New Years Resolutions ~ Turning Intentions into Reality


I’m guessing your inbox, Instagram, blog subscriptions, podcasts are blowing up with ways for you to make your turn your New Years Resolutions in to reality.  Just like last year.

Do you wonder why it is such a challenge for most people to make their resolutions last?

I do.

I think about it most hours of most days.  I think about why and how we make choices in our lives.  It is the work I do.

Here’s what I have come up with:

1.  Western culture is very outward driven, so most of us are looking outside of ourselves for both inspiration and to somehow make these changes happen.  Making change and keeping resolutions is an inside job. It requires a great deal of self-knowledge.
2.  We tend to move fast.  We make decisions very quickly.  There is an Iroquois quote “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”  No longer.  Immediate gratification —nowis where it’s at.  So when New Years comes, we have thought about our resolutions for, what, a day?
3.  I don’t think it is exactly the right time to make a change like that.  According to more earth- + body-based practices, we would begin considering our intentions at the winter solstice, for reflection as the light returns.  Then in spring, at the equinox, we might have a clear idea of what we intend.
4.  Resolutions are not intentions.  I looked up the definition of resolution.  It basically involves Will-power.  Determination.  Dedication. These are all good things. Usually however, not enough to make a long-term shift.  According to the motivational people I read, we have a limited amount of those things, so best used for short bursts of energy.  Instead, begin by understanding how making the change serves your life. In Nonviolent Communication terms it is the needs will get met by making the changes you want to make.  Connecting to that, day in and day out will give us the resources to continue.

Get a picture, very, very clear picture in your mind of what you want your life to look like.  What will you be doing?  Who will you be doing it with?  Where will you be living?  How will you look?  How will you feel?  Make a list of those things.  Consider what about it is different than the life you have.

You can then choose one or two things that right now, you might want to do differently so that you are moving in the direction of that experience of life.