New Year’s Resolutions – Pish Posh!


Being the beginning of the year it is tradition for everyone to make those New Year’s resolutions, most of which won’t be kept but what does this strange tradition really mean to us?

At the beginning (or end) of every year we take the time to reflect on the past and we look at what is important to us at that very point in our lives. Whether we feel we need to lose weight, change our career or re-evaluate our existing relationships, and so on, we are looking at what we would rather have. Then we decide it is time to try and patch up our flaws, kick out the bad ‘stuff’ in our lives and try to do what is in our eyes, the right thing, and so resolutions for change are made. These will be our goals with, in general, little to no planning behind them.

These goals are seldom taken as seriously as they should be. Shrugging off a failed New Year’s resolution is nothing new and something I am sure we have all done. It has got to the point that when we make our resolutions, subconsciously we half expect to fail anyway purely because of the stigma attached to the idea.

Our resolutions simply become good intentions that never yield any fruit.

I asked myself a simple question this morning. What if this year I decide to make my resolutions more than just whimsical desires and really took them seriously? What if we all did?

We could sit down and write out what is important to us and what we want to achieve over the coming twelve months and then come up with an action plan. We could formulate a way to measure our growth and success as we follow monthly, weekly and daily plans. With dedication we could achieve our goals.

It all sounds like a lot of work though, and let’s face it, most of us are still in holiday mode and we don’t really want to think about work, in any form.

Over-planning to reach our goals makes them seem tedious and under-planning makes our goals directionless and seemingly pointless, so how do we strike the perfect balance that will keep us motivated?

There appears to be more questions than answers.

I don’t have the perfect answer that will help with planning for the year ahead all I can do is work through a process of trial and error.

Perhaps I should reward myself but how often and for achieving what exactly and what would my rewards be? In this instance I would also need a definite way to measure my progress.

When we create small steps to achieve a greater goal we tend to become wracked with guilt if we miss a small step or fail to achieve a small success. Because it is a personal goal we are so much harder on ourselves than we would normally be if it was, for example, something business related. It is at this point when so many people give up completely instead of considering a new strategy or tweaking the current one to be more practical.

Why do so many of us become despondent and give up so easily. It really appears that a part of human nature, to a degree, is that we are self-sabotaging. What I think we need to do is not to try and discover why we do this but rather find a way to move beyond it.

There is an inner drive inside of all of us to achieve our dreams and we need to find fuel for it in order to keep moving forward. We need to be able to stop the guilt of failure in its tracks.

So what am I going to do about it? I have started to tell myself something along the lines of “I am okay for not having achieved this, I will not dwell on it, I will release it and find a way to move forward towards my goals”. Finding a way to remove feelings of guilt and shame (and any other negative emotions) is just as important as and possibly more difficult than finding ways to keep ourselves motivated.

So right from the beginning, even before I begin to create my action plan, I need to know what drives me. I have been searching for pictures to visually represent what motivates me, it could be a picture of my ideal body, or my family or pets, and I am putting them somewhere where I can see them several times throughout the day. They are ideally going to be somewhere where I can sit quietly and look at them if I need to, especially if I feel that I have hit a bump in the road. I want my motivators to be stronger than any negative emotion I might experience.

When I am set up and ready, then I will start to plan and finally I will start to take action (the most important part of any plan)! Who knows, maybe by the end of this year I will have the perfect plan to achieving and maintaining any resolutions I might make for 2012.

This year when and if, you make any New Year’s Resolutions don’t make them if you are half expecting to fail. Make them completely expecting to succeed. The energy you put in is the energy you will get out.

Good luck and Happy New Year!


First published: 02 January 2012 ~


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