On today’s episode, I’m chatting about why it might be a good year to rethink your traditional New Years resolution strategy, and brainstorming some ways to look at the new year differently!

Fed and Fit podcast graphic, episode 186 rethinking your resolutions with Cassy Joy

We’re back with our 186th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 186 Transcription

Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. And I hope this finds you well, and merry, and bright, and light. {Laughs} And all the wonderful things that are going on this time of year. I’m sitting here drinking Topo Chico, which is a sparkling water, out of a wine glass. So it’s extra festive. And what we’re talking about today is rethinking your resolution.

Every year, I like to address resolutions head on. Really look the them right in the eyes, stare them down. Figure out why they work, why they don’t work. Why do they sometimes feel like such a good idea, and then they turn out to feel like the worst idea ever. Or they turn into a trap door that we fall through and we feel really bad about ourselves. Resolutions are really tricky.

And if you’re thinking about them; maybe you’re not the resolution type of person. And I absolutely get that. But if you are the resolution kind of person, I think this is a very timely conversation. And even if you are not the resolution kind of person, I think you’re going to enjoy today’s episode.

We’re talking about rethinking your resolutions. And what you’re not going to hear me say is you’re not going to hear me talk about coming up with a theme for 2019. I’m not going to talk about having a buzzword, or even a specific goal. We’re not going to talk about that. We’re not going to talk about how to come up with an exact metric that you can use as your resolution for 2019. We’re not going to say; I’m going to eat healthier in 2019 and I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do that!

Because when we say what we are going to do in that tone, and in this context of; it’s late December BUT in 2019 I’m GOING to do blah, blah, blah. If I could capitalize the but, and the going, I would in that sentence. Because those are the two things wrong IMHO; in my humble opinion, wrong with New Year’s Resolutions.

Because, we see them as contrary to our current way of living; as the but. Right? We see them as against the way we’re living right now. And GOING; I’m GOING TO means, I’m not doing it now but I will. I’m going to do this one day. And it comes across like a wish. Like a hope and a wish. It doesn’t sound like you have a whole lot of buy in, is what I’m trying to get at.

When you say; I’m going to do this in 2019, it sounds a heck of a lot like you are not identifying as that person and as that resolution. It’s not real in your head yet, and you almost are waiting for the year to prove it to you that it’s actually going to happen. I hope this is making sense. Hopefully someone around is nodding their head while they listen.

So, how do we rethink a resolution? Aside from saying, I’m going to lose 20 pounds in 2019. But in the meantime, I’m going to go ahead and gargle some eggnog. Right? It doesn’t feel real. It feels like a wish, and saying; I’m justifying my overindulgence in 2018. And you guys know that I have no problem with indulging. I’m all about the holidays, and indulging, and living, what is it? My sister, who is much cooler and younger than I am, she tells me to go live my best bougie life. {laughs} I had to stop and ask her what that meant. But I’m all about living your best bougie life {laughs} in December and around the holidays. Really, any time throughout the year.

But the fact that you see a personal improvement as going against how much you are enjoying yourself right now is the crux of the problem. That’s the issue. So what I want to focus on are two things. Number one; I want you to so identify with your New Years’ resolution. I almost want to throw that word out, but for the sake of conversation so that people know what we’re talking about, we’re going to call them New Years’ resolutions. But, I want you to so identify with this future you, that you believe that it is you right now. There’s no question in your mind. It is you.

For those of you who, if you’re used to prayer, for example. It’s something that my dad taught me from a very, very young age. You pray with thanks. And some of the most powerful people who use prayer in the world; nuns, priests, whomever, that just are folks who miracles seem to follow them everywhere they go. They pray as if it has already happened. And they give thanks for that thing.

For example; good health. Thank you for good health for myself and my family. I’m giving thanks for it because it is. And I believe that it is so much that I don’t have to wish for it, and I’m not hoping for it, and I’m not identifying the lack. I’m identifying the fact that it is there.

And in that same context, we can identify with something that maybe our logical brains can’t find proof on. For example, in 2019, maybe your resolution is you want to make a successful business in 2019. And instead of your resolution being; “in 2019 I am going to build a successful business.” That sounds fine on paper. That sounds like a resolution. But in reality, what are you doing? You’re separating yourself from the identity of having a successful business by saying; I am GOING to do this. Instead of saying “I am a successful business person by golly, and the world will see it in 2019.”

How much more freaking powerful is that statement than, “in 2019 I am going to be a successful business person.” It sounds wimpy. It sounds like you already gave up on yourself. It sounds like you don’t really believe it. But if you phrase it as; “I am a successful business person, and in 2019 the world will see it.” I believe you. Oh my goodness, I believe you. And if you say that, I bet you believe you. And that’s what’s really important here. That’s what I’m trying to highlight; that transition between wishes and becoming your resolution, and believing it. The moment that you say it will be, it already is. It already is.

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Cassy Joy: If you say, “In 2019, I will be healthier.” You’ve already given up. You already gave up on yourself. Or, sorry! {laughs} I got distracted. I saw a baby. If you say “In 2019, I am going to be healthier.” In saying that statement, you can already visualize the scapegoats. You’re already telling yourself; but my birthday is in March, and I have that bachelorette trip that I’m totally going to indulge myself on. But it’s ok, I’ll just workout before and I’ll be super consistent. And all of these things. You’re painting so many escape hatches for yourself, and you don’t really believe it. But if you say, “I am a healthy person. And 2019 is the year that I really, really prove it to myself. The world really sees it; that I’m a healthy person.” It has such a different significance with it.

So, that’s one thing I want to highlight about rethinking your resolution. And I promise, I’m going to come up with some really actionable steps on how to build your resolution in a second. There are three steps.

But that’s the first distinction I want to make. The way you identify with your resolution. Will you become it, or are you already that person, and next year is the year that everybody sees it? Those are two vastly different statements. And that, I really believe. My firm belief; that is the key to success. Believing it already into existence. You believe it so much, that it’s already happened. The world hasn’t seen it yet, but it already exists.

There was a time in my own business, in Fed and Fit, it was years ago. As a teeny-tiny blogger, nobody knew anything. And I had been doing it for a couple of years. Nobody had really seen a lot of my work. I was just trudging through that really disheartening stage; or it could be disheartening, when you don’t know who is watching your work. Where could this go? And the people who I identify with as colleagues have no idea who I am. I know one day I can write a book, and I know one day I can do these things. I know I have this in me.

Instead of looking at my business and wishing that it would be better, or bigger, or more successful. I looked at my business and I said; this is it. I’m doing it. This business is a success. The world just doesn’t realize it yet. But I do. And I think that’s the confidence it takes to actually manifest drastic change and drastic success, whether it’s business, attitude, health, whatever it is that you have in your mind that you want to see different in 2019. You have to believe it so deeply, as if it already exists. So that’s distinction number one.

Distinction number two; I really want us to think about, when we rethink our New Years’ resolutions, a lot of the resolutions are pretty short-term focused. They’re pretty short burn. We’re looking at them and we’re saying; in January, I’m not going to eat any kale. {Laughing} Gosh, I saw a baby again. I’m not going to eat any bread or sugary things or anything carby, refined carbs, in January. It’s very short term, and it’s essentially a diet. We think we’re going to diet.

Or, we think that we’re going to wake up and we’re going to work on our business, our side hustle, one hour every day starting in January. That’s our New Years’ resolution. I’m going to work on my business an hour every single day. Or I’m going to go to the gym every single day. Maybe I’ll give myself one rest day. Or I’m going to; gosh, what are the other resolutions?

Oh, {laughs} this is one that I’ve had in the past because I’m terrible with personal care routines. Washing my face and following a regimen. I can be pretty lazy about it. And I will definitely wash my face 90% of the time after I wear a full face of makeup. But if I haven’t put any make up on that day, there’s a good chance I go to bed and I don’t do anything. And then I regret it because I have lizard skin following.

But a resolution of mine in the past has been, I’m going to do my morning and evening skincare routine every day. And it’s very short-term focused. Right? We have short-term daily expectations of ourselves in these goals or these resolutions. And what I want us to do, the second distinction, I want us to think longer term. Instead of focusing; let’s using skincare routine as the example.

Instead of focusing on the skincare routine, I will do my morning routine and my evening routine every single day. And of course when I say this resolution, I’m dreaming of; oh gosh, what would my skin look like? How good and buttery and smooth and firm and hydrated would my skin be, come March if I’m actually following my routine every single morning and night? That’s the draw and that’s the appeal. So I zero in and I say; my resolution is to wash my face and follow the routines morning and night.

But that’s a recipe for disaster. Because as soon as I miss an evening routine, baby’s out with the bathwater. As soon as I miss one, I’ve failed my resolution. So why continue? So in order to find long-term success with a New Years’ resolution, we need a long-term goal. So instead of focusing on daily things that you can do as your resolution. Because day to day, things are going to get wild. I’m going to fall asleep nursing the baby with makeup on my face and I’m not going to be able to get to the bathroom and wash it off and put on my night cream. The next thing I know, it’s going to be 3 a.m. and I wake up and I’m in my clothes still. This has happened. {laughs} A few times.

It’s going to be 3 a.m. and I wake up and I still have my hair in a ponytail, I didn’t brush my teeth, I’m wearing the clothes, and there’s a baby asleep next to me. And I’m like; gosh darn it! I meant to wash my face and do that whole routine! And that’s what I’ll think of at 3 a.m. I missed the day. But what does that mean?

If my goal was short-term, it means I failed my goal. Because my goal was to do my routine morning and night. But if my goal is to make my skincare routine a priority, then all of a sudden, that’s a different; missing one day, or one routine, falls into a totally different conversation. Because it’s actually ok to miss a day, if it’s just a priority of yours. It means I can get up, and I can wash my face because it’s a priority. It doesn’t mean that I’ve failed my resolution. It means my resolution wasn’t dependent on individual tasks in order to succeed. There was no bandwagon. Right? That I needed for my resolution. It was a long-term vision.

So I would challenge you to really think of a long-term vision. So, for example, instead of “I’m going to spend one hour every day working on my side hustle business.” Your resolution, instead, is “I’m going to make my business a priority in 2019.” Better yet, going back to distinction number one; “My business is a priority for me, and in 2019 I prove that to myself.” Boom. I prove that to my husband. I prove that to my boyfriend. I prove that to my parents. I prove it to my family. I prove it to myself.

How much more powerful is that statement? And if you miss; let’s say you go 3 days without working on your business. It still doesn’t mean it’s not a priority for you. It still doesn’t mean that you’re not proving it to the world and to yourself. Right? It gives you a realistic way to approach resolutions.

Ok, so now let’s get to the actionable items. How do we build a resolution? This was all very lofty and those of you who already have one in mind, you’re probably raring to go. You can dial off, you already know where to go with this. You know enough to be dangerous.

But for those of you listening and you’re like; I mean, this is helpful, but I still don’t know what I want to do. Should I do something? I’m not going to should on you. But I do think that there’s a magical thing that happens the first of January when the clock is reset. We start the year over. There is some serious energy that we can harness. And I think it’s worth considering introducing a new commitment in the New Year.

Again, as I said, it needs to be long-term. And it needs to be something that you own. But it’s a cool way to really elevate, improve upon, or just be able to realize all the things that you really want for yourself and for your life.

Ok, so how do we come up with a resolution that lasts? A resolution that sticks? That inspires instead of demotivates? Number one; this is outside the box, but I want you to think of what is the best thing that could happen to me in 2019? What’s the best thing that could happen to me? Sit with this for a second. I want you to sit down, and think about it.

What is the best thing that could happen to me? Is it your marriage becomes more of a light; levity is reintroduced, fun is reintroduced, relationship. Is that the best thing that could happen to you in 2019? Allow yourself to dream. Is the best thing that could happen to you in 2019 is you really forgive your parents for something? Or your sister for something? Or your best friend for something? And you resurrect that relationship?

Is the best thing that could happen to you that your business, your side hustle, really takes off? Is the best that could happen to you that you finally feel like you are living a healthy lifestyle? You’re really embodying this healthy lifestyle thing and you feel like you’re proving yourself every day. Other folks can see it. What is the best thing that could happen to you?

Is it that you finally find your dream house and you buy it! You put a bid on it and it happens. It’s in your dream neighborhood, and all the wonderful things that are happening. What is the thing? Dream it up. Write it on your heart. And that is where we’re going to derive our resolution. It’s all going to be centered around that, what is the best thing.

And from here, what we’re going to do is we’re going to write a mission statement for your life, and if we want to zero it down on the year. But what is it that you do? Who are you? Who are you that’s going to show up and make that best thing that could happen to you in 2019? Who is the version of you that could show up and see that into reality? That is who you are. That’s your mission statement.

For example, if the best thing that could happen to me is my business is going to take off. I’m thinking about Fed and Fit. My goal with this company now is to continue to put out really high quality, really enriching content, that readers and listeners and subscribers and website visitors; that everybody sees of tremendous value. We offer new things, new perspectives, that enriches your life. It leaves you feeling uplifted. It leaves you feeling like you can tackle the day. You can do this thing, by golly. And through that, we help elevate the world. We help everybody take a big sigh; a big breath of relief.

So it’s a commitment to my readers. It is a commitment to my team in that we will continue to grow this business as a business, and create really wonderful well compensated jobs for wonderful professionals. I have that on my heart, to build a business that makes incredible jobs for incredible contributors.

And then the work and the project from there; they’re all details. It’s all details. It’s all; we’re going to put out a book. It’s a huge, huge effort. And a lot of planning, a lot of thought went into it. But it’s a detail. The book, publishing the book was not my resolution.

We are going to rethink the podcast. That’s a detail. That’s not part of the resolution. We’re going to have a brand new website. That’s a detail, but that’s not the crux of the resolution. And it’s not the best thing that could happen to me, is a brand new website. The best thing that could happen to me is the world starts to see Fed and Fit the way I see it. A very significant business doing really important work that really helps inspire and uplift the world.

It might sound silly to some folks, but that’s really how I see my business. I believe in it. I believe in it so much. And if I don’t; who will? The same goes for your resolution. What’s the best thing that could happen to you? Write a mission statement.

Just as a micro example; I’m still using my business. The best thing that could happen to me is probably just a really healthy, happy family. But the business is a much easier example to give. If the best thing that could happen is that this business grows in significance and in impact and in security for team members, then the mission statement is just what I said. So that’s step two, to write your personal mission statement.

And if it’s not for business, maybe it’s for health. It’s that I am a healthy human that makes great decisions the majority of the time. And when I don’t make a decision that’s not health promoting; like I chose the burger with the fries over the kale salad, I don’t feel guilty about it. Because a part of my healthy lifestyle is that I enjoy indulgences and I don’t feel guilty about them. Maybe that can be part of your mission statement.

And part of your mission statement can also be that I really enjoy working out. I really enjoy it. I go to the gym, and I enjoy it. And I even go to the gym sometimes when I don’t want to go. But I find a physical fitness activity that I enjoy, and I do it.

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Cassy Joy: The third step to this is that we have a personal contract with ourselves. We write; and I want you all to actually write these things down. You write the best thing that could happen to me in 2019. You write your mission statement. Who are you? What are you that allows you to show up and make that best thing happen? And then what are you actually going to do to make it happen? What are the actual things you’re going to do? What’s your personal contract with yourself?

If it is to build a badass business, excuse the a-s-s word, for young listeners. {laughs} I try to keep this G-rated. But if it’s to build an amazing business in 2019, what are you going to do? Are you going to innovate? Are you going to show up? Are you going to execute? Are you going to make mundane tasks excellent? Are you going to put yourself in the shoes of your readers and listeners every single step of the way? Are you not going to let something go out unless it resonates with you on a deep, heartfelt level?

That’s part of me. That’s part of what I’m doing. Constantly elevating. Constantly trying to figure out; how can we better serve y’all. How can we better innovate? How can we offer a solution, if something is missing? If there’s a pain point for our readers, how can we solve that pain point in a way that lasts? How can we offer true lasting solutions for our readers? How do we not feed this industry of quick fixes? How do we change the way we think about personal health and personal development? That’s part of my personal contract. That’s how I show up in this business.

If your best thing that could happen to you is you feel healthy and you approach your life in a much healthier way and a part of that is maybe you lose weight. Maybe you have more energy. And your mission statement is how you show up. Who are you that makes it happen, and your contract with yourself is; I will. Or I make working out a priority. Sorry. Excuse the will word. Your personal contract is a much more powerful one; I make workouts a priority. I make meal prep a priority. I make healthy decisions a priority. I do not throw the baby out with the bathwater when I want to indulge and have a treat.

Those are all very powerful, very significant things that will move the needle on your contract and your mission statement, and get you towards that best thing that could happen to you in 2019.

So to recap. The two distinctions in how to rethink your resolutions; number one, to believe. Believe it and say it as if it has already happened, and you already are. Whatever this thing is that you’re identifying as a future value, I need you to embody it as if it were present. You already are there. And number two; we’re looking at long-term goals and resolutions. Not short-term daily things that need to happen. This resolution is not contingent on daily tasks, though those will contribute towards it. It’s not dependent on it.

Because the resolution is a forecast into the future. You’re throwing a dart on the board, and you’re saying; this is where I am. And I’m going to do the things to make myself get there. Not the things that I’m going to do to get there are my resolution, if that makes sense.

The three steps to do it; number one, identify the best thing that could happen to you in 2019. Go wild. Maybe name a few. Number two; write your personal mission statement. And number three; have a personal contract that, again, is not contingent on daily tasks. The personal contract is about priorities. What is a priority to you? Write those things down, and then honor the commitments you make to yourself.

Alright, folks. Love you lots. I believe in you. You can do this. If reworking and rewriting the resolution is on your heart, there’s definitely a way to do it and there’s definitely a way to harness this 2019 January 1st energy to your favor. Whether you like resolutions or not. I think there’s a way to really make them powerful.

Hope y’all have a great day. Thanks for dialing in. As always, we’ll be back again next week.


About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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