The premiss of a new year comes with the creation of newly formed “resolutions.” I have a deep admiration for resolutions, since they are personally developed and catered towards the individual. Many strive for self improvement, forge new goals, and aim to create a better version of themselves compared to prior years. In my eyes, this is a beautiful process of self discovery.
In retrospect, it’s commonplace for resolutions to be abandoned by the end of January. People become disappointed when they find themselves “failing” at their long term goals. This self inflicted “failure” sparks an emotional disappoint and a “throw in the towel” -esque attitude. Thus, bringing a cycle of the dreaded mundane routine back into the light.
I personally believe resolutions have a high failure due to increasingly heightening our personal expectations. I’m not saying setting high expectations is wrong, but having an overwhelming number of resolutions creates inner chaos. The tendency to set specific time frames for specific goals can be a tipping point for anxiety. If we set goals we know are not attainable, then we pave a pathway for personal failure.
How can we redefine “resolutions” to make goal setting easier?
Here are some thoughts:
First - Keep it Simple, Keep it Vague:
When setting a resolution, simplicity and vagueness are helpful concepts. As previously described, getting caught up in specifics creates inner confusion. Keeping our resolutions simplistic welcomes room for new experiences. For instance, let’s say a new resolution involves creating happiness. Rather than saying; “I want happiness by completely shifting my mindset to positivity by the end of February!” Try saying; “I want to welcome positivity and happiness in the next few months.” The second resolution is vague, simple, and opens the door for growth. The idea focuses simply on happiness, not the context of certain methods and set deadlines. In this mindset, you may find yourself sparking happiness in ways previously absent from your life.
Remember - Keep it Personal, Keep it Mindful :
Resolution “chatter” is a common conversation topic during the new year. We hear a diverse assortment of resolutions from our outer circle. It’s simple to be influenced in the peak age of social media. We are exposed to different life styles and ideas almost daily. In turn, this can be a great influence on our personal goals. If you find yourself being easily influenced by others, try using mindfulness to sit with yourself. Examine and ask yourself, “What do I genuinely want for myself? What is my intuition telling me?” Mindfulness helps with connecting to our inner self. The more we connect with ourselves, the easier it is determining our own needs. You are your own greatest investment, remember to put yourself first when it comes to new changes.
Finally - Keep it Compassionate, Keep it Gentle:
One of the greatest emotions is compassion. Cultivating self-compassion makes the difficult moments easier to overcome. Any goal should have a level of gentleness. Instead of labeling yourself as a “failure” when a resolution falls short, try to practice self-compassion in the present moment. Change your verbiage from “I just failed” to “I am learning.” This creates an opportunity to create a new path as opposed to spiraling downwards into a depression. The way we speak to ourselves sets the tone for our future endeavors. Along with 2018 resolutions, make it a point to speak to yourself compassionately during the process. Above everything, ENJOY this new process. Life changes bring life lessons, but also clears our vision for spotting new moments of beauty.
How are you redefining resolutions in 2018?