We are now 4 days in; how is it going keeping your new years resolutions? When I say those three words to people I usually get one of two reactions. People will either begin to state the commitments they have made to themselves or they will go into an explanation why they never make them because they don’t stick. I actually love the idea of resolutions and always make them. Whether it is as typical as “exercise more” or something that is really personal to the core of me as a person I set the intention. I believe it is always good when I get a chance to evaluate my life and find ways to be a better person tomorrow than I am today.
With that said, as optimistic as you may be about the benefit you can get from resolutions, there has to be some level of acknowledgement to the fact that they often don’t last. In looking at our challenges in maintaining change and creating new habits, there are common pitfalls that we run into. If you are truly looking to make real change in your life, addressing some of these issues may help. There are ways to work through the typical detailers that may be keeping you from your goal and I would like to use my next few posts to address some of these. Although this is all focused on new years, this information can help with any change you try to make, any time of the year.
Why this matters so much
When we make commitments to ourselves and don’t keep them we cause significant damage to our self-esteem. You might not realize it, but everybody has an inner critic. That little voice inside that recognizes the flaws you may have and feeds on them. It is the voice of your fears. It is that voice that consistently calls out your failures and exploits them. It holds on to every voice from the past that gives confirmation to every negative thing you see in yourself and makes sure to bring it up as often as possible. No matter how healthy your self-esteem is or how much you love yourself, this judgement exists on some level. Keeping it under control is a challenge and it can be detrimental to every improvement you try to make in your life if you give it the power.
When you break a commitment to yourself the critic will bring it up every time you try to make another change in your life. It is very powerful ammunition that it will use whenever possible. In regards to new years this fact is really important to understand and acknowledge. The changes that we turn into “resolutions” tend to be connected to some of our deepest insecurities so it is even more damaging when we don’t follow through. Being as committed to yourself as you would be to others is important in helping your self-esteem and in making change sustainable in your life.
So why do we break these commitments to ourselves, particularly at this time of the year? There are a many reasons for this but some tend to be more common than others. Here is a short list of typical reasons that I will be addressing through the next few blogs:
- We don’t work through the emotional energy tied to the bad habit
- We struggle to keep it positive and can’t sustain the initial motivation
- We try to make gigantic changes with one big leap and they should really be taken in small steps
- We build up to “the day” and the minute we stumble after that we give up hope and let go
Any of these resonate with you? If so my next few posts may help you. To get started, think through your resolutions. Answer these few questions (works best if you write them down) then watch for my next blog for next steps!
- Why is this change important to you?
- What is the steps you have committed to take?
- Why has this been a struggle for you in the past?
- What is the end result you are looking for?
Happy new years to all!!!!