It’s January 2nd…
You’ve been to the gym 5 times already, drank enough water to fill a small pond… and you’ve consumed more sprouts than your local farmer’s market AND grocery store had in stock.
You’ve also quit smoking, quit drinking (those hangovers are a bitch aren’t they?) and you are now proudly enrolled in every self-improvement course that popped up on your internet browser to remind you of just how damaged and broken you really are.
Oh yeah… this resolution thing – YOU’RE ON IT!
But until when?
That’s the question.
When New Year’s Resolutions Go Wrong
Now…if you’re really honest with yourself…you’ll see that in the past, your attempts to stick with New Year’s resolutions haven’t exactly gone as planned. In fact, you’re probably sick and tired of the same old crap already.
You begin your new way of life – always with the best of intentions…
You know why you want what you want…
And you DO have a burning desire to finally live a life that consists of well-being on every level imaginable.
SO WHY CAN’T YOU STICK WITH YOUR GOALS?
It’s because of one simple but commonly overlooked problem.
Wanna know what it is?
It’ll only cost you $59.95.
The Reason New Year’s Resolutions Fail
The reason that resolutions tend to go bad is because most of us aren’t aware of the way the mind works.
See, when one has lived a life with a mindset (set of beliefs, behaviors, habits, etc)…that has created the very problems one wishes to solve, that mindset doesn’t go anywhere when the desire for change arrives.
In fact, it’s still hangin’ out in the background.
So using weight loss as an example…
If there was a certain way of looking at yourself, the world and food that created your overall habits in regard to eating, then you need to know that this perspective is embedded in your subconscious.
Your mindset is the cause of the results you want to change. In order to change the results, you have to delve into the cause.
So what this means is that while you can do all of the right things in order to change your life, if you don’t change your mind…your life will go on as usual in spite of your new behavior.
Here’s an example.
I’m sure you’ve experienced what it’s like to be on a roll when you’ve decided to change a habit. The new way of life seems to be working out pretty well, and you love the changes you’ve made.
But then suddenly, something triggers the ‘old’ you. Maybe you’ve had a stressful day (unlike any you’ve EVER had of course) which causes you to feel weak and vulnerable. Or perhaps you’re in an environment surrounded by some tempting foods.
You use whatever willpower you have to stave off the temptations to revert to your old behavior – and for a short while it works.
Until the next time, or the next time when the need gets so intense that you have lost the ability to quell your desire to act out already.
You’re tired of fighting an internal battle. Life is tough enough as it is and you’re trying to survive.
So, you cave.
Ohhhh…and for the time being, it feels so good!
Until later on when you feel defeated. You’re not sure you can muster up the strength and motivation to attempt to get back on the horse again.
You feel like a loser. And this is when ‘failure’ happens.
Why Self-Awareness is the Key to A Successful Life Change
In order to free yourself of the insanity of failure to maintain any changes you’re looking to make, it’s important to be aware of the fact that whenever new thoughts and behaviors make their way into your life (aka – solutions), the thoughts and behaviors that created the problems (your current predicament) have to come to the surface to be faced, assume responsibility for and released.
So in the above scenario, if the stress of your life is triggering you to ‘relapse’ into old behaviors, it’ll help you immensely to know that what’s REALLY happening is that your changes are working!
It’s just that the level of consciousness that created the problem can’t exist in the same space as the level of consciousness that holds the solution…so in essence – one has gotta go.
That’s ALL that’s going on.
You aren’t doomed to fail…you’re only being shown how you create the things you do in an effort to gain self-awareness, allow it to teach you how thoughts create things, and therefore, how you can change your perspective and make a different, more deliberate choice to support your new desire.
So when the sh*t hits the fan in your life right smack in the middle of a new resolution you’re making, it isn’t life screwing with you.
It’s life supporting you – by showing you your old ways so you can kick them out of your life.
How Resolutions Become Permanent
Believe it or not, resolutions can work. They simply require being deliberate and aware. Here’s how you can make realistic changes based on truth and consistency.
- When the resistance comes up (ex – don’t want to work out, stress gets to high, tempting foods around, etc), allow the feelings to envelop you completely. Feel the pain. Invite it to stay a while.
- Get curious. Ask your pain what it wants you to know. Be open to any insight you may stumble across that will inform you about your past conditioning, beliefs, habits, etc. This will help you get in touch with how you created the very thing you’re looking to change now. What does food represent to you? How do you use it? What would you prefer your eating habits to look like, and why? What does exercise represent to you? Does the thought of working out cause resistance? If so, why?
- Receive the answers and accept that you did what you knew how to do at the time. You weren’t awake then. You are now…and you’re aware that it may take baby steps, but your eyes are open and you’re willing to let go of baggage that has run your life until now.
- Investigate what healthy living and well-being really looks like to you and how it makes you feel. Do you experience joy at the idea of having more energy, vitality and above all else, being someone who is deliberate in their treatment of self?
- Allow yourself to experiment with any and all forms of well-being. The sky is the limit. Now you get to create…since you’ve faced and released the mindset that caused the problems to begin with.
- Take INSPIRED action! Don’t do anything you’ll hate because you’ll only quit or injure yourself. Instead, try a beginner’s level of any fitness regimen that makes you feel excited or blissful. Choose to add healthy foods that you already like – or have always wanted to try and expand from there. Keep a journal to help you maintain awareness of your thoughts and feelings about everything that comes up. Don’t fear your feelings. Embrace them! They are helpful messengers designed to work FOR you.
- And – realize that these things happen in layers. Your self-imposed limitations based on past conditioning may come up again several times to offer you an opportunity to do more healing with an expanded perspective. Allow the process without resistance. This is what will free you.
The Above Technique Works with Other Habits Too
I realize that I used weight loss as the example in this article because it happens to be what I have placed a lot of attention into as a result of my being in the health and fitness field.
But the truth is, the above exercise will work for any resolution regardless of what it is because what it all comes down to is awareness.
Awareness of self especially.
And I not only dealt with the weight loss thing, as many of you may already know by now…but I also abused alcohol when I was much younger and I DID think I was broken and in serious need of fixing.
I speak from experience.
So in closing of this rather lengthy article here, just understand that when we make a new year’s resolution (or set an intention in general)…the baggage that has kept us prisoners of the very thing we want to get rid of has to be set free.
The only way it happens is when it comes to the surface.
It causes us pain and makes us feel like we’re incapable of doing what we set out to do…but in reality – it’s simply showing us who we’ve been in order to make room for who we’d rather be.
If you can REALLY get this, you may just be free from resolutions from here on out.
Now wouldn’t that be nice?
Have you set a New Year’s resolution? If so, what will you do to reach your goal?