At the end of last year i.e. in December 2010 I wrote about 10 Positive Resolutions for a truly Happy New Year. Today my dear Friend Evita from EvolvingBeings.com is sharing her beautiful Wisdom on New year resolutions and how they can make You happy.
How to Successfully Make New Year’s Resolutions for Our Highest Happiness
Each year, as the end of a calendar marks the end of a year, many of us get caught up in making new year’s resolutions.
While making new year’s resolutions can be a good thing, where it motivates us to change for the better and perhaps kick some bad habits, it can also work against us.
Just like many choices in our lives, often people make new year’s resolutions without conscious awareness. These most often lead to failed resolutions as our mind, heart and soul were not in it to begin with. Some of us make resolutions to please others. This is another way to quickly fail, as we may eventually get resentful and feel we are doing something against our own free will.
So what is the best way to make new year’s resolutions? And what kinds of resolutions are sure to move us in the direction we want to go? In the discussion below, let’s examine some of the most common aspects of making new year’s resolutions and find out how we can successfully make them bring us the most happiness.
What Are the Most Common New Year’s Resolutions?
Most commonly I find, people are interested in making health changes or kicking bad habits. Things like quitting smoking or drinking alcohol or coffee, losing weight or beginning an exercise program seem to be the most popular resolutions.
Some of us, especially if you are reading this site are interested in making changes of more of a self-growth nature. Things like becoming more positive, more kind, more happy, learning how to foster more self-love, self-confidence or self-respect, can also be common.
Whatever your resolutions may be, know that there is no “wrong resolution” to make, as long, as a resolution does not hurt you, others or any aspects of nature in the process. Each one is valid if it is important to you, and can make you or your life better.
Why Do So Many New Year’s Resolutions Fail?
The biggest reason I believe that new year’s resolutions fail, is because people only made the choice in theory, but not in practice. Another way of looking at this is that the choice was not made out of a deeper, conscious awareness.
We can all say a lot of things, but if we do not make changes in our thinking, in our life and our personal habits, intentions only go so far. We need to commit to the change. We need to commit to new habits, to the new way of life, and most importantly we have to do it for ourselves. Doing things for others may motivate us at the start, but is usually short lived, as it did not come from within our own free will.
Another reason people may fail at sticking to their resolution, is because they may find themselves slacking off the 2nd week of January or even early February, and they give up on the rest of the year. Too many people lock themselves in the magical time of “the start of a new year”.
The truth is everyday is a perfect day, and offers us a perfect opportunity to create change in our lives. Don’t use the new year as an excuse. While it can symbolize a fresh start, it can also be a limiting factor to our success.
How Can We Be More Successful at Making New Year’s Resolutions?
To have the most success, make sure that your intentions match your actions. In other words, don’t just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk.
If you are interested in losing weight, make sure you are taking some action towards it each day. This means being more conscious of your choices, first and foremost. For example when trying to lose weight, perhaps in previous times, you would opt for fast food, or be quick to grab a bag of chips, saying something like “just this one time”. But now, if you are serious about making changes, you really have to be serious about adopting new thoughts and new actions consistently. And it all goes back to becoming more mindful of our actions.
In reality, change happens in an instant. We have all heard stories of someone who was diagnosed with some condition that prevented them the continuation of an unhealthy habit and they quit right there and then on the spot. We don’t need to wait for those moments. We simply have to be serious about our choices, and about changing.
We can also help ourselves by immersing ourselves with material, people and environments which are supportive of our new way of life. We can help ourselves by educating ourselves on the topic. The more we know, the better decisions we make, and the more differently we look at or approach the things which we thought once brought us satisfaction.
Ultimately, failing one day does not mean we quit. We have 364 more days to try again. The key is to continue with conscious, consistent daily improvements.
Commit to yourself each day. In the end, it is not about a new year, a new month or a new week. We can make a change in an instant, any day. We simply have to get our priorities straight and make a conscious choice to change. Again, surrounding yourself in a supportive environment is key. If you know that your friends and family will give you a hard time with your new choices, seek other supportive outlets, whether it be support groups, new friends, blogs, web sites, books, etc.
In the end, focus on you. Make sure you are making the change for yourself, and make sure you have enough solid reasons of why you are making the change you are. Be your number one support group and your number one fan. While it is nice to get support from others, remember that the person who will benefit the most from your change is you.
My Favorite New Year’s Resolution
I personally do not make new year’s resolutions, as I truly believe that each day we have the chance to change. However, there is one resolution I put into practice in my own life daily and recommend to others, including those who do not make new year’s resolutions. And that is – to increase one’s conscious awareness.
This applies to and covers all aspects of life. It is the most important aspect of making our lives go as smoothly and successfully as possible, bringing us the highest happiness and inner peace.
Most of our world today operates on a sort of “auto-pilot”. We fall into routines and unconsciously carry out many parts of our lives, from what we put into our bodies, or what we watch on TV, to what we do with our free time, what beliefs we hold, what traditions we participate in, and the list goes on and on.
Increasing our conscious awareness means that we are aware of what we are doing today, to pre-pave a favorable tomorrow. There is huge reduction in guilt, regret, pain, and anguish in one’s life, as choices are made to reflect their possible consequences. We don’t just react to our world, but act mindfully keeping in mind the desired outcome we want. For example, if I get devastating news, I don’t just open a cupboard and fill myself with a food item, but rather consciously process the news, seeking solutions that will not hurt me further.
Ultimately whether we make resolutions or not, may we always remember to be true to ourselves. Each moment, of everyday presents us with the choice to choose again and live out the highest version of ourselves, attaining the highest happiness, joy and inner peace.
About the author:
Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN – is the founder and editor of EvolvingBeings.com – an online publication featuring various topics on spirituality and metaphysics. Evita teaches consciousness expansion and heart-centered living to help people attain deep meaning, peace and happiness in their life. You can sign up for her RSS feed or follow Evita Ochel on Twitter.
Thank you Evita for writing such a beautiful piece and steering us all into the direction of inner happiness and joy.
What are YOUR thoughts on this topic?
Have you stuck by your new year resolutions ? Do share your insights , thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/Spiritual Counselor