Is making New Year’s resolutions wrong, or did you make the wrong resolutions?

Now that its February, I wanted to discuss your New Years’ Resolutions. Did you make any this year? Or did you decide that since most resolutions of such a nature fail, it is pointless to make them? You know my view on resolutions. In the beginning of January, I sent you a poem that I wrote, titled,

“Resolutions for the new Year, Will they last or disappear.”

If you missed the poem, you can check it out here.

Today’s topic continues with that theme. Just because resolutions fail, does not mean that you should not make them. The problem is not that making resolutions is wrong. It’s how you make them that either guarantees success or causes you to fail. Let’s examine why we make resolutions in the first place. It’s because we feel that something in our life needs to be improved upon, that a positive change needs to be made. Whether you are overweight, are not exercising, are not happy with your job, want to quit some bad habits, such as smoking etc, you recognize that some aspect of your life needs to be changed.

But think about why you made that resolution in the first place. A resolution is basically a goal, isn’t it? The reason why you are making the goal is very important. Many of you set goals, specifically during the time of the beginning of the year, without any particular thought as to why you are setting those goals. You may have a vague idea, but how strong is your “why”? Why do you have that particular resolution or goal?

One important question to ask yourself before you decide on a particular goal:

What prompted you to strive to make that change?

Did it come from within you or was it due to an external influence? A lot of us are making goals we don’t really want, that are not motivating. They don’t come from within us. If the reason for the goal is some outside influence such as your boss, who may, for example, state that you have to increase your productivity, it will be difficult for you to achieve it unless it becomes an important goal for you too.

Goals for 2014.001

However, an external influence is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe you are overweight and are suffering from the consequences of your weight. As a result of not making your health a priority, you have allowed your weight to rise. Maybe, as a result, you have developed diabetes. So, even if you don’t really want to, circumstances are forcing you to confront your reality.

But regardless of whether you want to or not, if you really want to make it a goal of losing those 10 lbs, you first have to own it. This means you have to make that goal important enough to you personally. When you say, “I have to lose weight because my doctor says I should,” you are not owning it. It is not important enough to you, yet. If you take on a goal just to please someone else, you will not achieve it. Or even if you achieve it, it will be temporary at best. It will be an uphill battle.

This is the main reason why New Year’s Resolutions generally fail. The reason for making them is not empowering to you. Do you feel any excitement when you say them out loud? If not, that should be a clue to you that the chances of success in achieving that goal are not very good.

So the first ingredient is to Own It:

  • It has to come from within.
  • Make the decision that you want a particular goal.
  • Make it an authentic goal.

Everyone wants to change, but the more they take on goals that they don’t really want to do, the more they will fail. And one failure begets another failure. You will now have a track record in your mind of a failure, and that sets you up for the next failure. No wonder you keep making resolutions every year, promising that this time, it will be different. And when it is not, you eventually become disillusioned about the whole process, stating that resolutions do not work. Yes, they do not work because you have not being doing them properly.

So, let’s start by examining your resolutions or goals from the perspective of how important they are to you. Think of at least one goal that you want to achieve. Start by examining it to see if it is a goal that is important to you or was it dictated by something or someone else. You may also want to go back in your mind to your previous goals that you have not met and look at them with a fresh pair of eyes, and see what made them unreachable. And then look at some goal or goals that you did meet, what was it that made the achievement of that goal possible?

There is much more to goal setting than just making a decision and owning it, but without this key ingredient, the process will be doomed from the start. So, let’s begin with the right intention and reason. Let’s begin with a big “Why” and achieve our goals.

What one goal do you have? What is the “why?”

Until next time

Be enlightened.

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