It’s estimated that over 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% actually achieve their goals. With the odds stacked up against us, why do we keep doing this to ourselves?!?
I’ve never been into the whole New Year’s resolution thing. Don’t get me wrong; the idea is lovely in theory—just like strict diet plans should work, in theory. Of course, almost no one keeps a resolution or can stay on a strict diet plan forever. That’s no surprise. We all know resolutions don’t stick. So why do we choose to set ourselves up, at the beginning of every year, for failure?
I’m all for taking stock of the things that are important to you, but what I’ve learned through the Conscious Cleanse is that resolutions are like goals. Goals generally are very black and white, all or nothing. You either succeed or you fail. Either you’re on the wagon and kicking ass, or you’ve fallen off miserably, only to feel bruised, battered and even worse than you did before.
New Year’s resolutions are usually made with the best of intentions. Most of us want to improve our lives, feel better in our bodies, connect more to our loved ones, and so on. I know that’s how my resolutions used to go, anyway. That is, until my idealistic goals shape shifted into guilty thoughts, judgments, criticisms and failures.
So I’d like to suggest a paradigm shift. Instead of focusing on unsustainable change in the new year, consider a new tradition: consider a reflection on the year past, focusing on your successes, and how you can bring those successes with you as you move forward. Because regardless of resolutions, you will be moving forward.
Make a list, shoot a video, blog, or record yourself commemorating all the ways you kicked ass in 2013. What were your wins? Where did you shine? Remember the moments when you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and kept going. Recall the times when life was flowing. Give yourself the year-end gift of basking in positivity.
Now connect this feeling in your body. Identify the sensations, emotions, and images. Consider how you will work to empower yourself to bring this energy with you into the new year, how you will build on your successes, learn from your setbacks, and work to find joy and vibrancy in each moment. And understand that one “off” day doesn’t mean you have to wait another whole year to start over. Fresh starts happen whenever you’re ready to take them on.
We hope you have a healthy and happy everyday, and this holiday is no exception! We’re cheering you on. Go for it!