Here we are at the start of a new year, indeed the beginning of a new decade, and many of us have settled on our New Year's resolutions, those promises we make to ourself for goals we want to achieve in the year ahead.
With that in mind, last night, New Year's Eve, I was in a piano bar with Jackie and Not Fake News writer Chris Waldron and his wife. Donna, and I have to tell you, making resolutions was the last thing on our minds. See video above.
Then, this morning, on NBC's Today Show, a "life coach" offered recommendations designed to help us achieve our well-intentioned goals in the year ahead. "Life coach? What in hell is that?" I thought.
I must be living under a rock or something, because I really didn't know there was such a thing. How does somebody decide they are brilliant enough to actually coach somebody as to how to live their life? I thought that's what ministers, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders did. Or psychologists. Or counsellors. I never thought of hiring a "life coach," although some who know me well might recommend that.
Coaches Offer Resolutions Advice
A quick Google search turned up plenty of options of life coaches offering advice on how to set and keep your New Year's resolutions.
There is this article from BetterHumans, "What 26 Coaches Have to Say About Successful New Year's Resolutions." They offer all sorts of advice, some of which seems like common sense, like "start small, try committing to (exercise) 15 min a day 3-4 times a week," and then build from there.
Another one advised, "start meditating TODAY and do so daily!"
OK, I know meditating is good for you, but I always get bored after about five minutes and my mind wanders. I don't think that counts as meditating.
I kind of liked the advice from Life Coach on the Go, Emily Louise Elsey, of Salt Spring Island, Canada, who says she's been running workshops, seminars and more with Simplicity Life Coaching.for years. By the way she also runs a B&B with her husband, Duncan.
Anyway, Emily-Louise writes a blog and this one discusses New Year's resolutions. In fact, she recommends skipping resolutions and instead just set three meaningful goals. I like that idea. Seems doable to me, depending, of course, on the goals.
She puts it this way:
"What I’ve noticed is that new years resolutions are often things we WISH were different but we’re not (really) ready to change. Whereas a meaningful goal is something we WANT to do for ourselves. The ‘New Year’ gives us a great opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months, let go of the past and define the future we want. So why not create an inspiring goal or three for yourself?"
She suggests asking yourself these 10 questions to begin the process:
“If you were to look back 1 year from now, what MUST have happened?”
“If you chose to really stretch yourself, what would you aim for?”
“What are 3 things that would make a difference in your life?”
“What do you want MORE of in your life?” (Make a list)
“What do you want LESS of in your life?” (Make a list)
“For your life to be perfect, what would have to change?”
“What’s one change you could make that would give you more peace/calm?”
“What is one thing you would love to do before you die?” (Your goal could be this, or a STEP towards this)
“What specifically do you want to accomplish this year?”
“What would a home run – in your life/career – look like this coming year?”
I like her approach. Let's see if they can help me reach my goals for2020. I actually have four:
Lose 15 pounds and get rid of my belly which means I have to cut down drastically on my (almost) nightly dish of ice cream. This will be hard, so I joined a gym.
Write that book I've been threatening to do for years.
Take a trip to see some of our majestic national parks, which I have yet to visit.
Make it into year 78 healthy, active and happy.
What do you think? Can I do it? Or do I need a life coach to git 'er done, as they say here in South Carolina?