The problem with making resolutions, as so many of us do this time of year, is we almost never keep them. Sure, we start with great intentions and a lot of steam but, by March or April, we’re done being focused—we are no longer able to sustain our enthusiasm for meeting those preset goals.
Some might call that an issue of commitment, but I call it an issue of life.
Failed resolutions are less about an inability to remain true to yourself than they are about an incapability to add more to a plate that’s already full. If you’re stretched thin already, how on earth will you find the time to meet the demands of joining a gym or finding a mate?
If your goal is to become debt free, how will you do that if you don’t see a raise or any additional income in your immediate future.
You’re planning to get a better job? Great, but who’s hiring?
Life is just as much an obstacle to progress, as progress is an enhancer to life.
So, instead of making resolutions that can make you feel awful if they’re not completed, start making goals with dissolution in mind. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Release yourself from one outside commitment.
Many of us obligate ourselves too much. Take stock of the things that enrich you and make them your focus—half of yourself given to 100 things is not better than all of you given to 10.
2. Learn to say ‘NO’.
‘No’ is not a bad word. Start changing the negative connotation behind it into what it truly means—in some instances—an opportunity to Nourish One’s self. Take that time to reconnect with your inner spirit and you’ll feel and be better for it.
3. Let go of the bad.
Whether it’s an old coat, a lingering thought, or a dying relationship, start the process of letting it go.
Remove the anger, the pain, and the resentment from your life so that you have more room for the happiness, the joy, and the forgiveness that your heart and soul crave.
4. Write a letter to yourself.
Each of us is guilty of being too critical in our self-assessment. We belittle our efforts, eschew our talents, and pretend that we aren’t worthy of better.
That said, write a letter to yourself. Make it a bold, scathing, and vitriolic indictment to the person you feel you are—then set it on fire.
5. Stop feeling guilty for being selfish.
Selfishness is a necessity. There is no growth without attention to one’s self. You have to become both knowledgeable and focused on making you into a better person, and that cannot be done if you spend a majority of your time beating yourself up for being a little indulgent.
6. Devote 15 minutes a day to doing nothing.
15 minutes may seem like a small amount but, for some, finding that 15 minutes is a challenge.
Outside of restroom breaks or sleep, we are constantly in motion or thought, and 15 minutes of nothing is just as much about being mentally still as it is about being physically still.
Find your center and take those minutes to just ‘be’.
Dissolution is about undoing bad habits and, without undoing some of the bad ones, you can never be resolute in introducing the good ones. The journey towards resolve starts with dissolving the negative parts of your life so that you can become whole again.
Start there and let the rest of your journey unfold as it may.