Millions of people all over the world will have begun their new years resolutions on new years day. Statistically most will have failed by the second week of February. Certainly all have good intentions of actually achieving their goal when they begin but we humans are funny creatures in that were not big on “have to’s”. The word resolution is a “have to” all by it self. It is a resolve, firmness and a rigid determination. Most resolutions also involve some kind of loss and as humans we are not really big on that either.
Think about it for a minute. The three biggest resolutions entertained every year are loosing weight, quitting smoking and getting organized. Loosing weight almost always involves a loss of certain favorite foods and decreased portions sizes. Quitting smoking involves having to give up ritual, nicotine and for some an old friend. Organization at first glance may not seem like a loss and despite being helpful on many levels a certain amount of freedom is given up in that to stay organized we now must conform to new organizational guidelines forcing us to give up our precious piles.
I am not advising that you don’t set intentions for your new year but I am going to give you some suggestions that just may make those goals a reality long after February. First, think about one area in your life that you may want to make a change. After all we wear a lot of hats in our life. We are son and daughters, mothers and fathers, workers, partners, spiritual beings, dreamers, physical beings any many more. Pick just one aspect of your multifaceted life to improve that will make a positive change in your life.
Secondly, try to find a way that you can develop a habit for the thing you want to change. Developing a habit will lead to a ritual enabling you to be successful in whatever goal your trying to achieve. In this way you are adding to instead of detracting from and not experiencing loss. For example a good friend of mine wanted to achieve a closer relationship with his wife. They both lead extremely busy successful lives, which often leaves not enough down time together and it was his goal to make more time for them. Prior to this intention he would get up about an hour before his wife, have coffee, read his email and skim the paper. Later she would arise get dressed and they would say their goodbyes and dive into their day.
He didn’t want to give up his “me time” and decided he would continue to get up earlier than his wife, read email and the paper but decided to make his wife a cappuccino just the way she liked it and take it to her in bed and spend time talking and drinking coffee with her before they got started with their day. The first time he did this she was surprised and slightly skeptical but very soon became attached and looked forward to their “special time” each morning. He started that habit last year and it is still going strong, as is their relationship.
Last year I wanted to find more time to write. I was one of those people who wouldn’t get started on a project unless I had a big block of time, which of course rarely happened. Then I was introduced to this technique where you attempt to do projects in 25-minute intervals then rest for five minutes and continuing with as many of the 25-minute segments as time allowed for. This resulted in much more writing time and added to instead of detracting from my day. Subsequently, I have successfully used this technique for all kinds of projects.
Last of all make your intentions a life style change and don’t try to change your whole life at once. It is said that it takes three weeks to make a habit and three months to make a life style change. If you can create passion in what you are trying to change you will develop significantly more compassion for yourself and inevitably have more success than failure. It is equally important to acknowledge each success that you have no matter how small it may seem. Each success is movement in a positive direction. For example if decreasing you weight is your intention focus on the fact that you are healthier, lighter and feeling better not the fact that you didn’t loose exactly 15 pounds by February.
No matter what you are creating in this New Year I wish you abundant success and a happy prosperous, loving new year.