Forget resolutions

Returning from a trip is always a little surreal.

You feel like you’ve been gone for ages but just as soon as you walk in the door, it’s like you never left.

Time does that weird thing.  Seems to fly by and yet at time stretches out like crazy.

Like that we’re already mid-February, how strange is that?

Just as the New Year Resolution practice starts kicking in I suddenly notice that weeks have gone by!

The truth is, II gave up on New Year’s Resolutions years ago.  It’s not that I’m a pessimist; it’s just that it never worked!

You see, I had always thought that New Year’s Resolutions was about giving up stuff, and trying to do things differently.

So I would write the list.  Does this sound familiar?

  • Stop eating junk food.
  • Watch less television
  • Read a book a week
  • Get healthier
  • Get a better job

And so on…..

And it never worked.

What’s the problem?  Well, this list, or any list like it, is just too general, too negative and not at all easy to follow.

Then I realized that the story I was telling myself was looking at the past critically, but not really creating a new story for the future.   You see, if you want make positive change, you need to create a new story.  And that story needs to be encouraging, specific and uplifting.

So I started writing the New Year’s Re-Story!

It starts like this.

‘This year will be great! I will embrace the goodness in my life and continue to be healthy and fulfilled.’

I recognize that it’s not about doing differently, changing or becoming something else.  It’s more about accepting what is, while making further commitments to support and build good practices.

So I might continue like this:

‘I will exercise regularly (walk my dog twice a day and go to Zumba classes 3 times a week), continue to read books that feed and encourage my creativity – (list books) and cook with my kids regularly and broaden our healthy choices with more salads and fresh fruit, and home baked treats!’

Do you see the difference between this approach and traditional New Year’s Resolutions?  Does it make sense to you? 

Of course, it’s not even a New Year’s exercise.  It’s an anytime activity to get focused, get real and get in action.  Having just returned from a trip, getting back into my routine, this is the perfect time to make some new commitments.

What’s yours?  How do you tell your future story?
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