2017 is upon us. I’m sure many of us are looking forward to it. 2016 seems to have been rather a challenging year for so many. And as the impending new year rituals would dictate, many, many people will be sitting down over the next few days to come up with resolutions to ensure (or at least in the hope that) 2017 will be a better year than the one that just passed.
Can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I didn’t become a better person
I’ve been there. I’ve set resolutions. I’ve set goals. I’ve made plans. I’ve worked on SMART goals and even smarter ones. I’ve tried to come up with quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly, and daily goals, the list is endless. Hell, I even developed my OWN goal setting theory. So trust me. I’ve read all the literature, tried all the different schools of thought, I’ve tried it all.
I’m still me. Super awesome, and totally a loser in the new year resolution game. (To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with ME…but “they” say we need to be better, blah blah blah…see my previous post if you aren’t picking up on the sarcasm.)
Now maybe for some people, setting resolutions works. Some people are disciplined enough to follow plans, and abide by rules, and they have excellent time management, and they are okay not eating carbs and cheese. Not this gal. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s important, it’ll get done. I’m like a task ninja. But for some reason, anything that makes me feel like I’m being deprived of something (whether it be me time, family time, things I enjoy, etc) I’m not going to stick to it. *shrugs* #NoApology
Time to power up
So I’ve had a long hard think with myself, and (as the universe tends to do) a timely article fell upon my iPhone last night. It made me realize I was thinking in the right direction.
The article itself was about how to develop presence. (I am always looking for content for my College courses so do a lot of behaviour research.) It described the different ways in which we develop our personal sense of power, our confidence, our “aura”.
While it talks more about developing effortless presence I was immediately able to see the connection between personal power and happiness. You see, we all set goals and resolutions for some pretty primary reasons:
- we want to be better
- we want to look better
- we want others to think we are better
- we want to do better
All of this stems from the same place: a feeling of lack. We feel we are, somehow and in some way, deficient. But compared to what? Compared to whom? Who sets these ridiculous standards of comparison?
Let’s take the example of wanting to lose weight, a common new year resolution. Yet how many of us actually stick to the plan we come up with beyond mid-February (if we’ve actually even made a plan)?
And what happens then? We feel bad, we’re horrible people, we’re weak, we’re totally useless, hand me the damn cake *nomnomnom*.
What a drain on our personal power!
Get to the point, already
So the article says the best way to develop personal power and presence is to reaffirm your core values.
Your core values. Those things that you hold dear. The things that really matter to you and help define you as a person. They can be absolutely anything: your intelligence, kindness, work ethic, family, creativity, outlook on life, spirituality…absolutely anything because they are all about YOU. They are important to YOU.
Research has shown that affirming your core values gives you a “comfortable backbone” – and that strength allows you to navigate better through difficult and stressful situations.
I don’t want to be powerful, I want to be thinner
Seriously though. Who doesn’t want more personal power? Can you imagine how much life would change if you felt stronger and more rooted in YOU? If you feel a personal sense of power and authenticity, then whenever you are challenged (by cake, different opinions, new challenges, etc) you are much more likely to stand firm in what YOU believe and what is important to YOU. You are able to make decisions that matter to YOU.
Isn’t that what we ultimately want? Isn’t that what goals are – a series of decisions that you make every day to achieve something that’s important?
And knowing what your core values are will also help you decide if that goal or achievement actually IS important to you.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
So for 2017…
So here’s what I plan to do: over the next couple of days, I’m going to free write for 10 to 15 minutes about what really matters to me., what defines me as a person, what I believe, and what I refuse to compromise on.
I plan to post this somewhere prominent so I can read it every day. This coming year is going to be less about achieving something that “they” tell me I should in order to be a better, stronger, healthier, whatever person. In 2017 I plan to just be more ME…and every time someone or something comes to challenge that, I’ll be able to stand firm in my own power deciding what’s best for me all year long. Not just in January.
All the best for the new year, loves. May you feel safe with yourself and value you the most.
Interested in the original article on presence? Find it here.