Why You Should Throw Away Your New Years Resolutions

by Gail Jankovski on December 28

It’s that time of year again—resolution time. So how did you do with last year’s resolution? Did you achieve everything you wanted? Do you even remember what you resolved? Or are you, like a lot of people, resolving to do the same things that you have been resolving to do for the last three years?

I don’t know about you, but resolutions don’t inspire me. Even the word itself is de-motivating. It’s pretty hard to be motivated to do, or not do, something that you are merely resolving to do. It’s seems more like a chore than anything. Maybe we need to re-frame the way we look at New Year’s resolutions and goal setting in general.

What inspires you?

Perhaps the key to actually achieving your goals this year is not to resolve to stop doing what you don’t want, but rather to intend to do more of what you do want. When we set a goal to, say, lose weight (or quit smoking, or clean up our workspace)—we are creating “away from” scenarios. But running away from something isn’t particularly inspiring or motivating. When we set positive “moving forward” intentions, they keep us focused on what we want, rather than what we don’t want.

So how can we set intentions that inspire us and keep us motivated throughout the year?

The goal beneath the goal

We can start by determining the goal beneath the goal. Let’s face it, losing 10 pound or de-cluttering our workspace aren’t particular inspiring goals. Instead, ask yourself what you would like that goal to bring you. Ask yourself what you would like to create more of in your life.

Our true motivations can be any number of things. Someone who is resolving to lose pounds, or quit smoking, may be seeking more vitality, health, movement or even freedom. The resolution to clean up ones home can reveal the desire for more ease, beauty or flow.

Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to bring our true motivations to the surface, and that can be confronting as we recognize areas of lack or fear. But that is where our real inspiration lies.

Think bigger

Once you have determined the goal beneath the goal, don’t play small with it. Humans are creatures of habit, and our habits create patterns in our lives. When we notice those patterns and have success creating shifts in one area of our lives, however small, that can inspires us and keep us motivated to continue moving forward towards our larger intention.

For example, resolving to organize and keep your workspace tidy has a fairly limited scope, but once you have determined what you are expecting that intention to create for you (perhaps more ease or flow) you can begin to notice other areas to focus that same desire. Perhaps “chaos” is also lurking elsewhere.

Examine all the various areas in your life where similar patterns may be playing out—relationships, work, home—and look for ways to create more of what you are seeking there as well. After all, if a little bit of ease (or beauty, or flow) is good—isn’t a whole lot of it, in all areas of your life, even better?

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Start with your beliefs

Belief is an integral, if sometimes overlooked, component of making changes in our lives, but beliefs are just thoughts we have practiced. By shifting our thoughts, and thus our beliefs, we can help to set ourselves up for success rather than failure. After all, if you can’t even imagine yourself achieving your goal, how will you ever get there?

The easiest way to get your mind “on board” with your goals is some simple visualization. Start by imagining yourself after successfully accomplishing your intention—don’t worry about how you got there—just imagine your success. Where are you? Who is with you? How do you look? How do you feel? Notice any feeling that come up for you. Positive feelings indicate you are on the right track—negative feelings can indicate resistance.

Resistance can sometimes be a sign that our goal is not in alignment with our true desires. In that case it may be helpful to back up and rethink what we really desire to create in our lives. Very often, though, feelings of resistance are a signal that limiting beliefs are rearing their ugly heads, in which case techniques such as EFT, affirmations and self hypnosis can help us get back on track.

Be flexible

While being firm and committed to our goals is generally considered a good thing, sometimes things don’t work out as planned, and flexibility might be required. If Plan A doesn’t work out, it is better to move on to Plan B than to just give up and remain stuck. Since we are using the “goal beneath the goal” premise, then it is possible that our true, deeper goal may be expressed in any number of ways.

Sometimes roadblocks along the way can be a blessing; they may push us down a path we never considered before. And sometimes they might even have us moving towards even bigger and better things.

So as you reflect on what you have (or have not) achieved this past year, and look forward to 2016, remember the key to achieving your goals is not resolution, willpower, determination or force. The key to creating what you desire, with grace and ease, starts with setting inspiring and motivating intentions to being with. Let me know how it goes for you.

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Gail Jankovski

Gail is a certified hypnotist, life coach, and aspiring writer and poet. Her approach to personal development is pragmatic: baby steps are OK—and small changes can add up to big rewards. She also keeps busy as an admin assistant, wife, and mom to three grown children.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

lya ferrer January 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

very good article. how interesting the paragraph about true motivations, about recognizing áreas of lack or fear. thank you. Felicidades!


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