Posted by: devonellington | January 4, 2016

Why New Year’s Resolutions are Important

How often, at the New Year, are you around people who make excuses for not making New Year’s Resolutions or deride those who make them.

The biggest whine is, “why would I set myself up to fail?”

That’s not the real question. The real question is “Why are you giving up so easily?” and “Why do you set resolutions you don’t care enough about to see through?”

I believe New Year’s Resolutions are important. Yes, every day is a fresh slate, a chance to start over and be better. The turn of the New Year is a more ritualized way of doing it.

I don’t agree with those pseudo-professionals people pay to make them feel better who say, “Lower the bar when you make resolutions.”

Uh, no.

Part of a growing, evolving human being is to keep striving. We need to keep trying new things, and, each day, we need to set an intention to be more ourselves than the day before.

When you apply this to New Year’s Resolutions, you wind up with a positive.

When you make your resolutions, the first thing you need to do is to look back on the previous year, and decide what worked and what didn’t. We do this as part of the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions every year.

The next part is to honestly dissect both of those lists and find out WHY something did or did not work.

“I didn’t have time to x, y, z” is nothing more than a cop-out. There never IS time. We all have the same twenty four hours in every day. It’s how we choose to use them that differentiates us. If you “didn’t have time” to do something, it means that it wasn’t important enough for you to MAKE the time for it. You need to know the WHY behind it.

If you keep making resolutions to do things you don’t care about, things you feel you SHOULD do, rather than things that have personal meaning, yes, you will fail. Or, if you force yourself to do them anyway, you wind up with a martyr complex and a lot of rage. Neither one of those is healthy.

When you set resolutions, first you have to ask yourself what is GENUINELY important to you. Not what fits the agendas of those around you, or what the overpaid “experts” tell you is the year’s hot trend. (I often call them “conperts” because, in my view, they are con artists trying to get people to do things that will net the so-called “expert” more cash instead of actually helping the people listening).

What matters to YOU?

That’s your first building block.

Then, you have to decide how much it matters to you in the context of what you HAVE to do in order to keep a roof over your head and food on the table, and what you WANT to do in other aspects of your life.

What can you eliminate? What won’t you miss? What can take a back burner for awhile, so you MAKE the time to dedicate to this resolution? That’s how you succeed in keeping a resolution.

If your resolution is “lose weight”, but you aren’t willing to exercise more and/or change your eating habits, you’re not going to get there. You can’t just say the words. The words are the first step – putting it out there. You have to take ACTION to MAKE it happen.

And you have to do it without making excuses when you CHOOSE to fail.

That’s why I like to split things down into:

GOALS – tangible actions with deadlines that get me further down the path;

DREAMS – fantasies about the future I plan to build, with an action plan to turn them into reality;

RESOLUTIONS – bigger, more life-changing commitments that build on the goals and work toward the dreams.

We all tend to overbook, take on too much, get overwhelmed, and then stop trying to do anything. As we work on our goals, dreams, and resolutions, we also have to realize that we might have to change or drop some of them along the way, when they no longer serve us.

That’s a post for another day!

It’s important to set your personal bar higher on a regular basis, so you can create a life that’s good for yourself, and whose result is a ripple effect positively for those around you. If we each create positive, affirmative, productive lives for ourselves, those ripples will overlap, and we can change the world into a better place.

Happy New Year!

Devon

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