New year, new you

Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

(Photo by Adam Baker)

What I love about the new year is that it is a time to reflect on the past, savour the present with friends (hello champagne!), and look forward to the future. A new year can feel like a fresh start which in itself can be a catalyst for positive change. But – I have a little bone to pick with New Year’s resolutions.
So you made your list of goals for the coming year: start working out, save more money, find more work-life balance. Yes! Love it! But there’s an important step that is missing and that is the why: the core, underlying feeling that you want to experience.
Some might be obvious, and some might take a little more unpacking to get there, so channel your inner two-year-old and keep asking yourself “why?” until you uncover your core, desired feeling.
Here’s an example: “I want to start working out.”
Why? So that I can get into shape.
Why? Because I want to look good on the beach at my cousin’s destination wedding.
Why? Because I want to feel confident.
OK! So now we know that the core desired feeling in this case is to feel confident. Your core desired feeling can be any feeling you can imagine, but let’s use confidence for example’s sake. Working out may help you get there, but it is not working out itself that is the true goal. The true goal is to achieve your core desired feeling of confidence.
Identifying this is helpful for two reasons. One is that it can help you to more strategically choose actions that directly align with the feelings you are seeking to achieve. Working out and getting into shape are great action steps toward gaining confidence, but there may be other things you can do that can attribute to your goal of feeling confident, such as saying affirmations or doing something outside your comfort zone like joining a Toastmasters group for public speaking.
You may also find that once you have identified the underlying desired feeling, the action step that you originally had in mind might not line up so well after all. It’s like when you’ve had a really bad morning so, hell yeah, you’re going to have three doughnuts for lunch because obviously that will make everything better.
But if you sat with the feeling of your crappy morning for a minute, you might come up with other more effective actions like re-arranging your afternoon to make it less stressful or problem solving the morning’s stressors directly (although, sometimes three doughnuts totally is the best solution – let’s be real.).
The other reason for identifying the underlying desire is that it is a powerful tool for motivation. You know how when you were a kid, it was near impossible to save your allowance unless you had something specific that you were saving for? The thought of those brand new rollerblades (what’s up ‘90s kids?) – or better yet, the feeling of freedom gained from having them (“I can get to 7-Eleven way faster on these”) – made it easier to fill that piggy bank instead of spending it all on Slurpees and Spice Girls stickers.
When you’re making your resolutions this year, consider challenging yourself to identify the “why” for each of them and then rewrite your resolutions to reflect your answers. This can help you get clear on what you truly want and stay on track to get there. When there’s a “why,” there’s a way!
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.

9 thoughts on “New year, new you”

  1. I found this to be an excellent read ! Basically if your action doesn’t matchup with your overall feeling , your not exactly accomplishing anything good for you! So do something positive(action) to obtain an overall good feeling !

      1. I d like to share a true story with you Faye and your readers !! I was so tired on the weekend and Monday and I couldn’t figure out what was going on with my body! I was getting the proper sleep , eating right , staying positive ! So I said to myself I need maybe some oxygen in my blood , so I said I’m going to Vita Health to pick up my Aerobic Oxygen and that should help ! Not knowing ( core feeling)) what I needed ,so I went to Vita Health and talked to this lady named Sylvia , told her my issue ( feeling tired) ! She offered a few things until I told her the underlying issue , I work Midnights ! Right away she said your probably low on Vitamin D take 1 gel tablet Daily and see your doctor and they can check your level, to make sure it’s at the right level ! I can t thank you enough Faye !! My action was right but I wasn’t t able to correct my deep core feeling but I m glad Sylvia did !!! I m glad to say I’m on the right track to feeling less tired and more energized!!!

  2. This is an excellent read! So basically if you want to feel good about yourself take a positive action in life to achieve that goal! Because if you don t to anything positive you will probably achieve an undesired feeling !

  3. I d like to share a true story with you Faye and your readers !! I was so tired on the weekend and Sunday and I couldn’t figure out what was going on with my body! I was getting the proper sleep , eating right , staying positive ! So I said to myself I need maybe some oxygen in my blood , so I said I’m going to Vita Health to pick up my Aerobic Oxygen and that should help ! Not knowing ( core feeling)) what I needed ,so I went to Vita Health and talked to this lady named Sylvia , told her my issue ( feeling tired) ! She offered a few things until I told her the underlying issue , I work Midnights ! Right away she said your probably low on Vitamin D take 1 gel tablet Daily and see your doctor and they can check your level, to make sure it’s at the right level ! I can t thank you enough Faye !! My action was right but I wasn’t t able to correct my deep core feeling but I m glad Sylvia did !!! I m glad to say I’m on the right track to feeling less tired and more energized!!!

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