Better than Resolutions?

Behind every New Year’s resolution, resolutely made, and all too frequently broken, are a host of good intentions! What propels us to resolve to make these resolutions, year after year? Why are they so hard to keep?

We make them because there’s something seductive about the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new. We are drawn into musings on our perceived failings or weaknesses, and at the same time inspired to be a more perfect person in the future.

Yes, the freshness and promise of the coming year! We so want to make amends. The changes we truly want to incorporate into our lives dangle tantalizingly in front of our eyes. We know we can do it!

So we resolve. To quit smoking, to be kinder to people, to be more organized at work, to clean out the basement, to exercise, to socialize with friends more often, to keep in touch more frequently with those who have moved away, to speak our mind forthrightly, to contribute to those less fortunate, and on and on. And some of us–succeed in keeping some of our resolutions.

Unfortunately, for most of us, a month or two down the road, many of the actions we started out doing with such determination and promise, have fizzled out and are soon forgotten. Our resolutions are once again in the realm of good intentions.

What happened? When you think about it, a resolution sounds so final. It implies completion, finality, a “done deed”. But the reality of making successful, lasting change is that it requires more than a promise, a prayer, and a post-it note on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror.

There must be, and there is, another way to become the best we know we can be.

That way requires courage, planning, wrestling with internal demons, inspiration, support, and championing! It requires encouragement from a partner, devoted friend or coach, when we are straying from the path, and also when we progress in small ways towards the goal. And celebration when we get there!

Resolutions are often lonely battles with ourselves. It’s tough to change habits, behaviours, and ways of being, all on our own. Getting help along the way can make the difference between an unfulfilled resolution – and one successfully carried out!

So don’t give up on the desire to change, to grow, to be your best self! Look to a supportive spouse, sibling, offspring, friend, and/or personal coach who is devoted to your winning that war with yourself. They can make the difference between a resolution and a reward!

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