NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS: WILL THEY LAST TO FEBRUARY AND WHY THEY FAIL
With New Year’s resolutions, we try to convince ourselves that this year will bring a new you. Often people make a short-lived but very determined stab at all the changes, goals, and dreams they failed to pursue and/or achieve in the year that is ending. How many people hold on to that fierce intention beyond the magic midnight hour?
Resolutions are often fraught with looming disaster if they are made in the heat of the moment. A more enduring change takes foresight and a hefty dose of realism. Are you really going to be cast as the lead in the next Academy Award-winning movie? Perhaps you should first set your sights on a role in a local play.
Obstacles to achieving your goals and dreams are often those pesky things that swarm about your mind like hungry mosquitoes. Yes, I’m talking again about limiting beliefs. For instance, maybe you think you are not smart enough, kind enough, clever enough, motivated enough, thin enough, etc. If you believed you could attain all these things you dream of, and set about to change, you would take the necessary steps to achieve them.
Perhaps ridding yourself of the most negatively impactful limiting belief you hold should be your New Year’s resolution. Begin by identifying your beliefs. Write down what you believe about yourself. Next, determine if these beliefs are actually true or if they are merely nasty residue from someone’s comment about you or some other unpleasant experience. Limiting beliefs are generally false.
Practice meditation to help you let go of beliefs that are not helping you. While you are in a relaxed space, envision releasing a belief that is holding you back. See it floating away on a cloud, or in a balloon, or in some way disappearing. After that, replace that belief with one that benefits you. Such as I am smart, I am capable, I am motivated. If any negative belief about yourself pops up again, fight it off fiercely. It is an opponent to your success. Recite your new positive belief like a mantra over and over again.
Planning is not over-rated. If you want to succeed at something, that takes discipline and dedication to the work involved in getting you there. Write down the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. This gives you motivation, plus you can look back on your steps and goals to keep them foremost in your mind. Paste the list to your mirror so you see it every day. And always remember the power of persistence. Persistence is your path to success.
Re-evaluate your goals and monitor your progress. Just because you decided A or B does not mean these things are set in stone. If a different approach will better serve you, it is okay to let a strategy go and adopt another. This is an adjustment, not a failure.
And there it is. The ‘F’ word. Do not be afraid to fail. As I often say (to myself as well as others), “Fail, fail often, fail quickly, learn from it and move forward. It’s not bad to fail, jump right in!” At the same time celebrate your wins, whether large or small. Each win will push you forward and build on your success until you fully embrace your path. So celebrate whatever you consider a win. Give yourself a present, reward yourself with a pat on the back.
Hey, you made it through 2020, which was a challenging year for most of us. I commend you for that! My rational mind tells me that 2021 will be easier and just as great as I make it. Together we can take on this new year with improved thoughts about ourselves, motivated strategies, and optimism. Go for it! There is no time like today and tomorrow.