Beyond January 2 ...

2010-12-31 00:00

WHAT is your view on New Year’s resolutions?

While the intention of resolutions is good in that people want to expand their sense of self and grow into something bigger than their current reality, in essence [resolutions] set you up for failure because of the way that people go about setting them. They inherently cause you to fail.


Mostly people do them out of a sense of obligation and guilt, and they are worded negatively. They are usually about correcting bad behaviours, so every­thing about them feels negative.

Also people subconsciously think that resolutions don’t work, so even as they set them they secretly know that by mid-January they’ll be forgotten. Every year, however, they do the same thing. They know that they want to change, but do not change how they approach change.

How should one set them ?

People can change anything they truly want to if they …

• know exactly what they want;

• know why they want it; and

• what it takes to get it.

Resolutions are usually half-hearted wishes and big-thinking nebulous ideas.

The other biggest reason resolutions do not work is that they are usually about beating oneself up and are worded in the negative.

You have to remember one key about manifesting and achieving goals is that they need to be clearly stated and focused in the positive.

The three top resolutions are to stop smoking, lose weight and become debt- free. While these are well intended, they set you up for failure because they still focus on the negative. For example, the resolution to be debt-free is still focused on the debt as opposed to earning, saving and financial freedom.

Why do people resolve to change?

If we do not change and make personal progress, we stagnate and eventually go backwards.

We all yearn to expand and stretch into more and often we just do not know how to do so, or do not believe we deserve to.

How should people go about making big changes in their lives?

There is a simple five-step process:

• take stock of where you currently are;

• dream big;

• create goals;

• take action with accountability; and

• restocktake to evaluate your progress and carry on.

When is it a good time to change?

Today is the best time to make changes. Do not wait for some time in the future as that begets procrastination and excuses.

Today is the day and it starts with your mind-set.

For example, two of my commitment goals for 2010 were to be able to fit into my size-33 linen pants, as well as to gift myself a three-day silent retreat. Two weeks ago, I realised that I actually still had the time to achieve both if I was truly commited. So I decided to lay low this festive season.

I am now wearing those pants, plus I did my retreat in the comfort of my own home from December 26 to December 28.

Most people think that I am mad for doing this at the craziest time of the year, but my determination has made it easier and I know I am 50 steps ahead of the rest who will only start thinking about their health in the new year.

Today and now is the time that matters. Do not put off until tomorrow that which can be done today.

How do people get rid of emotional obstacles blocking them?

By having goals and a clear plan.

It also helps to have people to whom you are accountable and who will assist you to push through no matter what.

The title of Susan Jeffers’s book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway springs to mind.

The first real step is the willingness to observe the self and be ready to take the action required in order to move forward. If your goal is big enough it can also assist you to want to overcome the obstacles.

We need to remember that we are always the biggest obstacles to our future, although we love to make it about everyone else, our past and our circumstances. So in essence, the trick to overcoming emotional obstacles, is the willingness to be 100% brutally honest.

What is the hardest part about change?

Leaving the comfort of what you know, have and believe to be solid. As Robert Allen said: “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”

The first step is usually the hardest.


KATE Emmerson shares her tips on putting your life back in order and going for what you want.

• Decide what you want to change and why, and create a plan.

• Work on your limiting beliefs that will undermine you and be mindful of your self-talk.

• Clear up all the unfinished business to free up your energy and get rid of things that you don’t need or no longer serve you.

• Be willing to perservere and don’t give up.

• Visualise the outcome that you want every day in the most glorious way you know how.

— Kate Emmerson is hosting a complementary webinar titled “Stop wasting energy on New Year’s resolutions — learn the simpler more effective way to achieve your goals.” The free webinar will be held on J anuary 18 at 7.30 pm.

All you need is a computer and Internet connection. To book your place and for further details visit

CRAIG Kiggen, FPi Financial Planner of the Year winner in 2006 and 2009, shares his tips on saving in the new year.

• Avoid impulse purchases. There’s a useful tool I have found for people trying to reduce their debt exposure. People often find themselves buying articles on the spur of the moment, only to find that after a few days they regret buying the item altogether. Rather than buying the item when you see it, ask the store to put it aside for a few days, then go away and think about it. More often than not, you will find that you don’t end up buying the item.

• Start with what you can afford. Many people don’t save because they think they are not saving enough. I remember a story of a man who stopped buying chocolate every day. The chocolate was small and cost him about R6. After one month he had saved R180 which he was then able to put away as savings.

If you think about the effect of R180 invested into the share market every month for 20 years and the market returned a conservative 10% per annum he would have saved R123 714.

• Life never gets cheaper, but we can always find ways to cope with the increase in the cost of living. Here are a few tips to help with this increasing cost:

— focus on getting out of debt;

— delay, if you can, the replacement of expensive assets such as cars and houses;

— save on the little items and you will see how your disposable income will increase; and

— spend time with your loved ones doing things together, like playing football or board games. These don’t necessarily cost money but will provide lasting memories.

— One lucky reader will have the opportunity to sort out his or her financial dilemmas or plan new investments with a free consult with financial planner, Craig Kiggen. E-mail with your contact details and motivation.

RUTH Croeser, an instructor and personal trainer, shares her tips on losing weight and getting fit.

• An absolute necessity when losing weight is to have a combination of a sensible and scientifically based nutrition programme (no quick-fix, low-calorie or supplementation-based diets) and a scientifically based exercise programme. No get-into-shape-in-a-few-shortweeks diet or exercise programme will work. Beware of quick fixes.

• Make sure you either join a gym, credible exercise classes, or are disciplined enough to exercise by yourself. It is essential that you check the credentials of any fitness facility and its staff or instructors.

• Ensure that your training programme consists of all components of fitness. These are cardio-respiratory exercises for the heart and lungs, calorie-burning exercises (such as cycling), some form of resistance-training programme for increasing the metabolic rate and toning muscles, and then some form of flexibility and functional training programme (such as pilates).

• You need to commit to regular exercise.

• Fitness is not a one size fits all and should preferably be individualised, so invest in a personal trainer, if not to train you regularly, then to give you a tailor-made programme.

— One lucky reader can win free Zumba (dancing) classes or training sessions with Ruth Croeser for a term at The Wykeham Collegiate. E-mail tharuna. with your contact details and motivation.

SPIRITUAL director Sharon Grussendorff shares her tips.

• Try to create some still points in your daily life. These are spaces where you choose to stop what you are doing, and to catch up with yourself. In these still points you may choose to remember something to be grateful for, or to pray, or you could simply become aware of where you are and how your body is feeling in that moment. Becoming aware of your breathing, and taking a few deep, conscious breaths, is a very helpful way of getting in touch with yourself and making space for God.

• Allow yourself more opportunities to look at nature. We tend to take the beauty of nature for granted, but it can be an amazing source of healing and food for the soul. You could even just look at a flower or a tree. Try not to name what you are seeing or to think too much about it — just look.

• Allow yourself to become more mindful of the things that you do in your daily life. For example, when you are eating, make the choice to taste the food rather than absently eating while doing other things. When you are walking, be aware of how your body feels while you are walking. This brings us more in touch with ourselves and enables us to experience each moment more deeply. It also breaks our patterns of anxiety or frustration and allows us the freedom of simply being.

• You could make a choice not to let yourself get too caught up in negative emotions. When you feel agitated, anxious or frustrated, ask yourself what it is in you that is responding in this way. Then choose to let go of this negative response. Along with this, it is helpful to ask yourself what part of your identity is caught up in this response and to remind yourself that your identity is deeper than any external expectations or validations.

• Sometimes we feel like we’ve missed out on our dreams in life. Allow this to be an opportunity to work out what your dreams really are, and start to build these into your life, even exploring them alongside your usual work.

— One lucky reader and partner can win a free weekend at Solitude Retreat Centre. E-mail tharuna. with your contact details and motivation.


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