Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you fail to achieve them every year? Making new year’s declarations can actually lead to better success. Find out!
New Year’s resolutions
Happy New Year! It’s that time when everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions. Making New Year’s resolutions is a common practice for many. Lists are long for some and if you’ve read my articles in the past, you’ll know that I’ve always been pro-resolution. The benefits of writing down goals is empirically validated. The 1st of the year IS a great anchor for many to initiate the start of new behaviors and ultimately new habits. Unfortunately, regardless of how many steps are given and/or are mapped out, most continue to fail at making sustainable and lasting change.
The reasons are many but first, it’s worth defining the term resolution.
What is a resolution?
According to the dictionary, a resolution is defined “as the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action; a decision or determination: strong will”. Resolutions require constancy, doggedness, and firmness. As most know, they require effort, struggle, and a lot of work!
In other words, resolutions take will power to live up to, and without a strong will (or rock solid support system propping it up), resolutions usually don’t stand a chance.
Humans have a limited amount of will power and while we can exercise, strengthen, and grow it, ultimately, the amount of will power we have is dependent on ideal internal and external factors. These factors can include things like sleep quantity and quality, diet, our overall health, and ultimately, how much will power we’ve already used in our daily interactions. Most of us struggle with maintaining these basic ideal factors. Declarations, on the other hand, rather than coming from a point of will power, instead, come from a point of decision.
What is a declaration?
A declaration is “an assertion of belief or knowledge”. It’s an affirmation, a testimony, an oath and at its most powerful form, a revelation (1). A declaration is an empowering thought combined with emotion that you speak out loud. Declarations emanate clarity; we declare our love for another when we get married. New Year’s declarations can be defined as an expression of a starting point for change. Whereas resolutions express an end point instead. “I will lose weight,” “I will get fit,” “I will make more money,” are all examples of resolutions that focus on the end result rather than the beginning of something new.
What’s the difference?
Most resolutions stem from old, dysfunctional, and ultimately, hindering beliefs that we have of ourselves and the world around us. Many of us continue to hold unconscious, negative beliefs that we learned as children or past experiences, and our actions AND resolutions are many times reflective of those beliefs.
“I resolve to be happier this year,” may be reflective of your belief that you’re an unhappy person regardless of the good times you’ve experienced. “I resolve to work out more,” may reflect the belief that you lack energy regardless of all the times you HAVE been energetic. If you current belief is “I’m too old to be healthy,” then your brain will guide you, whether consciously or unconsciously, to find evidence that supports this belief, and your choices will reinforce it” regardless of the resolutions you make to do otherwise!
Declarations, on the other hand, work on changing those beliefs. You can actively change them by first creating a declaration that reflects the new belief you want to adopt, such as “I am, healthy, and full of energy and vitality.” Or, “my life is filled with joy and pleasure.” As a result, you can then make a conscious choice to search for activities and experiences that align with your new belief like finally signing up to the new gym that just opened and/or finally making the decision to financially invest in your health, regardless of your age.
What will you declare this year?
This new year declare “who you want to be” rather than resolving “to do what you think you should do” to ultimately achieve your goals. Instead of making resolutions that contain inherent limiting declarations (as described above), visualize and outwardly declare who and how you wish to be and repeat it often, every day. Name your future, regardless of what your belief is and adjust as you go AND gather what you need to get there.
“Be as you wish to seem” ~ Socrates
Here’s to your best year ever!
Questions? Want to learn more? Send me an email.
(1) Slay the Dragon. Lisa Jiminez, M.ED.
More from Roula Marinos Papamihail, MA, CHHC
She trained at Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. and holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis. She’s also the proud mom of 4 little boys. Roula is currently accepting new clients in her office, at home, over the phone, or via Skype. Visit her website at www.myhealthysoma.com.