New Year’s Eve is just around the corner – my husband is humming “Auld Lang Syne” – and I’m thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions.

Honestly, I can’t remember what resolutions I set for myself last year … which means I really do not remember whether or not I succeeded in completing them.  Maybe this year I should resolve to remember my resolution(s) …

To that end, I’ve come up with a three-step journaling plan for creating realistic, joyful, life-fulfilling goals for 2016.

Step 1:  Think about and write out in story form (or draw a comic or paint pictures or in another creative way tell the story of) how you kept a promise to yourself in 2015.

Here are a few examples of what is meant by “keeping a promise to yourself”

  • maybe you remember and kept your 2015 resolultion
  • maybe you said you wouldn’t gain weight in the 2015 holiday season and you succeeded
  • maybe you told yourself you wouldn’t eat that last doughnut – and you didn’t!
  • maybe you wrote down a to do list and you crossed off all of the items on that list
  • maybe you decided to focus on gratitude and you started a gratitude journal
  • maybe you set a bunch of super lofty goals, didn’t succeed at any of them, but then were able to tell yourself “that’s okay, I’m still awesome for what I did get done.”

Once you remember what promise you kept, no matter how large or small that promise may seem, write out the story of how you did that.

Here’s my personal example:

In 2015, after throwing an adult temper tantrum about being unhappy at my job and not being able to use my degrees to the fullest, I paused my whining and started a life-coaching certification course.  Even the application for the course was scary (insert more whining here).  It was like jumping off a cliff and fearing the water below was going to hurt and be freezing cold.  I was accepted to the program and everything started falling into place.  The finances worked out and the time for class and homework was carved out of the schedule.  I went to the classes, completed most of the homework, made friends, and created a business plan.  I faced my fear and started to take steps towards the life-schedule and life-work of my dreams.  I fear another tantrum coming because the path I have chosen doesn’t bring immediate financial security – but, honestly, I think that is the fear of possibility springing forth.  By taking action, I can avoid the tantrum.  As one is truly never done – even if this feels incomplete – this short story has an end.  I am officially a Christian Coaching Institute (CCI) graduate.  I promised myself I would complete the program and I did.

Okay – your turn.  Create your story.

Once you have your story created, review it a few times.  Allow yourself to experience how it feels to keep a promise to yourself.

If your story doesn’t include keeping such a promise – I encourage you to write one that does.  You’ll notice that in my own story the homework was not fully completed and there’s a lot more work to be done.  As I was writing a success story, the story started to focus on the areas where failure sneaked in.  It turns out, the internal story I tell myself isn’t one of success.  I had to tweak and rewrite the story so I could focus on the completion of the program.  Don’t worry if something similar happens to you, just make sure that the final product is a success story.

Congratulations on your 2015 success story!  Be sure to keep the story out where you can find it and have it for step 2, coming tomorrow.