The positive thing about setting resolutions is that it helps us to focus on our goals and our intentions for the future.
The negative thing about resolutions is that we tend to feel guilty when we slip or if we toss them completely after the first tough day. If that happens, we risk feeling like a failure for fudging on our stated intentions or for abandoning our life-changing goal. And no one likes that “failure” feeling, so we’re naturally not that excited about considering lifestyle changes that are really tough to sustain.
In general I think resets and resolutions can be very beneficial IF we are truthful with ourselves about what we intend to accomplish through them—truthful on how doing this particular thing or maybe NOT doing this particular ‘thing’ mentioned can improve the quality of our lives. Those are reasonable expectations to set—when it’s all about improving the quality of your life.
Like many of you, I’ve had my share of good intentions gone awry or bad eating habits that returned after a few days or weeks of serious efforts to eliminate them. But I’ve also had a few successes, so I have some idea of what it takes to truly shift your life for the better.
This is the two-word secret for any resolution success: determination/perseverance.
When you are shifting your daily mode of living to a healthier life style or when you are finally letting go of a persistent habit that makes you feel bad about yourself, it helps to be stubborn in the right ways.
I’ve been told that ‘stubborness’ is one of my actual traits. But that personality description is simply a matter of perspective. When you are persistently focused toward doing something that others don’t agree with, you are considered stubborn by them. But when you are the lone survivor of a grueling trek or arduous task that felled lesser-willed competitors, then you are applauded by them and called determined.
So it depends on the situation and the observers, I guess. But if this is all about you finding your own truth, then you don’t care what others may think about you. You can be just as stubborn or as determined as you want to be. It’s the same result no matter what you call it. (I call it SUCCESS!)
In truth, the only time I view an endeavor as one that I’ve failed, is when I actually quit pursuing it—so persistence is essential to any eventual achievement. How I see it is that no matter how hard the path ahead gets, if you do not quit, but instead perhaps take smaller strides forward toward your distant goal, then you are still making progress toward a positive life-change. And that should never be considered failure.
Maybe it requires adopting a more doable strategy for you, one where you can define your stages of accomplishment toward that goal. It’s the ‘taking little steps lead to taking larger steps as you grow and lengthen your stride’ analogy. You’ll still go the whole distance to get there, but it might take a little longer than initially planned.
My opinion, for what it is worth on this resolution consideration, is that you need to decide what you really want for yourself—meaning seriously defining what you DO WANT against what you DON’T WANT in your life. Maybe define it on two sheets of paper, one listing what is working for you in your life and the other listing what isn’t working for you.
Then put those WORKING FOR ME and NOT-WORKING FOR ME pages side by side, and decide what you are actually willing to do to eliminate a few of the NOT-WORKING FOR ME items from the list, so you can lengthen your WORKING FOR ME list.
But no matter what you do or even think about doing, as long as you are still alive in this world, you are NEVER a failure—because you always have another chance to finally make those positive life changes.
And when the time is right for you to do it—in your heart you know that you will.