Twenty-twelve in definitely underway, most people will be back at work, school is about to start, the festive season is all too quickly becoming a distant memory and credit card bills have replaced Christmas cards in the mail. Many people will have taken some time over the New Year period to assess what they don’t like about themselves, their lives, or others, thought about what they would like to change and maybe set a resolution to deal with it. Whether it is to quit smoking, lose weight, spend more time with your children, save more money, travel overseas, get a new job or do more exercise, the statistics show that between 50% and 80% of New Years resolutions will be broken by the end of January. So is there any point to setting them in the first place?
I have had many resolutions over the years that I never keep, like do more exercise, eat more fruit and veg, drink more water, be more organised, watch less television and on and on they go. Each time I set them I can’t understand why I can’t keep them. It seems in a blink of an eye these simple things are quickly forgotten, neglected or compromised as other temptations, priorities and tasks creep into each and every day. I have some major personality idiosyncrasies, such as the desire to chat to and see my friends and family a lot, the tendency to be a little lazy, procrastinate and get easily distracted, and therefore my New Years resolutions get quickly high jacked.
It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results so I think it is important to look at why so many New Years Resolutions don’t work. Most of the literature suggests they don’t work because we set them on the 1st January and then we actually forget about them pretty quickly until the 1st January the following year, when we set them again. So we aren’t accountable, we don’t have any milestones, no success indicators, once we set the resolution we need to establish a plan to achieve it.
I have a different philosophy, I believe when most of us set resolutions we focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves or our lives, we bring to mind the things we are told we should do or be or we look at what we think is missing. What about if we look at what we love to do, what we enjoy about our life and build on that, grow the positive things, build on our strengths and we may slowly shrink or strangle out the weaknesses or the less desirable aspects of our life. Let me assure you there are plenty of people out there who will notice your shortcomings and comment on your mistakes or failures, so you don’t need to join the bandwagon. You can take this time to look at what you love about you, what you enjoy, what makes your heart sing and sets your soul free. Find that thing and resolve to indulge in it more, and I hope, if we can push through the fear, doubt and laziness, we will be able to keep the resolutions.
For me, my mind is constantly consumed with the fact that wealth and greed make us blind to what is really important, our affluence anesthetizes us so we ignore the thirsty, the hungry and the suffering – I want to avoid becoming blind. So in 2012 I want to dedicate time to counting my blessings, I want to see and celebrate the small beauties in everyday, I want to breath deeply and slowly, often. Above all I want to love deeply. So there is my challenge for the year ahead. Are you going to set a resolution? If so I hope you can keep it and prove the statistics and sceptics wrong – good luck.