Making changes and resolutions.

I don’t like New Year resolutions. I don’t like the attitude that now it’s New Year so we make resolutions and I hate it when people ask me what my New Year resolutions are. It feels imposed and artificial.  I don’t like that.

But I don’t want my life to drift along. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that “I was always going to…but now it’s too late!” I do need to remind myself of the things that matter and are my highest priorities. That way I can keep control of my life. At least, that’s the aim.

Easy enough to say, but not always easy in practice. I get busy and routines fly out the window. I discover that it’s a week or a month or even longer and I haven’t spent any time in mindfulness practice, or  exercise or  writing. Too easy then for me to fall into gloom and beat myself up – never helps.

In some TV show one character said of another that when she died they’d put on her headstone ” She died with potential.” Now that scares me.  I do not want to die with potential. I want to use it all up. Was it the singer Placido Domingo who said he would rather wear out than rust?

Helene Lerner, in an interview on CNN, about Resolutions,( posted on January 21, 2014,) reminds us to take time for self-reflection; to go inside ourselves and ask ourselves what it is we really want, what excites us and turns us on? She reminds us of how easy it is to get off focus. And that’s where the time for self-reflection needs to come in.

Helene says that if we decide that this is the year to do something we’ve always been going to do, then  DON’T GIVE UP. She emphasizes that there’LL always be obstacles. The challenge? is to keep going. I’m embarrassed by how many things have been on my list for years.

In the post  “When self-improvement gets boring, try these 6 motivational strategies,” (in the Huffington Post: healthy living, posted 01/26/2014, written by Brant Secunda and Mark Allen,) the writers talk about “soul resolutions”. They explain what they mean by this is those goals that ” concern the deeper aspects of personal growth.”

I like this much more than New Year Resolutions. For me, these are those essential, on-going goals that keep me oriented. They are my life blood.  I won’t even know what they are unless I spend time in self-reflection.

BUT…that doesn’t mean I do it. I’m so easily distracted from that self-reflection time. I might get up late and have appointments.. so my time goes. Or I decide to set time aside at night.. then I read for too long or a friend phones and I’m tired.  I can make excuses or justify missing my time much too easily- I can always do it tomorrow, I think to myself, one day won’t hurt. But the next day I mightn’t  even think about my soul resolutions.

As long as I never give up.

Winston Churchill said “Success is not final. Failure is not final. It is the courage to go on that counts.”

That gives me heart to pick myself up yet again, take time out and keep going.

I’d really like to hear any tips or strategies you have for keeping on. How do you overcome obstacles?

8 thoughts on “Making changes and resolutions.

  1. I find it helpful, especially with exercise, to do it early in the day. It gets it done and over with so I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day!
    I agree that New Years resolutions can be dissheartening – I found a list I had done 4 years ago and did not need to change a thing (even my goal weight!) – I suppose it saved me writing a new one!

  2. My simple prayer has always been…”Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.” Then I just get on with my life…knowing that in our God’s overwhelming love…I’ll gradually become whom our God wills me to be (with all my faults and failings)…life is way beyond my comprehension…I love the statement of the mystics…” all is well and all will be well”…not that I have such great faith, but god’s love is way beyond my lack of faith….Bernie.

    • Sounds a bit passive to me. I want to use those talents I have. I want to have hope that we can save the planet and still have a fair just society.
      ‘Despair is a black leather jacket in which every looks good, while hope is a pink frilly dress few dare to ware” Rebecca Solnitt
      I want the guts to ware the pink frilly dress!

  3. No I don’t like linking to a date. It is artificial. Artificial lends to failure. Failure is not the end but it adds to the hurdle of achieving the goal.

  4. Yes, we grow to resolves, gradually, with insights and thoughtfulness; with reflections and then knowing what is needed and knowing what has not worked.

  5. My main strategy for keeping on……Our mind has awesome power and it seems that it has the power to make any situation positive or negative. When I find that it is considering too much of the negative…..I say to myself “Self…..Get out of your mind and get into your body” and I go and do something a bit strenuous. ……a brisk (or not so brisk) walk up the little mountain near me and I am skipping down with a smile on my face and a spring in my gait.

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