caitdonovan.com New Year's Resolutions Suck

New Year’s Resolutions Suck. Read This Instead.

No, seriously. New Year’s Resolutions Suck.

 I’d like to share with you what I do instead of New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions suck, we all suck at them and we all get sucked into them. A few years ago, I started choosing a theme for the year instead of making resolutions. 2015 was Curiosity (instead of anger) for 2016 was Opportunity and the theme for 2017 was Growth. This focus on a theme instead of a set of out of reach goals has made my life easier, more fulfilling and more interesting.

2015 – Curiosity

2015’s focus on curiosity came about because of my natural (or learned) tendency to become easily annoyed at… everything. I decided that if I could be curious about things instead of angry, I might come to a place where I was more understanding of other people and I would save myself the cost of that constant niggling frustration.

I loved it. I’d choose Curiosity again if I didn’t think there were so many other interesting things to focus on. Being curious about how people think, function and feel opened me up to a level of empathy that I didn’t know I had. It helped me remember my own mistakes and be less harsh toward myself as well as others.

2016 – Opportunity

2016’s word of focus was gifted to me by my niece, Julia. We were together for NYE and I had just been dumped by my guru. I was in a state, to say the least. We were chatting on what we could each focus on for 2016, outside in the cold with some mulled wine by a bonfire. She looked at me and said “Opportunity – that’s your word for this year”. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had just been basically eliminated from the plans I had created for the next 5 – 10 years of my life so the idea of focusing on what else might pop up opened up a whole new world for me.

It lead me to trips with friends, books I loved and eventually into 2017, where I focused on personal growth.

2017 – Personal Growth

I’ve learned more this year than I have in ages. That’s saying a lot for a self proclaimed lifelong student. I love reading and learning but this year pushed my boundaries. It also pushed the boundaries of what I thought was possible and the boundaries of my relationship. When someone grows by leaps and bounds, a new sense of balance must be found within a relationship and we see-sawed a minute before we found it. The year of growth led me to B-School, Marie Forleo’s business school online. It was one of those instances where I fell in love and felt totally overwhelmed at the same time. I had no idea how many things I didn’t know. I had no idea how capable I’d turn out to be.

I built a blog, a website and an online course – in 7 months. (If you have or want an online business, just do B-School. You need it. You don’t know it yet, but you need it… I’m not an associate, I don’t get money for recommending it but I do it anyway because it’s that good.)

 

Now, it’s time to decide on 2018’s area of focus.

 

In order to do that, I asked myself these things and I think you should do the same if you’d like to drop the resolution nonsense and try something new. Get Honest and answer these for yourself: 

 

  1. What were my favorite books that I read in the last year?
    The Book Of Joy (Dalai Lama / Desmond Tutu)
    Finding Your Own North Star (Martha Beck)
    Braving The Wilderness (Brene Brown) 
  2. Is there a theme that has been popping up in my life naturally lately?
    Being ME has been following me around since B-School. Being real and vulnerable keep popping up. Not hiding has shown up multiple times. 
  3. What focus can help me (and my business) grow in a way that is enjoyable for me?
    This falls back to the answer to number 2. The more I do things in a way that is true to me and suits me best, the better I will feel in myself and in my business. This is also good for my patients, students and clients because if I am real, they can be too. 
  4. Who do I admire most right now? What do they have that I need?
    Martha Beck. I’ve admired her for years. I love her articles in O Magazine and every book that she has written that I have read has made a serious impact on me. She has this great ability to tune in and listen to herself. Plus, she can bend large pieces of metal basically with her mind (no joke).
    Brene Brown. Not only does she write about vulnerability but she lives it. It’s so hard, but she steps up and does it anyway.
    Glennon Doyle Melton. The truth. Her truth is so obvious in her writing and videos. She made hard decisions that turned out to benefit her whole family.

 

When I look through all those things, the word that pops out at me is: Authenticity. Authenticity requires: bravery, truth and listening to your inner self. You cannot hide and show up authentic at the same time. When I check in with how my body feels about this, I have a bit of a lump in my stomach. This scares me a bit, which means it’s necessary and a good thing to focus on.

 

We are always afraid of our places of greatest growth.

 

Now, it’s your turn. You know as much as I do that New Year’s Resolutions Suck. Answer these questions, tune into yourself and find out what you should spend 2018 focusing on. I promise, it’ll change your world. Let me know in the comments below what your word for 2018 is and share with your friends so that they can choose a word and you can help keep each other accountable!

See you in January

 

XO

C

 

Side note: The next two weeks fall on holidays. Whether you celebrate or not, many people use this time to be with their families and I will be doing the same. So, you won’t get any emails or blogs until January 8th.

Comments

  1. Ewa

    I love your blog posts! I am all for authenticity in 2018 and onward! And I love the same books and gurus. We might become soulmates I guess ;p

  2. Renée Druce

    Yeah, New Year’s Resolutions usually don’t come to much. I like your Authenticity idea.

    I think I will choose Courage. This year I will need courage, along with honesty, to fix long-standing and deep-rooted things in my personality and in my family relationships. I need courage in my work because it’s hard, but I know that it benefits people. And as a Christian on the world stage, I know I will need courage in the year ahead.

    Thanks for getting us thinking Cait, and have a great vacation!

  3. Chris Donovan

    Be not afraid…a motto, rather than a word…is my major. I’ll be minoring in reading more books.

  4. Erin Sullivan

    I love, love, love this idea! I’m going to choose Intellectual Curiosity. There are so many random things I’d like to learn about, but I put them off because I’m always “too busy right now.” Enough of that excuse is enough. It’s time to read about/explore so many random areas of interest.

    P.S. I’m a friend of Meg. We met once at her house when you were home visiting. I just stumbled upon your blog a few days ago when she re-posted this article on FB, I’ve really enjoyed reading your different posts! Cheers to a fabulous New Year!

    1. caitdonovan

      Oooh! I love that idea! Start with a list of things you are curious about.

      Can’t wait to hear what you learn. This is an exciting one!

      PS. I know who you are 🙂 If you have a topic that was sparked by reading something and you want it covered, let me know and I’ll add it to my list 🙂

      Happy New Year!

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