New Year’s ReSOLUTIONS!

 

 

So, did you do it? Did you set New Year’s resolution s? Did you come up with a new vision, goals, or even a yearly theme like I do?

 

If so, I have an important question for you: What is going to make you stick with and achieve those resolutions this year?

 

 

New Year, New Potential

The beginning of a new year is a time of potential. It’s a time of change, growth, transformation—or at least, it has the power to be.

We set goals, make resolutions, or develop a yearly theme to guide our efforts, but do we truly change, grow, transform? Or do we simply set sail only to take a pleasure cruise around the harbor and come right back to port?

We all know the drill. Most of us make a list around New Year’s including things we want to change, to overcome, to quit, to develop, to become! Some of us might have a list pages long of ideas and dreams and goals. Others might have one main focus for the year. It is SO fabulous that we use this time of year to turn our thoughts to self-improvement and personal transformation!

BUT…(and you know what’s coming)… the sad truth is most of us will not actually achieve the things we set out to do. In fact, it’s estimated that only 8% of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them. 8%! That’s the problem with this time of year—most of us don’t fully tap into that potential. Most of us set resolutions only to start slacking a few weeks later, to give up and ultimately feel like we’ve “failed.”

Why? Why is it so challenging to make lasting change? And what are the solutions for overcoming this?

 

Why is Personal Transformation So Hard?

To answer the first question, watch the video below. I created this as a New Year’s gift for my newsletter subscribers (subscribe above, right or below), and in it I reveal the 5 main blocks to change, growth, personal transformation. So, click and watch for answers! (It’s the first of a 3-part series and you can find them all on my YouTube channel!)

 

How can we actually Keep our Resolutions this Year?

What can we do to achieve personal growth and transformation in 2017? If you watched the video above you’ll understand why I believe we need the following 4 things if we want new year’s resolution success this, and every, year:

1) We need to be taught/shown how. We need specific ideas relevant to what we’re trying to achieve, and if someone can actually show us how to make the changes we desire, all the better!

2) We need goals that are tailored to our situation and needs. We need to do things our way, in a way that fits with our life circumstances and situation. We can’t just do it someone else’s way: we need our own way if we’re to succeed. In fact, research shows that of those who set specific goals, instead of making resolutions, up to 90% achieve them!

3) We need support. And the right kind of support. We need people to encourage, teach, and help us along our way. We cannot do it alone.

4) We need to learn the skills of mental fortitude to stick with it. This is where most of us really fail. We were never taught the mental skills we need to get and stay motivated, create realistic and achievable goals, overcome the inevitable roadblocks, and empower our thoughts and beliefs to find success!

4 New Year’s ReSOLUTIONS!

That’s what I want to help you do–develop these skills of mental fortitude so you can truly make this your year for mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical transformation! Over the years, I’ve created many programs, articles, and resources to help you do just this, and below are my faves. I hope you’ll pick one, or more, and get started today!

 

1) NEW! Exercise to Mental Health Personal Transformation Program! 

I’m thrilled to announce my BRAND NEW program, Exercise to Mental Health! In this 6-week online course I developed based on my latest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, I’m taking the research-based principles of mental fortitude presented in my book and bringing them to life.

This 6 session video course all about the “how” of achieving your personal transformation goals. Not only is this a way for you to work with me to build mental fortitude, but it will also teach you how to overcome the roadblocks to success that you’ll inevitably face.

I won’t go into the details here, because I have a brand new website to tell you all about it (http://www.ExerciseToMentalHealth.com). Click that link and check it out, because this is the BEST solution I’ve found to empower you to: 1) develop the skills of mental fortitude you need to stick with and achieve your goals, 2) understand how to make the lasting change you desire, 3) tailor your plan to your unique life and experiences, and of course, 4) do all this while receiving support from new friends and from me! Don’t wait!

 

2) Join me for the Zion Ponderosa Women’s Adventure Retreat & experience “The Adventure of a Lifetime–discovering yourself!”

Yes, this is happening, and I couldn’t be more excited! This is one of the most fun, rewarding, awe-inspiring adventures I’ve ever been on, and now, I’m bringing it to my friends and followers as an exclusive retreat with me to rediscover yourself, build self-worth, and leave with the skills you need to go for your dreams! And all for an incredible discounted rate! 

Space is limited, and registration has just opened, so don’t hesitate! For more info, visit this post all about it, and follow the instructions for specific details and/or to register

3) This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group

One of my first resources to encourage and show people how to “grow through life,” this online video-based group has been wildly popular! Many have even formed their own, in-person groups, supporting friends and neighbors along the way.

And guess what? I’m back for season 3! Yes, coming later this month, I’ll be starting lessons for season 3 of our group, with a whole new theme, a monthly video lesson, and of course, continuing support in our Facebook group.

If you haven’t already joined, it’s FREE and easy. Just click here for details and to register and you’ll receive all the new lessons, as well as links to our past lessons. Oh how I love growing with you!

3) This is How We Grow 30-Day Personal Growth Plan

Based on my bestselling book, This is How We Grow, my FREE 30-day plan is a great kick start! For 30 days, you’ll receive a daily email with a short inspirational “lesson” and activity to promote your personal growth. A great way to get started on your path to personal growth!

4) Join one of my Facebook Groups!

If you’re lacking support, I have a variety of Facebook groups geared toward just that–helping you know you’re not alone, connecting with others going through similar things, and getting inspired, together. Click on one that interests you and join us!

Growing Through Motherhood

“This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group

“Motherhood Essentials” Essentials Oils for Family Health & Wellness

Who Am I Without You? Women’s Breakup/Divorce Support

Growing through PPD: Postpartum Depression/Anxiety Support

Women’s Emotions: Overcoming, becoming, flourishing!

Blog to Book Deal: Author Platform Branding

Growing Through Grief, Loss, Trauma

 

Most of all…

The most important thing you can do if you’re struggling to reach your goals is to reach out for help in some way. Check out one of the posts, below, to help you set specific goals and learn skills of personal growth. And don’t quit until you discover the skills, plan, strategies, and support you need to make this your best year yet!

 

 

Bonus: Suggestion 5–Read one of my books! Great for getting you on your way to personal transformation!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

Join my NEW “Exercise to Mental Health” course and make this your year of transformation!

Click below or visit ExerciseToMentalHealth.com.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

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SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to create an exercise program that works

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goalsAs I write this, it’s the first Monday of the new year, and we all know the first Monday of the new year is the busiest day for personal growth. We turn our thoughts to letting go of the past and creating our vision for the future—or, at least, we try to.

 

We set goals, make resolutions, develop themes, and put our good intentions to work. At least, for a while. Research shows that by the end of January each year, approximately 64% of people are still working on their resolutions, wheras six months later, only 44% are sticking with it.[1]

 

However, we mustn’t give up hope, for research also shows that those who resolve to make positive change in their lives, whether they reach their goals right away or not, are ultimately more successful than those who fail to even try.

 

Why is it so hard to change?

Why is it so hard to achieve personal growth? I have a few ideas…

 

1) We don’t know how to change. We may know we want x, y, or z; we may really want to improve this, or overcome that. But, we don’t know how.

 

2) Change is hard, by nature. It’s part of the process of growth and change to struggle and fail, and to have to go back to the drawing board and try again. Understanding and even expecting this “spiral of change” is the key to true growth.

 

3) We focus too much on our own version of what “successful” change should look like, failing to see how much we’ve actually grown in the process. We think if we don’t stick to our goal, or if we mess up, we’ve failed, so we quit. We give up too soon, not realizing that “success” is really about growing, not about achieving some idealized goal.

 

4) We don’t have the support we need to stick with it. We need motivation, dedication, inspiration to make lasting change! When we are trying to change on our own, we may feel these things for a while, but long-term it definitely helps to have some encouragement, advice, and assistance from others.

 

So, what are we to do?

 

I am thrilled to introduce my This is How We Grow 30-Day Personal Growth Plan!

Register Now!

Based on my bestselling, IPPY Award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow, this 30-Day Personal Growth Plan is designed to show you how to make lasting change, to teach you the skills and tools you need to grow to where you want to be. This plan draws from the lessons, insights, and practical tools and skills I’ve utilized in my own life and with my clients to help you overcome, become, and flourish!

 

Make Lasting Change & GROW!

Whatever your current goals, whatever your current challenges, this plan will be a valuable guide you will want to draw from for years to come. I know, because I’m working the plan along with you! In fact, I’ve created this plan at the suggestion of one of the judges from the book award I received, who said, “You should create a study guide to help people apply the lessons you teach in your book.” That’s exactly what I’ve done, and I hope it will benefit you as much as it has benefitted me.

 

Receive Daily Lessons, Tools, & Inspiration!"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

By registering, you will immediately receive the 30-day Personal Growth Plan Guide, an 8-page eBook complete with the themes for the next 30 days and an inspirational quote for each theme, to pique your interest and keep you motivated!

 

Bonus!

As a bonus, you will also receive a short email lesson from me each day, for the next 30-days, with questions and exercises to teach, encourage, and inspire you in your personal growth journey! Additionally, you will receive videos, worksheets, and other tools and exercises to ensure you not only learn but apply the skills you need to make the positive change you desire.

 

Customized Just for YOU!

 

This plan is designed to complement your unique personal growth goals, to custom fit your needs, desires, and life vision. It is here to motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough, reminding you that each day, you can “Choose to grow.”

 

Don’t miss your chance to GROW!

Register for my This is How We Grow 30-Day Growth Plan here! 

Also, be sure to subscribe, below, (if you haven’t already) so you can keep up to date on other exciting opportunities!

 

Join and stick with me as I teach, motivate, counsel, and inspire you along your personal growth path. It’s far cheaper than therapy! And hopefully, just about as helpful. Join me for your best year yet–a year of overcoming, a year of becoming, a year of flourishing–a year of growth!

 

Register Here! 

 

And if you want more personal growth lessons and support, then join my…
Join Dr. Hibbert's "This Is How We Grow" Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

FREE. Online. Growth. What more could you ask for?
For more details about the Personal Growth GROUP, click here.

 

**Disclaimer: The This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group and 30-Day Personal Growth Plan are purely educational. It does not replace the need for professional mental health care, including psychotherapy.**

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 
 

 

 
 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

This Is How We Grow wins an IPPY Award in NYC & is one of Aspire Magazine’s “Top 10 Inspirational Books!”

Personal Growth & Family Vacation?: 10 Things I Learned in an RV with my Family of 8 for 8 Days

PPD & Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–The 2 Most Important Things

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise!

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to true Happiness

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

 

 

Resources:

[1] Prochaska, J., Norcross, J, and Diclemente, C. (2007). Changing for Good: A revolutionary six-stage program for overcoming bad habits and moving your life positively forward. William Morrow Publishing.

What I’ve Learned About Personal Growth from a Decade of New Year’s Themes

What I've Learned About Personal Growth from a Decade of New Year's Themes; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI know. I just posted yesterday. But one “resolution” I actually made for myself this New Year is to post when I feel like it and write about whatever is on my mind. It is my blog, after all, and I want  to use it a little more freely this year. Yes, I will still write articles and posts as “The Psychologist”–with tips and tools and research and facts. I just want to write more as “The Mom,” and plain old “Me,” too.

 

Today, I want to share something I just realized: I have completed a decade of personal yearly themes. A decade! If you’ve read my memoir, This is How We Grow, or have been following my blog for a while, you know I choose a “theme” each year and work on it for a full twelve months. I’ve actually always been one who enjoys the idea of the New Year. I love a clean start, a fresh look, the possibility of it all. Even as a teenager I used to set New Year’s resolutions–and I actually kept them (or at least most of them)! I can’t say what it is, but I’ve always had a strong drive to improve.

 

Then, one year, I wanted more. As I write in This Is How We Grow, “A few years before this life-altering event, on January 1st, I had been reflecting on the nature of change. What good is all this change, I asked myself, if it doesn’t change me? I craved positive growth. Tired of too-often forgotten New Year’s Resolutions, I came up with the idea of a yearly theme. This theme would serve as my one resolution for the entire year and give me focused, extended practice in mastering it. It would steer me in the direction of the person I wanted to become. It was time to choose to grow.” (p.4)

 

What I’ve Learned from a Decade of New Year’s Themes

Grow, I have. For ten years now. Want to know what my “themes” have been? Well, I hope so because I’m going to share them here anyway (even though I wrote a little about some and a lot about others in This is How We Grow):

2004: “Carpe Diem”

2005: Humility

2006: Charity

2007: Patience

2008: Gratitude

2009: Cheerfulness

2010: Joy

2011: Love

2012: Holiness

2013: Optimism

Now, I can’t say I’ve become perfect in any of these themes. Not at all. I still struggle, on and off, with pretty much all of them. I can, however, say with full confidence that I am more of each of these things now than I ever was before. Even if I haven’t completely changed into the person I want to be, I have learned incredible lessons about each of these traits, my own nature, and my true potential. I have seen and felt myself grow.

 

I could never have predicted how much I would grow nor how many opportunities would arise through practicing these virtues. Who could have guessed I would one day write and publish a bestselling book about these themes? How could I ever have known how I would be blessed with opportunities to teach these virtues and skills to others, to help them grow, too? I had no idea.

 

But now, I know. I know choosing to grow is not only a worthy venture; it is crucial to discovering who we really are, to feeling our true worth, and to becoming even better than we could have dreamed. It is crucial to helping those around us fulfill their purpose and reach their potential, too–especially our children, spouses, family, and friends.

 

How to Create Your Yearly Theme

If you’d like to try a New Year’s theme, allow me to give you a few suggestions. This is how I do it, and of course, something else might work better for you. The point isn’t to do it just like me; the point is simply to do it. To grow.

 

This is my new favorite picture I took on our trip to Mexico, last week. Love the beauty and solitude. I was definitely reflecting in this moment.

This is my new favorite picture I took on our trip to Mexico, last week. Love the beauty and solitude. I was definitely reflecting in this moment.

1) Start with reflection. You can’t know what you need until you understand where you’ve been. As insightful as any of us are, it’s tough to synthesize an entire year of experiences, to learn all the lessons, know what you need next, to have the foresight and awareness right away. So, look back and reflect. I do this every December 31st and January 1st (and sometimes even longer). It helps that I write in a journal all year, so if you haven’t started that habit, you might consider it. I pull out my journal and notebooks (yes, I have more than one. I’m a writer, though, so I’m crazy that way.) Then, I read through them. It’s like reading my year’s story–one step removed, it helps me see things more clearly. However you can, reflect on the past year. Feel what you’ve been through. Appreciate what you have survived. Glory in how you have grown. Then, look for what might come next.

 

2) Envision the year to come. This is my favorite part. As I wrote in my article on Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success, having a vision is crucial to achieving your vision. I look ahead at what I already have planned, at my commitments, expectations, hopes, and anticipated roadblocks for the coming year. I “dream myself to sleep,” letting pictures of all I wish and desire for the next year dance in my head. Then, I take time to ponder what I might need to get me through. For instance, as I write about in This is How We Grow, during one of my toughest years, I chose “Gratitude,” because, “It is in winter that we most need the companionship of a grateful heart… Practicing gratitude reminds us, no matter how dark or cold the skies may be, there is always sunshine within, if we will but look and gratefully see.” (p. 105) Discover what you need, and that will guide your theme selection and make it the perfect choice.

 

3) Give yourself as much time as you need. I don’t force myself to pick a theme right away, because it takes time to get it right. Some years, I don’t settle on a theme until weeks into January. I do not want to spend a whole year working on something I don’t really need. Give yourself time to reflect, ponder the future, and get it right.

 

4) Once your theme is selected, begin to set smaller goals. Work out the smaller goals that are going to take you where you want to go. There’s no rush. Just set goals as you feel the need to throughout the year. Good thing I wrote a post all about successful goal-setting yesterday.

 

5) As the year goes by, let the lessons simply come. Notice them. Write them down. I’ve done this many different ways: with a list in the back of my journal where I write the lesson I learned each month, or by reading books on my theme, or by trying to reflect on my theme each time I write in my journal. Whatever works for you is great. The point, as I said before, isn’t to become perfect. It is to learn and grow.

 

To close, I’d like to share a poem I just read last night, around midnight, as the New Year rang in. It inspired me, and I hope it will inspire you to “hear the truths inside of” you this new year, too. Happy New Year, everyone. Happy growing.

 

I want to travel as far as I can go,

I want to reach the joy that’s in my soul,

And change the limitations that I know,

And feel my mind and spirit grow.

I want to live, exist, “to be,”

And hear the truths inside of me.

~Doris Warshay, in Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones

Do you practice a yearly theme? Resolutions? Goals? How do you select what you need to work on each year? Share your insights with us by leaving a comment below!

 

 

Be sure to check out my bestselling memoir,

This is How We Grow, available now on Amazon.com!

 

What I've Learned About Personal Growth from a Decade of New Year's Themes; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

This year, give yourself the gift of Personal Growth by joining my

FREE, online This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group!

 

 

Don’t miss a thing! SUBSCRIBE, below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow) and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

You may manage your subscription options from your profile

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to True Happiness

New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps for Personal Growth Success

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization

The Positive Psychology of Flourishing: What is it? And am I doing it?

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Parenting Skills Top 10: #1 Do Your Own “Work” First

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Restful Nights & Joyful Mornings? Dream Yourself to Sleep!

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What Matters Most

New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success

New Year's Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

New Year’s is one of the busiest times for goal-setting–for envisioning a new path, for choosing to grow. And if you’re choosing to grow, you’ve come to the right place; I literally wrote the book on it (haha!). One thing I learned through writing This is How We Grow is one of the hardest parts of personal growth is knowing HOW to do it. That’s why I’m here writing this today–to show YOU how to grow, how to set goals that will lead you to personal growth success.

 

3 Reasons New Year’s Goals & Personal Growth Fail

There are many ways to choose to grow (and of  course, growth doesn’t just have to start on January first). Whether you write New Year’s Resolutions, or set goals, or whether you instead use a yearly (or monthly or bi-annual) theme, like I do, there is one thing that can make or break your success: goal-setting skills. See, that’s one of the problems with Resolutions–too many of us write them down without any real plan of attack. In fact, resolutions, and even goals, tend to fail because:

 

1) We try to do too much at once. It’s great to set 10 resolutions, but you can’t really work on them all at once. You’re better off to try one or two and then add more as the year goes by.

 

2) We expect change to come quickly. We set a goal and say, “I’m starting tomorrow,” and then dive in. While that can sometimes work, more often we’re frustrated because we find ourselves slipping, by day three. Instead, we need to realize that change is a process that can take longer than we’d like. There is much more to making change that lasts than we think. (Read this–How to Make Lasting Change: 5 Lessons from the Transtheoretical Model of Change–and you’ll see what I mean.)

 

3) We quit if we “fail.” But the only true failure is quitting. Lasting change and growth usually takes several tries, and readjusting our goals as we make mistakes is part of success. (Again, read this article–it really will help! How to Make Lasting Change)

 

 

5 Steps to Goal-Setting Success

So, how can we set goals that will lead to success?

1) Create a vision of success. Stephen Covey said it best: “Begin with the end in mind.” (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) Too often, we set a goal without a clear vision of what a “successful” outcome might look like. We know

Want beauty and peace? Create the vision, then set the goal.

Want beauty and peace? Create the vision, then set the goal.

we need to lose weight, for instance, but does that mean we can fit in our jeans or does it mean we are shooting for an overall healthier lifestyle? Before you set a goal, get clear on your best-case end result. Close your eyes and envision what you would be like after your goal is reached. Write it down. Then, write down what “success” for each goal would look like to you. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s much easier to achieve it.

 

2) Take the time to create a solid plan. Don’t jump in to the “action” phase of a goal before you’ve taken the time to contemplate and prepare properly. As I explain in my article on the “Spiral of Change,” there are actually six stages of change, and skipping steps won’t help you get to where you want to be any sooner. Instead, think about your vision and the steps it will take to get there. What might get in your way or prevent success? What challenges do you anticipate and how might you overcome them? What time frame is best for this goal, and how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Write all of this down, creating a plan you can follow to achieve your goal.

 

3) Write goals in the positive and use the active present tense. Instead of saying, “I am not going to be negative,” say, “Today, I am acting cheerfully.” Instead of, “I will not eat junk food,” write, “I am eating whole foods because I am a healthy person.” Instead of telling yourself what NOT to do, tell yourself what TO do. It helps you feel more empowered and focused on how to achieve your goal. And speaking in the present helps your mind act as if you have already achieved your goal. It helps you believe in yourself, reminding you of what you are capable.

 

4) Create a way to measure your goal and evaluate your progress. Most goals fail because there is no system of measurement and evaluation. Some are easier than others–losing 5 pounds is pretty specific, while “being kinder” is harder to measure. Instead, create a way to tell how much progress you are making. You might check in with yourself each day to evaluate your progress–“How kind have I been today, from 1-10?” Or you might evaluate once a week by writing about your ups and downs in a journal. Whatever works for you is great, as long as it helps you measure and evaluate where you are. Only in knowing where you are can you get to where you are headed.

 

5) Make yourself accountable and stick with it. Another key to successful goal-setting is accountability. If we have no accountability, it’s going to be hard to stay the course when things get tough. Some of us are great with holding ourselves accountable–checking in, reevaluating, encouraging, and sticking with it on your own–but many are not. According to research, most people do best by having a “partner” to help achieve goals. Consider setting up a “buddy system” with a friend or family member, where you check in and encourage each other regularly. Or, involve your partner or even the whole family by helping everyone set one or two goals and then working to achieve them together. Or, post a goal on Facebook and encourage friends to ask about it. Or, join my This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group for a built in support system. However you do it, make yourself accountable–to yourself and/or to someone else–and you’re more likely to stick with and eventually achieve your goals.

 

Here’s to a year of goal-setting success and personal growth! Happy New Year, everyone!

 

 

What are your New Year’s Resolutions or Personal Growth Goals? What helps you achieve your goals? What stands in your way? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

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New Year's Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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What Matters Most

 

 

 

Summer Self-Improvement: 25 Inspirational Ideas

Summer is here. Again. And that means warmer weather, time at the pool or beach, visiting family and friends, and, for many, changing schedules, travel plans, and time off.

 

Summer Goals

In our home, summer also means summer goals—for the kids. Instead of them lying around, bored, all the time, we sit down at the beginning of summer and create a list of goals, together, that each of them may (or may not) accomplish over the summer. They select their own goals, how many they’ll do, and how difficult they’ll be, but I require they have at least one goal in each of six areas: 1) Education/Intellect; 2) Personality/Character; 3) Hobbies/Talents; 4) Family; 5) Spirituality/Church, and 6) Contribution/Service. They present me with their “summer goals” plan, and we go over it together, deciding how much each goal will be worth. Yes, that’s the other great part of summer goals—they get to earn money to then buy their own school clothes (a win-win for we parents)!  (Watch this quick video for more on summer goals. Or, this one, for toddlers/preschoolers.)

 

Summer Self-Improvement

But sometime, a few years ago, I started thinking, “Why don’t I set summer goals too?” After all, I want to be the example for my kids. And, much as I love summer reading, hammock swinging, travelling, and relaxation (or attempts at relaxation, at least), I also love self-improvement. What better time to work on myself than summer?

This summer, I’m hoping you will join me in my summer self-improvement movement. Below, are just a few suggestions to inspire you. Pick one or several. Then, get to work! After all, wouldn’t it be great, at the end of summer, to be able to look back and say, “Hey, I’m not just tan—I’m actually a better person!”

 

25 Inspirational Ideas for Summer Self-Improvement

1)   Pick a virtue each month and focus on it. Maybe you need a little more patience. Or perhaps it’s courage you need. Pick one, write it and post it on your fridge or mirror, look up a quote or two to inspire you, and practice. Virtues aren’t simply born with us. We can and must work to develop into who we want to be!

2)   Read. As much as you can. Read for pleasure, yes, but also, read to learn. Read many different varieties of books–self-help, history, culture, whatever you like. And read with your kids too.

3)  Laugh. If you don’t laugh enough, look for ways to get laughing! Work on lightening up, having fun, and letting a little humor into your life. Deep belly laughs are a sure sign of health and vibrancy.

4)   Unplug. How much time do you spend “connected” to technology, TV, and social media? Can you (or your family) use a little less time “plugged in?” If so, summer’s a great time to learn how to ditch the tech and reconnect.

5)   Improve your physical space. Use summer as a time to prepare for fall. Pick one area of the house each week, then spend 15 minutes 5 days a week cleaning out, organizing, and beautifying.

6)    Cut the mental clutter. Create internal space by making time for solitude. Teach your kids how to be alone sometimes too. Solitude is crucial to staying in tune with your spirit and what matters most.

7)   Get still, ponder, meditate. If you’ve never tried meditation, summer’s a great time to give it a go. Meditation is one of the best habits you can form for mental, emotional, and spiritual health. (Watch this 30 second “basics of meditation” video to get you started. Or, check out Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, “Mindfulness for Beginners.”)

8)   Eat as many colorful fruits and veggies as possible. Filling yourself up with the good things leaves less room for the not-so-good and gives you energy too.

9)  Try 24 hours without criticizing anyone nor anything. That includes thinking criticisms. When you make a mistake, the 24 hours start over. It’s harder than you think; at least, it is for me.

10) Take a class. Ever wanted to try oil painting, Zumba, or horseback riding? Why wait? Summer’s a great time to try something new! It will keep your mind fresh and might even lead you to discover your life’s passion—who knows?

11) Spend quality time with your kids. Set aside 20-30 minutes (or more) each day to get down and do what they love to do. Really focusing on Summer Self-Improvement--25 Inspirational Ideas; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comthem helps you stay connected and reduces the “I’m bored” syndrome! (Check out this tip too)

12) Incorporate more play into your own life. Did you know play is actually a vital part of mental, physical, and emotional health? Set aside 20-30 minutes (or more) a day for you to play, run, laugh, joke. If you need to improve your play (and most adults do), there’s no time like summer!

13) Rest. If you’ve been sleep-deprived all year, it’s time to focus on getting more sleep, naps, and down time. Sleep is the core of health. And, we need “down time” to prevent stress and burn out too. Prioritize sleep, rest, and R&R this summer. And, if you’re a parent, set a “quiet” or “nap time” every afternoon to help your kids learn to prioritize rest and sleep too!

14) Get to know yourself. Start a journal and explore who you really are. Start by listing your strengths and weaknesses, adding to the list as summer goes on. When others criticize or praise you, look at it as feedback to help you in your search to better understand yourself.

15) Learn how your thinking affects your body, feelings, and behaviors. Start noticing the thoughts running through your mind all day. Try a thought record, to help you understand and change your thinking and improve your emotions and behavior. (This is one of the best things I’ve ever learned to do! A fabulous summer goal!)

16) Practice seeking joy. Remember, joy is in the moments. Look for the joyful moments each day. Write them in a journal so you’ll never forget.

17) Get grateful. Start practicing gratitude. Research shows it’s one of the best things you can do to feel happier, and you can start today!

18) Improve a relationship. Select one loved one and choose to really love them this summer. What is their love language? How can you show them your love and help them feel how much they mean to you? Make it your summer project.

19) Move your body! There’s no time like summer to improve your fitness. Go for a hike. Swim. Take a walk each day at sunset. Forget about how many calories you’re burning or how hard you’re working. Just get out and enjoy the green world around you every day. It will start a habit of motion and get you FITT!

20) Forgive someone. Lighten your own load by letting it go. Keep letting it go as often as you need.

21) Practice and freely share your talents. It can be scary to get up and share with others, but it makes you practice hard, and it’s one of the best way to improve!

22) Volunteer. Serve at a soup kitchen, make hygiene kits for those in need, pick up trash, or watch a friend’s kids so they can go on a date. Serving others is one of the greatest habits you can develop and will make a huge impact on your character. And, if you can serve as a family, it’s even better!

23) Overcome fear. When you want to try something new but feel frozen in your tracks, take a deep breath and do it anyway. Or, start small by signing up for something that will happen later this year or next: A course, a class, a job, a race you’ve always wanted to try. Look to the future and plant a seed today.

24) Discover your true worth. If your self-esteem isn’t where you wish it were, make it your summer plan to seek the true you and practice self-love.

25)  Appreciate where you are. Enjoy the “now.” Look around. See the beauty. Hear the peace. Smell the goodness. Feel the warmth. Taste the sweetness that is everywhere, if you will only look and see.

 

**26) Oh, and one more thing. No matter which self-improvement idea you decide to try, please make sure and follow this excellent advice: “Do your best, and be a little better than you are” (Gordon B. Hinckley). That’s all we have to be. Just a little bit better, each and every day.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. Learn and Grow with Dr. Hibbert and her community of really great people, self-improving people![/author_info] [/author]

 

Summer Self-Improvement-25 Inspirational Ideas-www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Have some summer self-improvement suggestions? I’d love to hear them! I’d also love to know what you’re working on and how it’s going. Let’s help each other this summer! Leave a comment below.

 

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Suggested Reading:

Jon Kabat-Zinn. “Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the present moment and your life.”

Beyond Resolutions: Discovering Your New Year’s Vision

Beyond Resolutions:

Discovering Your New Year’s Vision

 

My New Year’s Vision

“A few years back, tired of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and needing an entirely new approach, I developed the idea of a ‘yearly theme’. What I really wanted was to move away from the small, too-often forgotten goals of New Year’s resolutions toward a more meaningful practice of personal development. Having a yearly theme would serve as my one resolution for the entire year and give me focused, extended practice in mastering it.

 

“My first year’s theme was ‘Carpe Diem’—a time in my life when I was ready to take on the world as a freshly licensed Clinical Psychologist, mother of three, and starter of a non-profit organization. I think I ‘Carpe’d’ a little too much ‘Diem,’ if you catch my drift, and ended up completely burned out by the end of the year. But somehow it was all ok; it was the exact lesson I needed at that time and paved the way for the next year’s theme, ‘Humility’. And that’s what I have found every year: my theme-selection process produces uncanny results” (excerpt from This is How We Grow, Hibbert, 2013).

 

I don’t take my theme selection process lightly. After all, if I’m going to be attempting to master something for an entire 365 days, it had better be a worthy opponent. When December rolls around, I begin my theme-selection process by evaluating the year past and pondering the year to come. Sometimes I’ll just know what the theme for the next year will be, but more often than not, by December 30 and 31, I’m deep in the process of sorting it out. I will have pulled out my previous year’s journal and read through the more important entries to get a feel for where I have been—for my strengths over the year, the ways in which I have grown, and the weak spots that need a little more nurturing–and I will have created a list of theme ideas that might suit me for the year to come. But mostly, I will pray. And I will ponder. And I will write. And I will listen.

 

And when I do this right, it leads to, not just a list of nice ideas that might help me be thinner or more organized or happier, but to a purpose—my vision for the year to come.

 

My New Year’s Vision for YOU

So, my advice to you at the start of this New Year is this: Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t settle for resolutions that lack meaning and depth. Goals and resolutions are good and well, as long as there’s a bigger picture and purpose to them, as long as they are steps on the path of your greater vision.

 

Take the time to evaluate your life, to see the strengths and the weaknesses, to listen. What do you need to learn this year? What needs a little more nurturing in you? Then, don’t just choose to change this year–choose to grow.

 

This is my New Year’s vision for you and for me–May our New Year be one of growing, and may we grow lavishly.

 

 

What is my “theme” for this year? As I write this post, I’m still working it out. I’m getting close, though, and hope to be sharing it in the comments (below) soon! 

In the meantime, what is your goal for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings about this time of year. How do you tackle the new year? What are you choosing to work on? And especially, are you with me in “choosing to grow?” Let’s do this together!! Share your heart with us in the comments, below!

 

PS-I do have one actual “resolution” this year, I admit. You can read about it in this article from Psych Central!

 

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Check out my bestselling memoir, This is How We Grow!

Related Posts:

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G.R.O.W.

Where Really Great People Meet!

 

 

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