So, why are resolutions doomed to fail? Many reasons perhaps, but I’d like to look at one in particular today. And that is punishment.
Let’s start by stepping back for a minute, to the build up. Knowing it’s creeping closer, thinking of all the possibilities, and feeling the hype around the new year, makes the adrenaline start pumping. A clean slate, fresh start, and new chances are all very promising.
This hopeful renewal that revolves around doing better – which we pause to reflect on and then cling to as we set off to fulfill our resolutions – provides motivational fuel for a period of time, whether it’s ten days or a little longer. But, where does it all go wrong?
New Year = New You. Think about it. Doesn’t that imply radical change? A whole new you, wow! Pretty cool, right? Until, we realize that it’s maybe not really what we want.
What if we resolve to love ourselves a little more instead of punishing ourselves for what we aren’t following through with? What if you found what really works best for you?
In other words, what if the resolutions are about embracing change or action that is in alignment with who you really are – the part of you that has been forgotten, neglected, or deprived. How about we make those New Year’s resolutions about loving that you?
So, maybe this is where we go wrong: our resolutions crash and burn because they are centered in escape or punishment instead of love and desire. Here’s some ideas about making resolutions that stick instead of fizzle out fast and furious:
- Be True to You. Make your resolutions about what you desire, not someone else or something else (ie. the latest greatest trends…..)
- Get Real. Make your goals realistic. You know yourself best. What will make those desires achievable? If you set the bar too high, the fear of failure will certainly sabotage any chance for success.
- Think about the process not just the end result. What is the joy that comes from your actions? How is your quality of life day in and day out because of the changes you are making? Make it not just about how you look or number on a scale but about the feeling you get from doing it.
- Be flexible. Continually reassess where you are, what you need and what’s working or not working.
- Take one step at a time. Build in patience and see success in inches. Even if you want more faster, feel gratitude for every step of the way knowing it’s all part of the journey.
- Be specific. Visualize it. See it happen. Then, write it down and hash out the details – when, how, where, what, with who?
- Build in forgiveness. When you slip or sabotage yourself, dig deeper. What’s really going on? Address that instead of focusing on the mistake or perceived failure.
- Forget perfect. Think good enough for me.
- Let go of guilt. Embrace what’s good for you and OWN it. It’s yours. It is possible to take care of yourself while also loving and caring for others.
- Laugh at yourself. Have some humor about what you imagine to be a disaster.
Change sounds really good, but when it comes right down to it, change can be frightening and threaten our ego. Going at it alone can almost guarantee that we will give up at some point. If you want your intentions to turn into action and ultimately transformation, make sure you share them with someone you can trust and will both cheer you on and call you out. If I can be of any help, let me know
What are your top three resolutions for 2014? Leave me a comment below……