YOU WANT TO MAKE SOME CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE IN 2023?
- Forget making resolutions.
- Use the emotions of gratitude and anticipation as motivators.
- Try a new approach starting TODAY.
Here is an overview of the process (Some dates are flexible.)
- November 9, 2022: Introduction to a new approach to the Holidays
- November 24, 2022: Thanksgiving Day
- November 29 through December 10, 2022: Revisit your list.
- December 25, 2022: Christmas Day
- December 26 through December 30: Enhance your list (if you can).
- January 1, 2023: New Year’s Day
- January 9, 2023: Begin to change your life.
In two weeks, we will enter the Holiday Season with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
A Different Approach
I’d like to suggest to you that, this year, you take a somewhat different approach to the upcoming “Holiday Season” and these three holidays using your emotions as tools to change your life and your relationships.
The holiday season typically puts us in an upbeat mood.
This positive mood can be used as a motivator to pursue both the emotion of gratitude which is a powerful emotion and anticipation if there are aspects of our lives we would like to change.
Today, and for the next week, take a few minutes and think about 2 to 3 changes you could make in different arenas (personal, family, work, relationships, finances, health) of your life that, when done, will make your life better in some way.
Write down the changes you believe would be beneficial to you (notice I did not say “would like to make”.
Wanting to do something or liking something won’t go far as a motivator. Being beneficial begins to engage your interest which is a motivating emotion.
For most of us, this holiday is about getting together with family, eating too much and vegging out in front of the TV. All of this is good and doesn’t necessarily need any adjustments.
I am suggesting that you use this Holiday to really reflect on what you have to be grateful for in your life.
Whether you share this with your family or not is up to you.
This is a link to a post I wrote in 2019 specifically addressing the emotion of gratitude.
Here are some highlights..
According to an article posted on positivepsychology.com, gratitude can:
- help you make friends
- improve your physical health
- improve your psychological health
- enhance empathy and reduce aggression
- improve your sleep
- enhance your self-esteem
November 29 through December 10, 2022….List of changes.
Once you have begun to express gratitude for all that is going right in your life …
you then use the “glow” that gratitude elicits and begin to think about those aspects of your life you want to change.
This sets you up for making a list of “changes” for 2023. The “changes” you thought about earlier and wrote down now become your list.
Revisit your list and develop some action steps.
“No” to New Year’s Resolutions.
I don’t want you to make New Years resolutions as they do not work.
During the next few days, go back to your list and add 1-3 action steps for each item that are within your ability to accomplish. I did not say that they had to be easy.
Not Easy… But doable.
Because these steps are doable, the emotion of anticipation will kick in.
These action steps will turn your list into a plan of action by noting what you will need to do to make the changes you previously listed.
Once you have this updated and expanded list, put it away and get into the Christmas Spirit.
Between Christmas and New Years …
Revisit your 2023 Action Plan and tweak it as needed.
Ask yourself these questions for each item.
- What desirable changes will occur in my life when I successfully achieve (this change in my life)?
- How will my life (relationships, job, family, health, finances) be improved when I successfully achieve (this change in my life)?
- How will I know that I have begun to successfully achieve (this change in my life)?
- What emotion can I anticipate I will experience when I successfully achieve (this change in my life)? Examples include: happy, accomplished, successful, secure (financially, relationships), etc.
Write your answers down for each item.
Note that just thinking about these changes in your life can elicit the emotions associated with those changes and serve as motivators.
January 1, 2023
Put the list away and welcome in the New Year.
January 9, 2023
Once your life gets back to “normal” (a week or so), take out your list and begin to take action on the first action step of your action plan.
If the week between Christmas and New Years was so hectic that you didn’t get to enhance your list, no worries. You can begin this process now, without any guilt, because asking and answering these questions is, indeed, the beginning of your journey to changing your life.
If you follow all the steps listed above (to the best of your ability), you will be on your way to changing your life and using your emotions as tools to motivate you in that process.