Are your New Year’s resolutions setting you up for failure?
Many of us live through the year under stress, pressure and the feeling of being time-poor. So, when the Christmas / New Year holiday rolls around, we vow to make things better in the coming year.
Good idea! But then we scrabble to make a plan, only to go about it in the wrong way.
With the time and space to think, and a spark of inspiration, the next, apparently logical step, is usually to set New Year resolutions and goals. But is this logical? You only need to look at the failure rate to know that it isn’t.
Studies show that around 90% of New Year’s resolutions fail.
That could seem quite depressing if you’ve just got yourself feeling pumped about your New Year. But take heart, this article will show you the key to making sure that your resolutions are amongst the 10% of winners, and that most importantly, you enjoy the trip along the way.
Many articles discuss the various reasons for the high failure rate, but the way I see it, they all boil down to one main problem. Most resolutions are created using the same flawed belief that creates most of our problems.
The fundamental flawed belief is that, that we need to rely on willpower to make things happen, and that there will usually be a struggle involved.
As Alex Loyd refers to willpower in his book “Beyond Willpower”,
“You might be able to push that rock uphill for a while, but usually it rolls back down and crushes you.”
The problem is that willpower is a finite resource, and relying on it creates stress. As we know, stress is the number one cause of nearly all our problems, and it almost always sets us up for failure.
But what counts as success or failure anyway? Maybe as you read this you are remembering a time when you did struggle your way along, using willpower to achieve your New Year’s resolution, and chalked that up as a success. But was it really? Two questions worth asking yourself, to judge if it was a real success are:
- During the process, was I enjoying the journey?
- Did I find lasting fulfilment from achieving my goal?
I believe that the answers to both those questions need to be a ‘yes’ to truly label your New Year resolution a success. So, here’s what to do:
HOW TO CREATE A FAIL-SAFE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
- Go towards, not away:
Make sure that you are aiming towards something, not trying to get away from something. It may just be a matter of wording but this is critical. For example, aiming towards feeling slim and fit at 60kg as opposed to saying you want to lose 10kg or not be fat anymore. A common general example is trying to get away from what you fear. Instead, get clear on its opposite, what you do want to experience, and look towards that.
- Work out your ‘why’:
Ask yourself what difference it will make in your life by achieving this goal. In actual practical terms, what will be different? Write those things down.
- Find the feeling:
Identify the underlying feeling that you are aiming for. Simply allow yourself to imagine how it feels to have achieved your desired outcome, and to be experiencing those positive changes that you are aiming for. Don’t just think about it, feel it in your body.
- Be it to see it:
Commit to taking each step along the way being aware, in the present moment, that you are in the feeling that you just identified. For example, if you are wanting to lose weight so that you can feel light and inspired about life again, you need to be doing it in the energy and feeling of lightness and inspiration, not heaviness, dread and punishment. This will ensure that you are not resorting to willpower alone to force you along the path.
This may require you to change your mind set, change the way you go about things or even change your resolution.
- Remain flexible:
This means staying open to other possibilities. Instead of being absolutely fixed on your exact outcome, and how you intend to achieve it, open your mind to considering that there might be other outcomes better suited to you, and other ways of getting there, that you haven’t yet thought of.
The bottom line is, to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure, with more stress and pressure this year, you need to open yourself to replacing willpower as your sole driving force, and replace it with other forms of power that you already have available to you.
To learn more about moving away from the struggle of willpower and into living with more ease, you can get my free video training which shows you how to quickly free yourself up and make things easier this year… with or without New Year’s resolutions.