5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution – Even if You Never Have Before

I think the worst part of New Years is the pressure to make a resolution. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that the New Year is a great time to take a look at one’s life and figure out what one might do differently but the prospect of making and keeping a RESOLUTION seems so overwhelming and fruitless.

I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to make a resolution and stick to it and bring about real change in your life. You just have to approach it in a way that will ensure success.

Here is my latest…5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution – Even if You Never Have Before.

#1 – Like, no LOVE, your resolution.

There is lots of pressure to come up with a New Year’s resolution. I mean what else can you talk about at your New Year’s Eve party other than your drama filled Christmas dinner?

The first rule of keeping a resolution is to actually like it, to be passionate about it. Sure, we can all say we want to lose 5 pounds or be nicer to our kids or spend less time at work but is that what you REALLY want. Does thinking about your resolution get your heart pounding, your blood rushing, your cheeks flushing?

If yes, go for it.
If no, it’s not the right resolution for you.

What you want for your resolution is something that will make your heart sing. Something that you really, really want to happen, something that you will make a priority in your life.

Because if you want something really badly you are more likely to work hard to get it.

#2 – Make your resolution a little smaller.

Most of our resolutions are BIG. Big because we want to bring about big change in our lives and we tend to like to go BIG when we make declarations.

The problem with BIG is that it sounds good at conception but is hard to complete during follow through. We live chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting lives and trying to pack in a whole bunch of change at once is simply not sustainable.

And when something is not sustainable we give up.

So make your resolution smaller. Want to lose weight, eat better and get more exercise? Sounds great but chances are if you try to change your diet, get off your butt and lose weight all at the same time you will fail because that’s a lot of change at once.

So choose one of these things as your resolution.

Try choosing exercise. Make some time for exercise 4 days a week but continue to eat the way you do. You might find that once you start exercising regularly you will want to tweak your diet a little bit because you are feeling so good and once you do that you might lose weight.

Or try choosing to eat better. Tweak your diet a bit, without adding the pressure of exercise. You just might find that eating better makes you feel healthier which might get you exercising more which could lead to weight loss.

See how this works? Choose one thing. Anyone can do one thing, especially you.

#3 – Write it down.

A sure fire way to succeed in your resolution is to write it down.

It’s easy to declare at the stroke of midnight what you are resolute about in the New Year but putting your resolution onto paper is a key to succeeding at keeping it.

Capturing your words on paper will serve two purposes. The first is that the words are no longer just floating around in your head but they have been captured. And words that are captured are more easily remembered.

The second reason to write something down is that now you have physical proof of your resolution. This proof you can put at the top of your to-do list or on the fridge or next to your bed. Somewhere where you will see it regularly and be reminded of it.

So write down your small resolution. Be as specific as possible. Don’t say “get more exercise” say “walk 1 mile 3 times a week.” Don’t say “eat healthier” say “add vegies to my dinner during the work week.” Clear, measurable items.

#4 – Find someone to hold you accountable.

We all mean to keep our resolutions. Really we do. We share them with our friends and family and they are excited about them but then they go off to keep their own resolutions and forget about yours.

And more often than not they fail at those resolutions and don’t want to talk about resolutions at all, ever again.

So find someone who will not only hold you accountable but who can help you take measurable steps to hit that resolution out of the park.

My recommendation? A life coach. Namely ME!

#5 – Reward yourself.

We all like to think that keeping a resolution is a reward unto itself and in a way it is. Losing weight would be wonderful. Feeling healthier could change your life. Succeeding would make you feel so much better about yourself.

And, yes, these things are true but really we all love rewards. LOVE REWARDS.

So think about something that you could reward yourself with if you succeed in sticking to your resolution. Something that would make your heart sing.

Last year a client resolved to be nicer to her mother-in-law. She made a list specifying what that would look like and we set out a timeline for her to make those things happen. We had monthly benchmarks to review her progress.

We decided that if she met those monthly goals she would reward herself with a manicure, something she loved but rarely indulged in. We also decided that if she kept it up for 6 months she would get a massage as well. And, the cherry on top, if she was still being nicer to her mother-in-law in one year she would get a spa weekend away.

I know, you are probably thinking that this is one selfish resolution but it worked! My client was able to consistently get along with her mother-in-law, which completely changed the dynamic in her family, and along the way she got beautiful nails and a little self care. Really it was a win/win for everyone.

So there you go, my 5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution.

As a life coach I am a big believer in life change. I think we all need to shake things up to keep things interesting and make ourselves happy. I also believe in doing it one step at a time.

So think carefully this year before you make your resolution. Make sure it is something that will truly make your face flush and your heart pound.

This is the year you can do it! I know you can.

Need more help reaching your goals? Contact me and I can help.

 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things You Can Change to Be Happy – Even If Change Scares the $*%& Out of You

Change. Many of us dread it. We are plodding along just fine so why do we need to change anything? Change just causes stress which only leads to more unhappiness. Right?

Ask yourself if you are really happy. If you got hit by a bus tomorrow would you go to the other side with no regrets? Have you lived a life that made your heart sing?

If your answer to my question is yes, well done!

If your answer to my question is no, read on.

Here is my latest: 5 Things You Can Change to Be Happy – Even If Change Scares the $*%& Out of You.

# 1 – Your thoughts.

You know those pesky thoughts that incessantly course through your head? You know the ones. The ones that tell you aren’t enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not successful enough.

Yes, those thoughts. The thoughts that are holding you back.

Did you know that letting those thoughts run rampant through your head does only one thing – allow those things to become your reality. Running negative tapes manifests negative outcomes. Running positive tapes manifests positive outcomes.

It’s time to change those thoughts. It won’t be easy but with a little determination you can bring about big change.

One of my clients had spent a lifetime telling herself that she just wasn’t worthy of love. A variety of factors had led her to believe this to be true and because her brain consistently reinforced her belief she had a hard time finding someone to love her. And not finding love reinforced her belief that the words in her head were true.

I challenged her to challenge those thoughts. To talk back to the negative thoughts and provide evidence that they just weren’t true. When she thought that no one ever loved her I encouraged her to make a list of those who had. Her various boyfriends throughout the years, her parents, her friends, her kids, the barista guy who had flirted with her for years. Those people liked and loved her. Happily.

She kept this list easily accessible and when that dreaded thought reared it’s ugly head she referred to the list. Gradually that thought in her head, being starved of reasons why it was true, became much quieter.

And then, armed with her new feeling of self worth, she flirted back with that barista and it looks like she just might live happily ever after.

#2 – Your mind.

Ok, so you have a disagreement with someone over something big or small. Politics. Who left the toilet seat up.The color of the sky. Which is better, crunchy or smooth peanut butter. Everyday stuff.

That disagreement gets heated and there is just no settling the difference of opinion. You both stalk off in a huff.

Sound familiar?

How important is it to you to be right all of the time? Are you capable of looking at both sides of an argument and maybe being swayed to change your mind?

Being able to change your mind is a powerful thing. It is not the weakness that some might see it but really a great strength.

I have a client who always had to be right. In any and every conflict she dug in and insisted that it was her way or the highway. As a result her relationships were struggling. Her spouse spent most of his time working on his golf game, her teenagers only talked to her when they needed money and she knew that her co-workers avoided her.

It was only when I started pointing out to her how many times in one hour she said “but I was right” did she start connecting the dots. Her desire to be right was alienating her from all that was good in her life.

My client made a conscious effort to change her behavior: she decided to start picking her battles. Things that weren’t as important to her she would let go. Who left the toilet seat up? Who cares. The color of the sky? Who knows. Smooth or crunchy? Oooh, that’s a tough one.

As a result of being able to change her mind my client became a lot more pleasant to be around and her loved ones returned. She learned, the hard way, that not being right all the time felt a whole lot better than being right and alone.

#3 – Your habits.

Yes, we love our habits. And we all have many of them. Habits are very comfortable and allow us to go through our days on auto-pilot.

Habits can be anything. Eating the same breakfast everyday, always driving the same route home, stopping for a doughnut before picking your kids up from school. Habits. Like a comfy pair of slippers you can wear all day.

I am not suggesting that you break your habits completely but a little shifting can make a big difference.

Try eggs instead of cereal for breakfast one morning – you could find they give you more energy for your day. Drive a different way home from work and you might find the Thai restaurant of your dreams on that alternate route. And, while doughnuts are yummy, there is a whole world of sweet junk food out there to indulge in on your way to school. Ever tried a Yodel? It will change your life.

Try it. Change things up a little. See what you discover in the process.

#4 – Your relationship.

I can’t tell you how many clients of mine stay in a relationship WAY past it’s expiration date. Past the point where it is full of love and joy and healthy companionship. Instead they live in relationships that make their every day a sad place, a place that causes them to be depleted instead of fulfilled.

We stay in relationships for many reasons. Because of the kids, because of finances, because of the mistaken belief that we will never find someone else to love us. All of these reasons are valid and worth consideration. But just for a minute, consider this…

Imagine waking up in the morning next to someone who makes your heart beat faster. Imagine holding hands with that person walking to the subway, talking about your upcoming day. Imagine a lunchtime phone call from that person who just wants to hear your voice. Imagine the feel of your heart skipping as that person walks in the door at night. Imagine that person wrapping themselves around you as you drift off to sleep.

How do all of those imaginings make you feel? If they make you feel good, deep down to your core, pay attention to that. If that’s not how you feel about the relationship you are in right now it’s time for a change.

Because, really, wouldn’t being really and truly loved in 2017 be a wonderful thing?

#5 – Your friendships.

Yes, our friendships are incredibly important. A good friend can make all of the difference getting through good times and bad. I know that I have a friend for every mood and am incredibly thankful for each of them.

On the flip side there are those friendships that are not fulfilling. Those friendships that are one sided, or two faced or life sucking. It is these friendships that need to be considered.

I have a client who had a life-long friend. They grew up together and then settled in the same town to raise their kids. A few years back my client’s friend started having trouble in her marriage. My client was there for her friend, letting her rant about her husband’s behavior and accompanying her for dinners out so she wouldn’t have to go home. That’s what a good friend does, after all.

My client began to notice that her friend started criticizing my client’s marriage. She would point out issues with my client’s husband and their relationship. She would get angry when my client wouldn’t recognize or acknowledge those issues. My client started getting paranoid about her relationship, wondering if something was happening that she just wasn’t seeing. She was a mess.

After working with me she started to see that her friend was projecting her helpless unhappiness onto my client. My client had to choose to walk away from the friendship. It was painful but it had to happen. For my client’s happiness and the health of her marriage.

Interestingly, when my client pulled away from her old friend that friend, missing an outlet for her anger, was able to take a clearer look at her marriage. This clearer look allowed her an opportunity to actually do something about it. And she did.

So there you go, my 5 Things You Can Change to Be Happy.

2017 is upon us. Another new year and another opportunity to live the life of your dreams. And the best way to do that is to start approaching your life differently than you have been approaching it thus far.

Albert Einstein said that you shouldn’t try to “solve problems with the same consciousness that created them.” If you are unhappy in certain areas of your life it’s time to make some change. Change that will allow you to approach that issue in a new way. A way that might actually be effective.

Imagine living the life of your dreams. A life full of everything that you have ever wanted. You can make this happen by simply having the courage to make some changes.

You can do it! You are worth it!

Looking for more ways to bring about change? Contact me and I can help.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons to Speak Up – Even if it’s All You Can Do to Whisper

How many times have you wanted to say something and just haven’t? A great idea you had at work, a frustration with your mother in law, words of anger at someone who treated you badly? You open your mouth to speak and nothing comes out.

More than once I am guessing. Correct?

And how does it make you feel? Not so good, right?

There are 405,358 reasons to speak up. Here are 5 of them.

My latest: 5 Reasons to Speak Up – Even if it’s All You Can Do to Whisper.

 

#1 – Spoken words prompt action.

If your words are in your head, not spoken, they will stay there, out of the light, ignored and irrelevant. Wasted.

Letting your thoughts out into the world can and will prompt action.

I had a client who was talking to her boss about a Huffington Post blog that the company managed. My client remarked that she didn’t know about the blog and her boss said that it had been neglected and was not in use.

My client immediately thought “I want to do it.” And then she sat up and she said “I will do it.”

She now writes weekly for the Huffington Post.

Not too shabby for letting a few words out of her head, eh?

#2 – Words stuck in your head can fester.

For me, unspoken words don’t just sit quietly in my head. They take on a life of their own, playing themselves over and over, sometimes shifting in size and shape, forming and reforming into something that can be almost monstrous. And that monster causes me a lot of pain.

My ex-husband has an incredibly frustrating habit of not returning my emails. For 5 years I have been trying to get him to return my emails and he just can’t, or won’t, do it.

For a long while I didn’t speak up about it. I would patiently wait a few days, hoping for the best. And then I would start thinking about it, wondering what he was so busy doing that he couldn’t get back to me.

And then I would start obsessing about it, wondering why he had so little respect for me that he wouldn’t take a few minutes to return my emails. The thoughts in my head were spinning in a truly ugly, self-destructive way.

I would email him again, angry and accusing. And guess what. He still wouldn’t return my emails.

So now, when I email him, I ask him to respond in a certain window of time. More often than not he obliges and on we go.

Asking for what I needed from him helped keep those festering words from destroying my mental wellness and, ultimately, our relationship.

#3 – Words can keep disagreements from spinning out of control.

One of saddest side effects of not speaking up is the pain that can happen because of disagreements. Disagreements that can happen just because of words that are not spoken.

Think about the last time you and your partner fought. You were standing in the kitchen, having a conversation about something inconsequential, and then something came up that upset one or both of you. Before you knew it you were yelling at each other and someone stormed out of the room.

That night your partner slept on the sofa and you didn’t sleep at all. Breakfast the next day was a nightmare and you couldn’t concentrate all day at work. Not good.

Imagine another scenario. You and your partner, in the kitchen, something comes up and you start yelling. Imagine if, instead of storming out of the room, you stand your ground and continue to talk.

Imagine if, because you actually had the conversation that needed to be had and you worked through your differences, the argument was settled and finished for good, and you were able to then headed upstairs for a little “House of Cards” before bed.

Both of you slept like babies because the words have been said and the issue settled.

Which one sounds better to you?

#4 – Speaking out helps build your self-esteem.

There is nothing better than speaking up about something that you think is important to speak up about. Not only does it create action, keep things from festering and stop disagreements in their tracks but it also makes you see the power that you have with your words.

A client of mine was in a situation where there were 4 tickets to her daughter’s graduation. Three would be used for her son and her ex-husband and herself. The fourth was up for grabs.

Historically, my client would have wanted to keep the peace and given the ticket to her husband’s new wife. But, really, she just didn’t want to do that so she decided to speak up. She told her daughter that she didn’t want the ticket to just go right to her dad’s husband but that they talk about to whom it might go. Her daughter said “I tell you what, I will just bring my friend Nina” and the matter settled.

My client not only felt great about speaking up and advocating for herself but she also could relax into the knowledge that she would be able to fully enjoy her daughter’s big day without the self recrimination created because of words that she hadn’t spoken.

#5 – How else can you change the world?

Really, if people didn’t speak up how would we be able to change the world?

All it takes is one idea. Big or little. And the effects can be far reaching. Of course you can tell yourself that your one little idea won’t make a difference but it can!

A client had a college-aged son who was drinking too much. She didn’t know what to do. She talked to him and talked to him, to no avail. And then she had an idea. “Give him the dog.” She knew her son loved that dog and she knew that the responsibility of keeping it alive would be an important thing for him.

But she wasn’t sure about asking him. Would he think it too much responsibility? Would her ex-husband cut the idea to shreds? Would everyone hate her for being so nosy?

She decided to take the risk and spoke up. She told him that it was time, that he was ready to have the responsibility of the dog. He loved the idea. The look on his face when he heard that she thought him responsible enough was totally worth the risk.

The dog now spends long weekends with her son and he is drinking far less.

She had an idea and she shared it. And it could very well change the life of her whole family and that of future families. What a gift.

So there you go. My 5 Reasons to Speak Up.
Speaking up is not an easy thing. We don’t speak up because of fear, or lack of confidence or a lifetime of not knowing how to do anything differently. If we learn to speak up it will get us straight onto the pathway to living the life of our dreams.

So start small. Today. Tell someone something that you might not ordinarily tell them.

Tell your partner you love them. Your child that you are proud of them. Your boss that you have a great idea for that meeting next week. Your mother-in-law that you love having dinner with them but that this week just won’t work because you have tickets to the Nutcracker for your family.

Speak your truth, big or small. Raise your voice above a whisper.

Change the world.

Looking for more ways to speak up? Contact me and I can help!

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!