January 2013 is quickly coming to a close, and you may be feeling frustrated that your grand New Year’s Resolutions just aren’t happening right now. Many of us start off the New Year with exciting goals, and we can’t wait to get started. As you know, however, many people quickly “fall off the wagon” and find themselves exactly where they were at the end of December. Why is that? Why is it so challenging for people to keep their resolutions, promises or commitments to themselves?
Most people create resolutions around their health, such as promising to lose weight, cut back on sugar, exercise more and quit smoking. These are great aspirations, and achieving them can result in wonders for your overall health. However, there is often an important missing piece with resolutions like these, and that missing piece comes down to getting really clear on how you want to FEEL. As human beings, we respond to emotion. When we are emotionally connected to something in a positive way, it empowers us and motivates us to move forward. When our emotions aren’t involved, it can be very difficult to stay committed and reap the amazing results that lie ahead.
So, what does this have to do with New Year’s Resolutions? If you’ve already started to give up on your resolutions, then pay close attention. I want to ask you to put aside your 2013 resolutions for just a moment, and ask yourself this question: How do I want to FEEL at the end of 2013? In other words, if you could jump ahead to December 31, 2013 right now, how would you want to feel about your life, your body, your relationships and your work? Connecting with how you want to feel is so powerful, because it instantly shifts your focus away from having a time-sensitive result and instead, draws your attention towards seeing your life as an experience.
TRY THIS: Take a sheet of paper out and give yourself 10 minutes to brainstorm a list of words that describe how you want to feel at the end of this year. Here are some words that might be a great start for you:
Once you’ve created your list, consider things you can do in your life to bring about those feelings. I believe you’ll notice really simple, meaningful things that can easily bring about these feelings. Here’s an example of how this might work. If someone wants to lose weight, and instead they focus on having more energy, they may realize that there are many ways of doing this: de-cluttering a room, strengthening a relationship, deep breathing, making healthy eating choices, etc. Increasing energy, all of a sudden, is so much more than just focussing on what’s on your plate. This person may find that these ideas help her to reduce her stress, and focus on what makes her happy, which (in addition to improving her eating habits), result in successful weight loss for her. By focusing on wanting to feel energized, instead of just wanting to lose weight, she ends up feeling happier about herself and her life, and what a great starting point this is to support her in her weight loss goals. Does this make sense?