The New Year is here! And the likelihood of strategies for making New Year’s resolutions are everywhere. When I Googled the concept, there were well over 100 suggested approaches that popped up.

I’ve never been good at this kind of goal setting and goal keeping. Like most people, I start out with great intentions to lose weight, exercise more, and eat better, but by mid-January, the diet will start the next day, I’m back to feeling too tired to get on the treadmill, and well, what could one donut hurt?!

In the month of December I started #mydailywag. The concept hinged on finding something to smile about each day. It might be something I was grateful for in my life like my husband and family, or as simple as a sunrise or the perfect cup of coffee. The point was to find something to feel joyful about, regardless of the conditions of the day. As I began to think about what I wanted to accomplish for 2017, I knew the daily excursion into discovering what made me happy was something I wanted to continue.

Instead of setting a specific resolution for the year, I wondered if it might be more effective to strive for a feeling to carry with me from the beginning to the end of 2017. And that’s what I’ve decided to do, and something you might consider as well. Here’s a few examples to think about, and what I plan to implement:

1)   Finding happy every day. Very simplistic, but the point is to find something to smile about. Be an archeologist and dig if you must for that #mydailywag at every turn.

2)   Say Yes more often. Yes to the massage, or the pedicure, or the walk around the park with an old friend. Yes to go out for a cup of coffee and take a long drive, even if it means you throw on some sweats and pull your hair up in a ponytail. Yes to the trip out of town. Don’t wait. Go. Play. The laundry and dusting can wait. Ask yourself—would doing this make me smile, happy, or feel good? If the answer is yes, then do it!

3)   On the other side of that question, if the answer is no, and you are only doing it because someone has asked you to, then you need to pass! You always need to be true to yourself. And if you are only doing something to please someone else, the resentment will build. It’s hard to find happy in resentment. So don’t do it. Martyrdom needs to be laid to rest in 2017.

4)   Be less concerned about the outcome, and more connected to the journey. Pitchwars taught me this ten-fold in 2016. I met so many cool people, and accomplished some major edits on my novel. But rather than focus on the absence of a book deal, instead I’m enjoying the journey that has brought me to searching for that book deal. That’s where the good stuff resides. Truthfully, when one goal is achieved it feels awesome, but it only presents the next goal. And if you can’t be happy on the road from point A to B, which is where we all hang out much of our lives, then you’ll only find frustration.

5)   In feeling good and happy, self-care must take priority. That means choose to get on a treadmill a few times a week and cut down the sugary treats. Wash your face at night and drink more water. Not because they are goals, but because you’re worth it and you’ll feel better when you do them. Anything that contributes to overall well-being is a win!

The beauty of this approach is you just can’t get it wrong. The point is to be easier on yourself. If the only thing you can find to be happy about is that the sun came up, or the pillow under your head was a welcome relief to the day, know that it’s enough. Build from there. Because when striving to have the attitude of happy, beating up on oneself certainly doesn’t qualify as helpful.

As you sit and ponder your own Resolutions for the coming year, think about what makes you tick. What makes YOU happy. How you can feel good about yourself and your life every day, all year long. Because you are important, and what you want must be a priority in order for you to be healthy and happy. Besides the fact that you can’t be there for others if you can’t be there for yourself.

My question for you: How might you shift your attitude to embrace being happy this coming year? Please send me an email and share your strategy. I’d love to support you in your resolution!

Below is my quote for the week, a few highlights since we last spoke, and of course, Ms. Bella! Happy New Year!