Happy January All! I love seeing New Year's resolutions from around the world. They are a reflection of hopes, dreams, intentions and promises to ourselves for life in the next 525,600 minutes of this year.
This time of year and is generally really positive and encouraging, and I love it. Yet, in the midst of overflowing optimism of new year’s resolutions is the big white elephant in the middle of the room: the majority of resolutions poop out by month #2. They don’t work.
According to Forbes Magazine, only a dwindling 8% of people achieve their resolutions this year.
US News reports that 80% of resolutions fail by February.
Will you be amongst the 80% that quit in February and the 92% that quit sometime after the novelty wears off?
As an optimist, I’m not crazy about the failure rate and the statistics I see in these New Years resolutions statistics.
In lieu this, I have decided to excavate the root of my resolutions and work them so they work for me.
Given that New Year's resolutions have such a high failure rate, I have, for one, decided to make birthday resolutions instead. After all, my birthday is technically when a new year of my life begins. The day of my birth is my starting point.
Admittedly, I have been thinking about, and have been with my resolutions since my birthday last October. So here, in January, it’s actually the beginning of the second quarter for me (Its April, to equate to the calendar year).
Rather than setting goals, however, I have mindset resolutions. Instead of focusing on a tangible outcome, I set my sights on the underlying foundation of my intentions.
I ask myself what it is that I wanted to create this year?
Rather than coming from a place of fear or lack, I allow myself to vision from a place of already having all that I need.
Over decades of immersion, the practice of mindful presence and gratitude has cultivated the blessing of knowing that whatever it is I need, I have available to me.
Some call it faith, or grace, or powerful manifestation. Any woo-woo label can be attached to it and what feels right is knowing that I am simply in flow with the universe. Considering that I am, as we all are, part and parcel of life, I am subject to the life force of all living creatures. In fact, my prayers and affirmations are simply that I am in harmony and one with what is.
This mindset allows me to be the instrument to which life unfolds.
In the unfolding for this year, I have decided that I am not going to succumb to the dismal statistics of resolutions made.
Disappointingly, the statistics on resolutions may link to a more primal part of us that triggers our fears. Our enthusiasm overcomes us and we logically fight our shortcomings by putting in place action that combats stagnation.
This “can do” attitude gets the best of us and many buy into the very rational notion that action causes results.
We forget, however, that before action, there is thought. Like an automated computer program, there is coding and programming behind the sequence.
Mind Before Matter
In order to truly change action, we must change attitude. For attitudes to change, we must experience and embrace a shift in mindset (consciousness). Literally, we need to change our mind about whatever it is that we are considering true.
Outcome and action is the result of mindset. Our attitude reflects what we are aware of. So, at least for me, making resolutions (changing my habits and actions) without changing my programming (the fundamental attitudes and beliefs around the actions) is self-defeating behavior.
From Where It Comes
Awareness of where I am coming from when I make resolutions is key.
Many times, however, we do not begin from a place of sufficiency, but rather, from a place of lack. The majority of us resolve to change our life from the validation of what we see as acceptable in society. Tuning in to our own wisdom as the best and highest authority might feel utterly foreign.
Many never look past the action beyond the resolve. Most of us see that we need to be “more organized” or “make more money” or “lose weight.” But, when the going gets tough, and we get hard on ourselves, often times, we break and give up.
What To Do
What can be done about this madness?
Since most resolutions stem from a place of “this is what I don’t want” and “this is what I do want,” our resolve fosters lack in the most basic form. We create resolutions for ourselves recognizing deficiency and not-enough ness rather than acknowledging the wholeness of our being.
Essentially, we are agreeing with the widespread lie that we are not enough. We are not skinny enough, so we need to lose weight. We are not pretty enough, so we need to get pretty. We do not make enough money so we need to do more, earn more and be more.
Enough is Enough!
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of the crazy. For me, I’ve had enough of hearing that in my life.
No longer will I affirm scarcity, lack or insufficiency! I am whole and enough, just as I come.
In my resolutions, rather than looking outward for affirmation, I embrace an inside-out approach.
Rather than looking at what is deficient in my life, I start with knowing that I’ve got everything I need. Everything that I need, all the motivation, resources, wisdom and insight, lives within me. If it is not, I know that it is readily available. My job is to simply stay in the present and alert, with eyes, ears and heart open.
Again and Again
A mindset resolution requires participation and accountability. It is not for the weak, the lazy or the unmotivated. Every time I come to a place of resistance, I’ve got to give myself the option to decide over and over to begin again.
Giving myself the option to decide anew releases me from guilt and empowers me to conscious action, and stay in the present.
The mantra, “Gentle, gentle, ease and grace” is a reminder. It is the perfect affirmation when I feel challenged. Following this, I take three (3) long deep breathes to allow the affirmation to soak in.
This mothering, loving, nurturing phrase counteracts any meanness my ego may be preparing, blocking any potential self-defeating thoughts with deep self-compassion.
This practice of perspective has changed my life! Providing the opportunity for me to change my mind keeps me engaged and present in my journey. It has given me peace of mind and the confidence of going forward to embrace challenges before me and accomplishing things that I never knew I could.
So how about you? What New Year’s resolutions have you made that can be shifted to mindset resolutions? How do you feel about the dismal statistics mentioned about resolutions? How will or what will you do when the going gets tough as the year goes by to keep the resolve and promises you have made for yourself?