Happy New Year! Unfortunately by now, studies show that many of our resolutions will be Gone With The Wind. Can’t you just hear yourself echoing Rhett Butler as you mutter, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” while reaching for those donuts you recently swore off of?
No worries! Instead of being one of those writers who chides, “I told you so!” (because one of MY resolutions is to stop being so holier than thou!) I’m about to teach you how to modify your resolutions to favor more success. After all, Spire is all about attitude adjustment (breath adjustment too!) because it’s never too late to improve.
Six Resolution Traps To Steer Clear Of!
1. Resolutions that are generic and subjective.
A. I will eat healthy! B I will get in great physical shape! C. I will be a better parent! D. I will have no more financial worries! E. I will be an incredible lover!
Do any of these ring a familiar New Year’s bell? When resolutions are vague and nebulous, you won’t personally identify with them because they could apply to almost anyone. Zeroing in on the more concrete and intimate parts of these affirmations will keep them resonating with you far longer.
So as an example, here’s how I’d tweak the above popular resolutions so they’ll strike a more meaningful chord for me.
A. I will try to eat a deep green vegetable daily. B. I will do upper body resistance training three times a week. C. I will take a class on how to deal with rebellious teenagers D. I will give up my thrice weekly Starbucks lattes and put the saved $ in a jar (note: this simultaneously helps with resolution ‘A’ too!) And finally . . . E. I’m already an incredible lover so I’ll just resolve to find someone who appreciates me. Ha, but you get the idea!
2. Resolutions that use the words ‘Never’ or ‘Always.’
I don’t need to give examples because we all know how these resolutions go. But you’re not a rigid machine, you’re a flexible human who messes up every once in a while. Therefore, you WILL occasionally partake in dessert, an alcoholic beverage, or forget to floss your teeth. So do yourself a favor and stay away from the All or Nothing types of goals as they will only lead to feelings of failure and you’ll abandon hope faster than ever.
3. Resolutions that are normally done on a volunteer basis.
If you resolve to do something out of the goodness of your heart, it could doom you to falter. Pledging to help out in your child’s classroom, give more time or money to charity, or playing Bingo with seniors, (But why is it always Bingo? Wouldn’t Pictionary be fun too?) are all worthwhile endeavors, but the obligatory nature of the vow itself will turn you off. It’s better to leave these kinds of altruistic ambitions to when the spirit moves you, rather than making them mandatory in a particular year.
4. Resolutions that involve another individual.
You only have control over yourself so saying something like, “WE will travel to exotic places more often” is probably not going to fly. (Well it may fly a bit better if you purchase their airfare to Tahiti!)
5. Resolutions made in secret.
I’m as private a person as anyone (Do you think I ever chose “truth” when playing Truth or Dare?) but now’s not the time to be clandestine. If you have zero accountability, chances are high you’ll sweep your resolution under the rug. Find a trusted confidante and disclose what you’re committing to this year. At the very least, make some documentation on paper. There’s just something about putting it in writing.
6. Resolutions that add up.
Yes, I know you’re enthused at the prospect of leading “a new life” when January rolls around, but overwhelming yourself with making tons of changes will surely backfire. Choose three of your most personally meaningful resolutions (at the most) and that way you’ll have more time and energy to devote to each one.
And remember, slipping up once or twice isn’t the end of the world. Give yourself a break and this time let’s borrow a brilliant quote from that famous last scene in Gone With The Wind. Just like Scarlett O’Hara does here, pick yourself up, dust your clothes off with renewed vigor, and exclaim with gusto, “After all, tomorrow IS another day!”