Happy New Year and welcome to 2015. I hope you have completely recovered from that nasty hangover. Ready to start the grind again from Monday onwards? Also what about your New Year Resolutions? You didn’t make them because you never end up achieving those goals, you say?
What if I tell you that if you change your perspective about goals and resolutions, then you will have a better chance at achieving them? You will still have to do the work though. The magical fairy with her Easy Manifestin’ Wand is on an indefinitely long vacation.
What Makes Our New Year Resolutions Fail?
It could be that you were still pretty drunk when you made that resolution. But if you made it when you were sober, focused and determined to change and it still bombed by the 2nd week of January, then this article is for you.
In my opinion, these are some of the reasons which doom the New Year Resolution gig, right from the start:
- These resolutions are made with the energy of lack/fear/disgust behind them. I want more money this year, because I feel poor, better ratings at work because I fear being sacked, 6 pack abs because I feel disgusted with my belly
- They are too broad, ambitious, unrealistic and are not easily broken down into smaller goals. This makes them look like a mammoth task from Day One and is hence very discouraging
- Most of the time, they are not based on our true passion. If they are based on our passion, then we haven’t cultivated the habit of nurturing our passion. If you never had a hobby in the last 5 years and suddenly expect to become half decent on the guitar in 3 months – that’s unrealistic
Ok, so now you are bound to feel that this article is a huge downer and its pouring cold water on your New Year excitement to get shit done. Hold on, here is the good part.
Resolutions are an amazing tool to get shit done, when applied with the appropriate perspective and understanding of the psychology behind getting shit done
Resolutions are an amazing tool to get shit done, when applied with the appropriate perspective and understanding of the psychology behind getting shit done.
What nonsense is this about some psychology? I want my 6 pack abs, right now and this isn’t helping.
Well, I used this psychology to manifest this self-designed, self-hosted, professional website and wrote 20 blog articles in 3 months, while being a total noob in the blogging world and having a full time job, with part time psychotherapy school (Read about the making of the website here). Did it require work? Heck yeah – blood, sweat, tears and a backache while sitting at my desk.
Though it was my ability to create achievable goals that kept me going and ensured that I stayed focused on the tasks at hand. Building a professional website is a huge task, with so many moving parts to it – especially if you are not a professional web designer.
Without much ado, here is the executive summary on what I learnt through my experiences about this manifestation psychology, resolutions and goal setting.
Make resolutions from a true feeling of Abundance and not Lack
We mostly make resolutions when we lack something. Be it money, health, self-confidence – you name it. That’s a big reason why we fail. What if we look within to find what we are really passionate about and use that to drive change? For example, I want to start hiking because it seems like so much fun and I love nature. So I will use my passion for hiking to work out and get fit, instead of working out to lose/gain weight to improve my self-image
Start small, create a Vision, set weekly Goals and manage your time
Start small, yo! The most sustainable form of transformation happens slowly. Here slow is fast. Create a Vision of what you want to achieve in a particular time frame and an honest look at what is driving you to achieve it. Then break it down into smaller, achievable weekly goals. Make it as specific as you can, because achieving goals give you a high and acts as a great motivator in itself. Decide on how much time you want to spend on this project on a daily basis and stick to the plan
Create a Vision of what you want to achieve in a particular time frame and an honest look at what is driving you to achieve it. Then break it down into smaller, achievable weekly goals
Don’t go to war with yourself – love yourself
Most of the time, we hate our bodies and our so-called weaknesses. We try to set goals to change this. But then a part of you is going to war with another part of you. Your Inner Critic will pass critical judgement on you and create a million excuses when that happens. Love yourself. Firstly, accept yourself, the way you are. Then gently ask your mind and body, if it wants to try something new, something fun. Also old habits change slowly – be patient. Have fun with your goals and be gentle on yourself when you fail
Ask for support from friends or online forums
You don’t have to do it all alone. Most likely, others have already achieved what you are trying to work on. Ask for help, ask for suggestions and advice. Use your own discernment though, as what worked for them might not work for you. Ask a good friend to partner up with you, to motivate you when you are down. Use all the support you can get and be grateful for their time and assistance. Exchange feedback
Respect and acknowledge your failures
Failures are our best teachers. So they say. But you can’t learn from a teacher if you don’t respect him. We generally beat ourselves up for failing and that automatically means that failure is something bad and abhorrent. But what if you think of failure as the professor of a prerequisite course for what you are trying to achieve? After you fail, set aside ample time to fully research your failure and develop strategies to learn from what didn’t work
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison
When the motivating factors are clean, life affirming and empowering, then they drive you without you having to push yourself too hard
Finally, I want to add that when you follow these broad guidelines, you will see that motivation is generally not a problem. When the motivating factors are clean, life affirming and empowering, then they drive you without you having to push yourself too hard. When your hard labour turns into a labour of love, that’s when manifesting becomes easy and resolutions work for you.
Wishing you all the best for the new year and happy goal setting!
Photo Credit – Friedl Vanluchene – Flickr Creative Commons