As the clock strikes midnight on the dawn of the new year, so many of us are filled with hope, dreams and aspirations that this year will be better than last. This year I will become the best version on myself, this year I will give 'this' up, and this year I will do 'this' daily and so on and so on.
We hurl ourselves into our new regime of living, showing up daily giving it our all. Usually by about day 7, the cracks begin to appear. I find it tends to be around this time things begin to slip.
We miss one of our new daily tasks, we have that drink, we smoke that sneaky cigarette. Then in the coming days wracked with guilt, beating ourselves up we indulge even more, and before you know it the habit you've tried to quit is now back in full flow, and quite often at an increased rate. Sometimes it feels doomed before its even begun.
It is said that around 60 - 70% of resolutions fail. So with this being the case, why do we insist on putting ourselves through this each year?
Why do we do it?
Well, I believe many of us really want to better ourselves. I think deep down so many of us want to be healthier and happier, we are striving for improvement all the time. We also seem to live in a world of ‘i'll be happy when i'm this, or that’, and that encourages us to set these goals. I also think after the over indulgence that comes with December sometimes we just want to feel healthier. So a lot of our health drive and new ways for January simply comes off the back of that.
Change your resolution
I think a fundamental problem with resolutions is that we are telling ourselves something is wrong with ourselves. The space that we set these pledges from, to me sings quite negatively. From that place we are not working from a space of love and kindness.
Firstly I think we need to quit making resolutions. Setting intentions is a far more productive practice.
For instance rather than say ‘I will exercise every Monday, Wednesday & Friday for one hour’ replace it with ‘I commit to becoming healthier, I commit to moving more several times a week’ By not laying down the law personally within you leave yourself room to find your own rhythm. An intention is a far kinder personal act than 'you will'.
It's not too late
So if you're in the situation that all your resolutions are slowly beginning to fail, and you're feeling pretty despondent by it all, follow my simple plan to get yourself back onto the road to success.
Get a pen and paper, then revisit your resolutions. Now rewrite all your resolutions into intentions. So if you have said you will quit sugar this year (and you are eating a donut as you read this!), write ‘I am committed to healthier food choices, I am committed to eating more whole and natural foods’. You can see the difference. As you write your new intentions feel the shift in the energy, feel how different it feels as you read them back. There is far more positivity in this new wording.
Reflect on each intention, journal about them. Ask yourself ‘why do I need to change this thing?’ Quite often when we reflect on the reasons why we have such patterns we begin to understand them more. Then reflect on how you can implement new structures and changes. If you're trying to go vegan in 2022 and you have dinner plans coming up, check the restaurant's menu, is there a vegan option? could you rearrange a different place to eat if not. Seek ways to allow your intentions to come into form, look for ways you can make simple, and easy adjustments. Always do it with joy, find ways to make it a pleasurable experience.
Forgive yourself. Really get into the habit of self forgiveness. If you don't manage to do something that is OK, you are human, and you are doing the best you can.
Celebrate your achievements. This is a big one. We put so much emphasis on what we have done wrong, but really we should focus on what we've done right way more often. If you've taken a walk instead of watching another episode of the latest big thing on Netflix, be proud of what you've done, congratulate yourself, really honor your achievements. Even if they feel minor, get in the habit of celebrating you.
Repeat some positive affirmations daily. Check out my self love affirmation meditation below. Change your mindset in 5 short minutes with this powerful meditation. It can be done in the morning to start your day right, last thing at night to aid a good nights sleep, or during the day for an instant lift.
Make 2022 a year of self love, and growth, and watch how miraculously your life begins to shift and change for the better.