Resolutions don’t work
So, here we are again. The beginning of a shiny new year and determined to have a better life than last year. We’ve made a whole string of resolutions and we’re charging off into the future, full of enthusiasm and excitement.
Jump forward a week or two and how are those resolutions going? Is that a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other? Are we using the Swiss Ball as a footstool instead of strengthening our core? Are we exhausted after squabbling about keeping the noise down while we’re trying to watch TV?
Yes, we all know the story about New Year’s Resolutions… they don’t work! We abandon them almost as soon as we’ve created them and we quickly slip back into our old habits. Why is that?
The answer lies in our memories, especially our memories of last year. It’s really easy for us to remember all of the unhappy, frustrating and hurtful moments of the last year. We also tend to drag them up at the end of the year. Then we resolve that “Next year will be better!”
We know all too well what didn’t work last year, yet we have no clear idea of what ‘better’ actually means. So, we start build a set of resolutions based on what went wrong… not what went right.
- I was fat and lazy, so I’ll diet and go to the gym. Better quit the smokes too!
- I can’t stand all the fighting at home, so I’ll try to be ‘nicer’.
- My Boss is a pain, so I’m just gonna have to straighten him out.
- I need more ‘me’ time, so I think I’ll take up painting, or something.
These are all reactions to a poor situations, not a manifesto for a good one. So, why not try turning it all on its head?
Intentions, not Resolutions
Go back to last year and find the moments of joy you felt. Picture them in your head and feel how good they felt. Spot the common features and begin to identify what a ‘good’ new year would feel like. Now, set the INTENTION to have more times like that in this New Year. Give that intention a label; “The Contented Year”, “The Laughing Year”, “The Family Year”, or “The Learning Year”. Anything you like but make it a short slogan for 2014. (Short enough to fit on the T-shirt of a one year old child)
Now, here’s the hard part: Don’t plan anything! Don’t make any commitments! Don’t make demands on yourself! Not yet anyway; it’s too early for that, right now.
Just live with that intention for the next week or two. Remind yourself in the morning when you wake up. Remember it again a couple of times in the day and again when you climb into bed. You’ll be amazed how quickly real ideas will emerge. Things you can do to bring yourself happiness and joy. Things you can do with your loved ones. Things you can do to fulfil yourself. What’s more, you’ll start to find the old ‘bad’ habits lose their appeal and gradually fall away.
2014 can be the best year of your life so far… if you just let it. Set the intention, hold it in mind and let the strategy emerge. Let 2014 be a happy and prosperous New Year.
Contact Epiphanies if you’d like more information on setting Intentions that bring change.