As we look forward to the new year approaching with lightning speed, we have an annual tradition of celebration and goal setting referred to as New Year’s Resolutions.
Although it is a Western Hemisphere tradition, it has deep roots in the Eastern Hemisphere dating back to the Babylonians and Romans.
Each year in the US, over 88 percent of the population set resolutions. Research conducted by US News found that by the second week of February close to 80 percent of those surveyed have thrown in the towel, leaving just 8 percent of achieving their resolutions.
I have spent some time researching the different viewpoints from experts in the field of psychology and I have a different perspective based on my life experiences.
First, let’s breakdown a few common goals we tend to gravitate to. The top 5 resolutions include losing weight, exercise, save money, career change and to be happier according to Inc.com.
The heavily weighted opinion is that we have a high rate of failure due to goals being set too lofty and we haven’t mapped out a strategy to achieve the goals.
Both points mentioned are in fact quite accurate and at the surface level of disappointment by mid February.
Let’s take a moment to explore it a bit deeper than this.
On one hand, if we consider that we scan over our past 12 months and examine the areas we are unhappy with, our conclusion is that we need to fix or improve something that on the surface seems to be our cause of unhappiness.
We use the same thinking that got us into a hot mess and commit to oneself…it’s time to change.
To use the same thinking that got us here and expect different results could be the cause of low success rates.
I would like to take a moment to explore this phenomenon a bit closer to dig deeper for a reality check.
For example, let’s take a look at one of the top resolutions millions of us set; losing the extra weight we put on this past year. Consider over the past number of years, we may have been stacking up a few extra 5-10 pounds each year. We may have even invested in the latest weight loss program or changed up our diet by going keto or paleo.
You know, the latest trends that have taken us by storm and we jump into them with great faith and hope for change, only to be disappointed by the year end one more time!
In the end, some may have success in losing the weight, but most eventually put the weight back on when life shows up and we resort to old habits of comfort food indulgence.
We tend to stay looking at the behaviors we are not happy with and focus on what we think we need to change with resolute focus, hence the resolution.
We have not been taught to slow down long enough to examine and ask ourselves, “why have I put on the extra weight, or why have I allowed myself to stay paralyzed in an unfulfilling job or relationship”?
If we are to ask the “why” question, it will provide some clarity and truths. You see, when we look in the mirror and don’t like how we look, we want to change the exterior illusion of self. Losing the 20 plus pounds may improve how we feel about ourselves for the short term, however it will not be addressing the cause of the weight gain in the first place. It’s common to use food to regulate our emotions, especially when we are feeling low, lonely, sad, angry or depressed.
For example, If we want real long term improvements we need to examine the root cause of what’s behind using food to comfort us.
When we are ready to be honest with ourselves and prepared to go deep within, we will experience transformational breakthroughs leading to dissolving the misuse of food to feel better in the moment.
Truth…you see, I was one of those people who did just that. By the time I woke up and asked the “why” I was packing the extra 60 pounds and pushing a 42” waist!
Once I went deep within and focused on healing the wounds from my earlier years, the weight began to drop off and it’s stayed off for close to four years now.
It’s easier for us to look at what we don’t like about our life, so we stay focused on the end result of our behavior rather than explore what’s behind the unhealthy choices and behaviors.
When we put the focus on doing the inside work facing our inner shadows and pain, we have an amazing ability to improve the quality of our life. The hurtful behaviors and choices that have impacted our life in a negative way can shift into life-changing experiences!
Instead of setting quick hit goals to feel better in the moment, have the courage to go deeper within for breakthroughs to break free to Freedom!
As you take time over the next few days to decide on what’s worked and not, take a different approach to setting your resolutions for real permanent changes.
Let’s go deeper in 2020 to ask the “why” and we may just have a break out year of significant success in achieving our New Year’s Resolutions!