Get Smart: Setting New Year’s Resolutions

by Cyle Talley

It’s a new year, tiger, another chance to prove that you’re worth a damn – after you’ve shaken off that hangover, of course. Let life coach Mindy Meiering give you some tips on how to get up off of the couch and make something of yourself.

Let’s say I wanted to make a resolution—

My first question would be, ‘Why is that important to you?’ So often, we think in terms of “shoulds.” I should make this amount of money. I should weigh this or that. But why? Really, the question ought to be a matter of values. What’s important to you? What do you want to achieve, rather than what should you achieve?

I get the idea that you don’t much care for the word “resolution.”

Well, it holds a negative connotation, doesn’t it? There are articles every year about resolutions failing and being forgotten. We make these lofty resolutions – ‘I’m going to lose 20 pounds,’ ‘I’m going to go to the gym five days a week’ – and they have a tendency to fall flat and fizzle out. Go to the Rec Center in January and try to find a treadmill. You can’t do it. Go back in February and they’re all available. I tell my clients to make an inspired goal and to pair that goal with an intention. Something like, ‘I intend to make my home a more serene space,’ rather than, ‘I’m going to spend an hour a week de-cluttering my house.’ It’s more positive and it gives us something to aim at, and that’s what’s really important.

Okay, how do I set an inspired goal?

Take some time to reflect on your values. If you value being outside, but you make your goal to work harder on your business, you’ve dug yourself a hole. I advise my clients to take some quiet time and to write down what’s important to them. Then, organize those values into personal spheres – relationships, fun and recreation, spirituality – and business spheres. It’s also very important, not to mention extremely valuable, to reflect on the past year. This is something that a lot of people fail to do, but it’s a vast source of information. Think about what went right, what could use some improvement, and how things went in a more general sense, then use that to move forward.

As a life coach who tends to so many other peoples’ goals and intentions, how do you go about keeping your own?

I try to practice what I preach. I have a quiet, reflective time each month where I look back and take stock of how things are progressing, where I might need a bit of redirection, and then reorient myself in the context of the bigger picture. I check in with myself and try to be as honest as I can. I also have mentors and people that I share my goals and intentions with, and they check in with me and help to keep me on track.

Is it just a matter of self-discipline, then?

No, I think it’s much more a matter of creating for yourself structures of success. If you want to cut sugar from your diet, but you have a pantry full of Oreos, potato chips and junk, it’s going to be pretty tough to follow through. Pitch that stuff in the garbage and start with a clean slate. You’re giving yourself a real chance to be successful, because you’re not tempted in the first place. It’s also really important to have support. Find a mentor or an accountability partner and be transparent with them.

Give us some “ra-ra” coach stuff. Fire us up to set some goals!

Well, for starters, good for you for taking the time to set goals and intentions! Remember to check your values and to make your goals inspired. It should feel like you’ve given yourself a gift when you achieve those goals! Create some support structures in your life, but most importantly, take the time to celebrate when you achieve. Successes build on themselves and it’s important to recognize the moments when your work comes to fruition!

Cyle TalleyCyle Talley liked the snow at first, but has gotten pretty tired of shoveling snow, and bringing an extra pair of shoes to work.


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