and savor the journey.  Take note of what you’ve accomplished in 2010.  Show gratitude for new relationships formed, victories achieved and memories made.

When you learn to celebrate your life, the Universe will gladly trust you with more experiences to add to your plate.

Creating an End Game

In working with hundreds of clients, I have discovered an effective way of changing from the inside-out, and unfortunately, this can not be found buried in a New Year’s resolution.  It is found when you allow yourself to go to the end and see who you’ve become once you’ve reached your goal.  This is your vision.

Now, let me be clear.  I don’t believe that anything ends.  You’ll continue to create new end games throughout your life.  In fact, I create an end game each day, which is a vision of how I desire to feel at the end of each day, and then I work it backwards.

In working with all my clients, I require that they create an “end game,” which is a vision of who they desire to be (inner world), and then what they desire to create (outer world).

The end game holds what you’re really after:  a feeling/emotional state.  What every human desires is a feeling.  The problem is that people usually create a really complicated middle man to give them what they could give to themselves through their own thoughts, feelings and actions.

Let’s face it, money, weight, the “perfect” man or anything outside of you will not necessarily make you feel a certain way.  Personally, I know a lot of skinny, rich women married to their “dream” mate who are completely miserable.

However, when you create change by focusing on your “being” rather than your “doing,” you’ll find that you transform your inner world, and your outer world must change as a result.  This is when you find the weight relaxing off, the man showing up in your life and abundant blessings everywhere.

Beacon Words

The end game is your vision, and within it, you will find what I call your beacon words.

Beacon words are those words that you mentally see yourself embodying in your end game.  For example, when you see yourself at the end fifty pounds lighter, wearing a silk red dress, maybe you feel sexy, confident and vivacious.  If your end game is a vision of your running your own successful fashion company, you may feel passionate, driven and affluent.

Your beacon words will guide you as you create your best year ever.

When you are faced with a challenge, question, situation or a decision, use these words to help guide your next step.  When at a crossroads, ask what you would do if you fully embodied these words, and you’ll tap into your inner wisdom that will guide you throughout the year.

Your beacon words also will help you set up your day to create massive success, because goals are not reached overnight, but in the daily, consistent thoughts and actions.  When you are clear on who you desire to become, you will no longer be reacting with needless tasks, draining obligations or excessive distractors.

Each morning, give some thought to what a woman who possesses your beacon words would be, do and say to create her day.

Finally, these words will help you transform your beliefs, mindsets and thoughts to create your desired end game.  When you find yourself with a limiting/negative belief (and you will), simply stop, take some nice deep breaths and access the wisdom of the woman in your end game.  What would a woman who fully lived her beacon words think and believe to create her life?

Ruling your own world requires consciousness and effort, especially at the beginning when you first embark on change.  It requires that you rewire your brain for success, which is why  you will need to remind yourself often of your intentions.

Know Your Why

Why do you want to change?  Why do you want to create a healthy body, a successful business, financial security and/or healthy relationships?

I am convinced that a major reason why so many people never achieve their goals is because they don’t identify their own personal “why.”

Your “why” holds your emotional fuel for change and will keep you striving for your goals  when the going gets tough, and regardless of what people tell you, it won’t always be easy.

However, when you are clear on why you are doing what you’re doing, it will keep you aligned with your intention.  This is the key to success – staying true to your deepest desires.

So, what’s your “why”?

Working it Backwards

Plato said, “Know Thyself.”  It’s true that when you know your own personal beliefs, triggers and daily habits, you’ll be able see the possible challenges and obstacles that are likely to present themselves.

Working your year backwards allows you to create your end outcome by navigating your own personal weaknesses by focusing on your unique strengths and fostering the opportunities that will lead to your success.

Creating Your Day

I remember when I had fifty more pounds to lose.  Each time I thought about losing fifty pounds, I felt defeated.  I remember feeling the same way when I started my coaching business.  The thought of creating a business full of clients and programs was way too out of reach when I didn’t have even one client.  This another reason why resolutions don’t work.  The focus is often too big and overwhelming.

Beacon words are a way to overcome this tendency.  When you create your day based on your beacon words versus the big goal, you’ll begin to experience fulfillment each day.

Let me give you an example.  For the first year of my coaching practice, I posted the following words in my office:  connection, commitment and fun.

When I looked at my day, I began to weed out the unnecessary time sucks that didn’t lead to connection, commitment and fun and focused on ways to create the feelings of my beacon words.

In a relatively short amount of time, I had a full time coaching practice with clients that I love.

Jean, a weight loss client, posted the following words in her kitchen:  strong, healthy and confident.  Each time she opened her fridge, she would ask herself, “What does my strong, healthy and confident self choose to eat?”

Your beacon words will drive your daily actions, which will lead you to creating your deepest desires over time.

Sealing the Deal

After creating your end game and excavating your beacon words, it’s time to seal the deal.

Here’s what I suggest you do:

1.  Post your beacon words everywhere (office, car, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) to remind yourself of who you desire to be.

2.  Read your end game at least once a week (but in the beginning, I suggest each morning).

3.  Call a friend/mentor and share your end game and beacon words for the yea

As you create your best year ever, remember Zig Ziglar’s words, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

When you focus more on your “becoming,” the “achieving” is inevitable.

(P.S. After identifying your beacon words, I dare you to head over to the blog and post your beacon words in the comments section.  When you put your desires into the world, magic begins to happen.)

Article by Tonya Leigh. Tonya Leigh Williams is a coach, speaker, and writer. She is  dedicated to empowering women to create amazing lives and bodies without dieting, deprivation and drama.  If you want to learn more about how to lose weight from the inside out,  you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to the Savoring Life E-zine, you can click here:

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