Friday, January 10, 2014

Say Goodbye to Typical New Year Resolutions Blues

The things you do or don't do about New Year resolutions are what you do right now as a consistent practice about any such decisions. Whatever you don’t do about them, and why, you can do differently starting today.

How would this affect how we practice the Golden Rule?

It's important to understand why resolutions you make any time of the year fizzle out. You may feel a desire for something to shift or change, but if your commitment to make it happen doesn't match your desire, you'll return to doing what's convenient or familiar rather than what it takes, because it’s really a wish rather than a genuine desire backed by commitment. Resolution means you are resolved, committed, intentional.

Another reason is perhaps you aren't clear about your WHY: Why you really want what you say you do. The reason you think you want something may be buried under layers of other thoughts and feelings, hiding your real reason, which is a feeling you wish to have and keep. For example, if you want to reduce the numbers on a weight scale or increase the numbers in your bank account, what's your why? If it's so the opinion of others about you will be what you want it to be, that's a formula for probable failure and an unpleasant experience: that’s too many people to attempt to please. Maybe what’s really there is a desire to feel loved and accepted, which is a layer over your real desire to love and accept yourself, which requires a different approach than weight loss or focusing on more money, alone. This kind of thought process can, of course, be applied to anything you say you want.

Sometimes the absence of an effective plan is what causes the fizzle. What is an effective plan? It's something you have head and heart alignment about. Stated a different way, it includes required steps you are fully committed to taking and, possibly or likely, are even enthusiastic about taking, and is in alignment with who you know yourself to be and your Principles. Aim for what will really make you sizzle so you won’t fizzle.

There are key steps to take, in order to fulfill any desired intention (that is, any intention that is ultimately for your highest good and the highest good of all involved) and say goodbye to resolution blues, which is about causing yourself to feel bad about resolutions you don't keep, and to feel good about ones you do.

1.You have to be fully aligned with what you say you want and what you are resolved to accomplish. If, every day, you replay images of yourself as not having your desired outcome or experience, or you replay what it feels like to not have what you are resolved about, you aren't as open to ways you can make it happen more easily as you might be and you are blocking the result from happening more readily, because you are focused on not having it, plus, not feeling good about yourself or life as you move through this process, which is, essentially, being in opposition to yourself.

You cannot be negatively focused and “charged” (“It’ll never work” or “I’m not deserving”) and affect positive change at the same time. A small shift from "this is awful" to "there is a way" does make a difference, simply because one closes you off to inspired ideas and actions, as well as receptive, attracting energy, and the other keeps you open to them and doing what’s required. Whether you call this energy or attitude management doesn’t matter; it's an important practice.

Sometimes anger is the motivation that moves people into action. That is a step up from hopeless or apathetic, but unconscious actions taken from anger are generally not the best ones to take. You might feed a need in the moment, but what do you intend to build long-term? How do you really feel once the anger need is satisfied? It's important to feel what you feel and let this motivate you, but is unconscious action based in anger your desired practice? Does your action, or speech, come from consciousness (the ability to accurately observe and assess what’s going on) and preserve integrity and moral rightness or does it deplete these? If you can act from justified anger (based on a true infringement on your Rights or the Rights of others) as your catalyst AND maintain morality (do no harm) and integrity, that’s different.

2.There are two ways to make a plan. One way is to be motivated by fear. This typically leads to long hours, agitated energy, bad moods, and lots of activity that may not actually be productive. You may be conditioned to believe that worry, strain, stress, frustration, criticism, and other such fear-based "motivators" are effective ways to create change, but how's that worked for you so far? How does it feel to be in and operate from that place?

It's imperative that you put your attention on what really creates shift. You've been told you can't succeed without a goal, strategy, or a plan. These are tools that help you stay on track, but they aren't what make things happen initially or keep you on the path. Kurt Wright wrote, “Commitment is a magnet.” Your intention, commitment, and aligned energy are what ignite forward motion and build momentum in you and cause what you desire or something better to happen.

This means that the better way to make a plan is to take a little time to get clear on what you really want, and your true Why, and align your energy and attitude in a way that keeps you open to inspired ideas and actions, right timing, right people, right opportunities, and right resources. This allows or causes you to make a plan you are in alignment with, as well as be in alignment with taking required actions you include in your plan. It supports the courage you need to get started and to keep going. This isn't pie-in-the-sky thinking. When you do this, you build a foundation that is so strong, you can aim at and go toward anything you truly desire that is in your and the greater best interest, because what you build is Self Trust, Self Esteem, Self Empowerment, and Self Reliance.

Whatever you tell yourself you want from your New Year resolutions or resolutions made at any time of the year, those four Self attributes are what lie underneath your reasons for wanting what you do or say you do. You want to do what is needed to believe in yourself completely and from an authentic perspective, not a perspective of trying to get the approval you desire from others, though that approval may (or may not) happen as a side-effect.

It is important that you know what is appropriate or inappropriate and fulfilling or unfulfilling for you, including you in the bigger picture. What's probably causing you to fizzle out is that you've never taken the time or the courageous stand to define what your ideals are for YOU in the different areas of your life. But I don’t mean just for you, as in solely service-to-self, but for you and in service-to-others and beyond, into service-to-Truth; hence, for the highest good of all involved. How can you go for what you really want if you don't even know what it is, or are afraid to state it even to yourself then claim it?

A resolution is only as good as your defined image of it (using your imagination productively and constructively), your commitment, your enthusiasm, your alignment with it, and your core underlying reason for wanting it, which is, ultimately, how you really want to feel as an individual and as an integral contributor to the reality you share with others. Start now. It's neither too early nor too late. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.     
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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