It’s that time again. New year – new resolutions. But do any of us really follow through? Lose 20 pounds. Start exercising. Eat better. Get that closet organized. Learn how to play the piano.
We may have great intentions, and perhaps begin to work on our resolutions, but then somewhere along the way things seems to stall. Resolutions are forgotten. Or they are too difficult. Everyday life continues. We’re too busy. Not motivated.
What is it that inspires us (or doesn’t) to make and stick with our resolutions? Why do we make certain commitments in the first place? Is it actually the feeling behind the resolution? Do we resolve to lose weight because we want to feel happy, healthy, and energized? Do we promise to start working out because we want to feel strong, beautiful and youthful? Do we vow to clean up and organize the kids’ playroom because we want to feel less chaos and more peace?
Here’s an idea. Try making your resolutions or any attempt to make changes in your life around how you want to FEEL? Then might we actually stick with it? And even build a life around that feeling or feelings that truly lasts?
Try this exercise.
#1) Think about how you DON’T want to feel in the new year. What emotions or physical experiences did you have that brought you down or created negative energy in your life? Have you felt stressed and disorganized? Weak and tired? Chaotic? Generally unhappy? Smothered?
#2) Now consider how you DO want to feel. How do you want to feel physically, emotionally or mentally? What is most important to you? Do you want to feel energized and happy? Do you wish to feel relaxed and strong? Peaceful? Organized? Try to narrow this down to two or three that you want most. Write these down.
#3) For each answer in #1, make a short list of specific ways you can achieve that desired outcome. If you decided you don’t want to feel stressed, but instead want to feel calm and peaceful, how can you achieve that? Try not to take on so much, which means perhaps dropping a class or other activity? Set aside time to meditate, go for a walk or do yoga? Have designated time for yourself on a daily or weekly basis? Do you wish to feel more clear-minded? If so, how can you accomplish that? Create a schedule? Clean up your desk? Remove clutter in other areas of your life? Go to bed earlier? Begin working on these tasks one-by-one.
We also suggest keeping the words you listed in #2 visible so you remember how you want to feel to help motivate you. And you may be surprised how much more motivated you are by an emotional, mental or physical state!