I am a firm believer in making resolutions throughout the year. Taking stock of where you are and where you want to go can help you summon the courage to change your life for the better.
Unfortunately though, most resolutions are short-lived. I think the reason they fail is because most people don’t think their resolutions through and then follow them up with specific goals and action plans with a time element involved.
To increase your chances of success, you need to be willing to set aside time for introspection, goal setting, and strategic planning.
Step 1: Look Within
As you take this journey of self-development, turn inward for guidance. You’ll find that there are some answers that you’ve always known, and some that will be a big surprise. Luckily, highly sensitive people and introverts are intuitive and have a high-capacity for introspection. Your inner wisdom will provide all the inspiration you need to make your resolutions. Below are some questions to think about.
Do you listen to what your body is telling you? As a highly sensitive person and introvert, you feel things more deeply. Use the gift of your high sensitivity to regularly access your physical and emotional health.
If you don’t feel well physically, take a close look at your lifestyle. Are you getting enough rest and exercise? Are you eating right? Do you need medical help? What are you doing to relax?
If you don’t feel well emotionally, try to understand why. Are you taking “alone” time when needed? Are you setting boundaries when you’re overwhelmed? Do you ask for help? Do you have a support system in place? How much stress do you have in your life?
Step 2: Set Goals
When it comes to setting goals, it’s important to consider what is working and what is not working for you. It helps to examine the many different aspects of your life, such as your habits, your stress level, your relationships, and your thoughts.
Habits – We all have some habits we’d like to rid ourselves of, but some are so debilitating that they negatively impact many areas of our lives. Which habits are helping you? Which ones are not serving you? Make a written list. Be aware that the longer you’ve had a bad habit, the harder it may be to break. Patience is the key. On the plus side, research shows that it takes a mere three weeks to establish a new habit.
Stress – Most of us struggle with stress. How can you minimize your stress? Brainstorm some strategies. For example, we often worry about things that are not within our control. To reduce your stress, you could make a written list of these needless worries and decide to let them go.
Relationships It’s important to examine your relationships and determine which are good for you and which are not. A healthy relationship gives energy, while a toxic relationship drains energy. You should work to cultivate the healthy relationships and eliminate or minimize the unhealthy ones. It’s also important to examine your role in these relationships. For example, if you can be a helpful and uplifting person to others, you’ll attract that kind of person to you.
Your Thoughts – We often allow our thoughts to limit what we believe we can accomplish. You have the power to decide which of your thoughts you’ll focus on. Inevitably, negative thoughts will creep into your mind. To lessen the impact of these thoughts, do what you can to clear your mind and break up these negative thought patterns. You should also realize that not all of your thoughts are true. Be sure to question the validity of your thoughts. It takes a real effort to reject negative thinking. This is a skill that takes practice. Be patient.
Step 3: Take Action
Thinking about what you’d like to do and taking action to implement your desires is the formula for having the life you want and deserve. Your success will be determined by the action and non-action that you take.
As I mentioned previously, it’s important to have written plans with a time element involved. You should also be flexible and not afraid to change your plans when needed. There will always be things that come up, and you may need to make adjustments.
Keep a journal of your progress, successes, and setbacks. You should continue to learn about yourself in everything you do. Embracing your strengths and acknowledging your shortcomings will help you craft a life that perfectly suits you.
I encourage you to read books, take classes, participate in online forums, and do everything you can to learn more about yourself, your interests, and the world around you. Make this a never-ending process. You never graduate from the school of life!
Self-improvement starts and succeeds with planning and perseverance. How can you resolve to be better? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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