Quit your New Year’s resolution!
New Year’s resolutions don’t work! If they did, ever year people would have astronomical changes in their lives.
What it comes down to is simply, if you feel the need to wait for a big event such as a new year before you are willing to begin your goal, you are not really serious about it. Anything that really comes deep from within should be acted upon immediately, right now, this instant.
Here is a common trend for New Year’s resolutions:
Meet Harry. He’s an average middle-class worker. He is overweight, eats too much, smokes too many cigarettes, drinks too much alcohol (binge drinks on weekends and after work has a few too many most nights), works in a job in which he feels like a drone, due to not using any of his natural skills and passions (no growth), the lack of challenge and repetition of tasks, he stays up til 3am watching TV to numb his mind and try to wash off some of the boredom of the day at work, despite needing to arise for work again at 7am.
His intimate relationship is dying, lacking loving and vibrancy, with most of his time spent with his partner the ‘together’ time, consisting of sitting next to each other in front of a square box with lights and colours.
He has no formal study to support what he wants to do for a career and his life’s work (and is not even sure what that is), and now he is deciding to make his first new year’s resolution to ‘change his life’. Furthermore, he is only going to make A SINGLE RESOLUTION per Year:
Year one: now a non-smoker.
Year two: in addition to year 1, also now a non-drinker or drinks only a couple times a year.
Year three: in addition to years 1 & 2 also now a fitness junky that has less than 8% body fat, ripped muscles and eats little to no junk food, only wholesome foods most of the time, and good portion sizes.
Year four: in addition to years 1, 2 & 3 now goes to bed at a good hour every night.
Year five: in addition to years 1, 2, 3 & 4 has invested the time and thought to discover what he wants to do for his life’s work (decided to become a counsellor). Has begun studying counselling after work and on weekends when needed to act on his dream career.
A few years later…..
Year eight: in addition to all the NYR’s made, now finally has a career which adds meaning to his life and freedom, is challenging, allows for more self-expression and stimulates growth every day.
It has a much higher income to support desires for travel and a higher quality of life. In addition over each year he has given energy to his intimate relationship and now they are truly loving partners, INVESTING time together daily, going out, being creative, growing together…..
……you can see what I am getting at here. In a single year, our life could increase in quality dramatically, if we made just ONE ‘Major New Year’s Resolution’ that we actually KEPT to.
Within five years we wouldn’t be able to imagine our old life even if we use a telescope to look back and within ten years we would be a new person.
Our lives WOULD be changed in beneficial and positive ways that we could not imagine right now.
If this is true, why would I say to quit your New Year’s Resolution (that is if you haven’t already)?
More accurately I should say, don’t create New Year’s Resolutions in the first place. As I said earlier:
“If you feel the need to wait for a big event such as a new year before you are willing to begin your goal, you do not really want it enough”.
The challenge with many of our New Year’s Resolutions is that they are often ‘wishy ideals’ made when we are at our most relaxed, it’s Christmas, we are on holiday, over eating, not working, with family and friends, relaxed, perhaps a bit tipsy. They are ‘well I should do this’ type goals rather than ‘this is what I really want for my life, because I deserve it’ goals.
Furthermore they are ‘let’s start on the 1st of January goals’ while in the lead up to it we do exactly the opposite of our goal, for example:
- It is December 25th a decision is made that on the 1st of January; we will stop over eating and significantly cut back on junk ‘food’ to ‘lose weight’. But until that point, we ‘allow’, even encourage ourselves, to gorge ourselves senseless, consuming more junk than we would normally.
- It’s New Year’s Eve. We decide our NYR as of 2nd of January will be to cut back significantly on alcohol (starting with a three month alcohol detox altogether) because we have a drinking problem, drinking after work or binge drinking on weekends, but we have condoned letting ourselves get absolutely hammered tonight since we don’t start cutting back until the 2nd of January (the thinking is, ‘let’s get all the booze in we can before we stop altogether’).
This signifies a lack of true desire to change, a ‘let’s get all the gluttony, overload on our bad habit while we can before we torture ourselves with eating less, drinking less and eating real food in healthy portions’, when in our heart we are not ready to quit either of these things or commit to whatever our NYR is…
SO what does that matter?
What matters is the mentality behind this thinking. This is acting out of fear, guilt of being overweight, caring what others think, fear of death (as opposed to the joy of living) rather than coming from the only place of power we have for PERMINANT CHANGE – DESIRE FOR MORE LIFE, LOVE and RESPECT for ourselves.
Can we turn love on and off? NO.
We can’t decimate ourselves by eating like fiends one moment, or drink ourselves into a stupor and then go to eating healthy food in better portions out of fear and call it love. An internal change must happen before we can change the external habits – our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
We either have found enough love for ourselves (from introspection) to eat only what we need and for sustenance rather than as our main source of pleasure and to escape OR we have not yet found the love it takes to honour our bodies with only the necessary food needed.
With New Year’s Resolutions we decide, ‘hey it’s finally time to change something in our life’. For some unknown reason, we tend to take accountability when a new year is looming around the corner.
Could it be the innate drive and desire in our heart of hearts that has been buried by our conditioning and lack of self-assessment, or by our decision to conform and bury our heads in the sands of our lives?
Is it the desire to do, be and have more which has been awakened by yet another unsatisfactory year passing?
Or is it perhaps arising due to fear: fear of being and doing nothing of worth in our life, fear of not being good enough for other people (or our significant other) or fear of our own premature death or ill-health due to self-neglect and boredom?
What do we fear more, truthfully?
The unknown and the journey we must take through it if we are to realise our dreams or the fear of not taking the journey at all. I think that logically, we fear the unknown and in our heart, we fear not taking the journey to see what our lives could be, what we could truly be.
One of these thinking patters is based on freedom and love. One isn’t.
So… if I am suggesting that you quit your new year’s resolution, (which by now most people who made them already have quit, as far as numerous research and studies have indicated); what could you do INSTEAD?
If by some happy chance, you have chosen something dear to your heart, and your NYR is truly something that you want for your life, change your NYR to a LIFE resolution. A goal for your year is a start, but what is it leading into? Why do you have the goal?
It’s GOOD to plan and have goals for your day, week, month and year but a one year goal with no thought to what it leads into for your life purpose is lacking the true power of a life goal.
So, we need, LIFE GOALS. We must discover what we want.
The way to do so is simple.
It is easy.
Yet, it is scary.
It is so simple and easy, that the simplicity of it coupled with the fear of failure, or worse, the fear of success, makes us want to turn and run the other way because we don’t trust in or believe in ourselves anymore.
Here it is how to find what you truly want (like I said it is so simple):
Ask yourself, “What do I really, really want for my life”? Now you may get a flash of your major life DREAM – as Napoleon Hill calls it ‘your definite chief aim in life’ (if you don’t keep asking yourself the above question over and over again until you do, write the question on a piece of paper). The power of putting your desires and heart into a pen on paper is beyond explanation.
When you get the true answer, immediately you will very likely want to dismiss it because you don’t know HOW you are going to achieve it.
We often dismiss what we truly want; pretend we don’t really want it because we are scared to go after it. We fear the emotional effort, money and time we will have to commit to turn our biggest dream into a tangible goal and with no guarantee of success. We may suffer temporary defeat, over and over again. I know I have.
Never let temporary defeat stop you from getting up again and again and again until you can stand in victory and the feel the joy achieving your goal.
That is where the scary comes in, because when WE decide what we want, we also realise that WE are responsible for its attainment, and the only one who can achieve it is ourselves. When ‘we don’t know what we want’, we can blame others or ‘circumstances’ (which are self-created) that our lives are boring and unfulfilling.
For me, my goal is to be a world renowned authority, leader, speaker and someone who finds new discoveries in the field of psychology. This scares the hell out of me because I already have many commitments and studying in addition to all of them will see me with very little down time to relax and do nothing. There is a great financial commitment I must make; it will require tons of emotional energy and thousands of hours to achieve this dream.
For me, my stepping stone is to become more self-aware and conscious. I am doing this by completing a Diploma of Counselling which I am currently studying. My next step will be to do two more years study at university in counselling and then a year of supervised counselling to become a qualified counsellor.
This will put me in a career which will require me to be very self-aware and congruent which will provide me with skills and build me up for the 6+ years I will need to invest to become a psychologist.
This is massive for me. I have financial commitments, and am required to work to keep those commitments. To be a psychologist requires 3 years full-time University, then another year for honours (all with good grades), and then the equivalent of two years working fulltime in the field of psychology supervised. That is 6 years FULL time, so part time who knows…
We should not make some lousy guilt induced resolution due to the passing of another year. This kind of resolution is done in fear, not hope and the desire for more freedom and self-expression.
We are not going to keep it, we don’t really want to commit to it and it doesn’t truly inspire our spirit and therefore won’t rekindle the fire within us that we had as a child. (Do you remember the dreams we had as a child to be a fire fighter or police officer of to be a vet and work with animals. Did it matter that we didn’t know HOW we were going to become any of these things?)
It won’t inspire us to go after what we desire for our lives. It won’t liberate our energy and touch our soul with desire and joy.
If New Year’s Resolutions worked you would have all the money, good health and vitality, relationships, skills, career, choices and freedom to do what you want, when you want. Can you say honestly that you have never made a NYR only to see it disappear within the first week or two of beginning?
SO WHAT WORK’S.
‘A DECISION MADE RIGHT NOW – TO LIVE OUR LIVES ON PURPOSE’ not on January 1, not next week;
A DECISION THAT WE WON’T SETTLE FOR ANOTHER MINUTE to JUST GET BY IN:
- Our work
- Intimate relationship, intimacy with our partner and all other relationships
- Our Health and exercise program
- Peace of mind, Joy and freedom
- Growth and Inspiration
- Personal hobbies
- Our artistic leanings, in music, or any other art
- Our contributions to society and the world
- Our meagre example we set for our children on how to live life on purpose
- All our habits
Decide what you want for your life, not for a year. It takes one goal, one focus in your life to start slowly but surely changing all the underlying bad habits. It takes time, but as a good friend of mine says, ‘when you do what you love, you will find what you love’.
There is nothing as beautiful as a human being who is living an inspired life, full of passion and hope, forever growing and expanding to higher levels of consciousness, developing their inner world and as a result, their outer world reflects the changing person, and with this growth, they inspire others.
So I say, quit your new year’s resolution (if you haven’t already) or better still, if your NYR really is what you want for your life, make it a life resolution. DECIDE what you want for your life.
Invest the time you need to reflect on what gives you the most joy. For me it is helping people, music, using my body (exercise) and getting to know myself.
2015 is just a year, just as 2016, 2017 and every year after that are just years.
Your life is so much more than a year.
As motivational speaker Les Brown says, ‘Decide what you want and go after if as though your life depends on it, why? Because it does.’
I thank you most sincerely for reading this, and hope that it is thought provoking for you and inspires you as much as it has me, to get up and LIVE. I ask that you please leave a comment.
Finally, really ask yourself:
‘What do I want for my life?’
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This information is what we all need to be taking in; we must feed our minds as we feed our body if we truly desire to be our true selves – to live a life full of FREEDOM.
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