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.
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
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10 thoughts on “How to Successfully Make New Year’s Resolutions for Our Highest Happiness”
I remember when I was a kid, I wanted to laugh like Eddie Murphy. I know I know. But anyway, I would imitate his laugh over and over again. Then suddenly one day, it took. What was un-natural became natural. The new laugh and old discipline of trying suddenly became me without the need to try.
I would recommend treating your wishes and desires with fun and excitement. By raising one’s energy level, one rises into the spirit of the moment, or into a vibration just out of reach. So if you want to be kind, jump up and down with enthusiasm a thousand times while doing cart wheels and screaming with joy at the top of your lungs….”I am kind…I am kind…I am one of kind…I am kindred and kind” over and over again, and see it happening as you suddenly feel overflowing with the invitation of such spirit.
Nothing then can hold back your wishes when you are UP to the task. Something only comes when we are ready for it. We are ready when we are open and centered and excited for the new arrival. Being down on one’s self then does’t do it for you. See it in your mind and imagine your mind overlapping your heart. Your desires are then a heart beat away.
Beautifully said. Changes in our life when it comes to our habits can indeed come and change does happen, when we are fully ready to embrace that.
Therefore indeed, let us celebrate our changes, not be hard on ourselves about them. For when we are true to ourselves and aligned with our desired outcome, change happens in that instant.
Thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts….imagining you laughing like Eddie Murphy gave me a good chuckle too 🙂
This was beautifully said. I especially resonated to your example of people who gave up a bad habit on the spot after being diagnosed with an illness. It’s true – change can happen in an instant. We just need to get to that “place” inside where our beliefs match our desires and it is is done!
I loved this best of all:
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.
Yes, we can change and we don’t need a once a year ritual such as New Year’s Resolutions to do it.
Thank you for this insightful article.
It is a pleasure to hear from you and hear your thoughts on this topic.
It never ceases to amaze me in my own life, how fast change can happen. So often we get caught up in thinking that a habit that was done for 10, 20 or more years, will take months or even years to break! But truly any change we want is as you also so perfectly stated, happens when our beliefs match our desires.
Thank you again for stopping by and sharing your comments!
Hi Z..thank you for sharing your place with Evita!
Like you, I do not make New Year’s resolutions. I look at each day as a new day to create. I do however, celebrate the day of the new year and set an intent. This year my intent is to embrace simplicity.
I think too often, society gets weighted down by a label. Even if one sets a New Year’s resolution and practices it for 30 days..it is then typical to allow the feeling of “failure” to seep in..rather than to celebrate the 30 days of new and different. I choose to celebrate each step I do take, rather than guilt my self for each step I do not.
Part of that is, as you share here, to live mindfully aware of each step. Each of us individually mindfully aware, then creates a community, a society, and a world…one step at a time:)
Beautiful to hear your thoughts on the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. And I love your points about letting go of labels and celebrating the success of each moment!
YES! If we stick with our goal even for 30 days or even less, that is that many days of us doing something we wanted, so yes indeed, it can be a beautiful celebration.
Thank you Joy for sharing your love-filled being here.
Lovely article :)! Now i know why i dont stand by my resolutions!
Thank you! And thank you for stopping by to share in it, providing your thoughts and feedback.
Hi Evita and Zeenat .. Goals and resolutions can be too binding – especially if the goal posts move, or something happens – we need to adjust .. I like the thought by JD Meier from Sources of Insight .. who says ..
3 stories for today .. simple tasks leading to …
3 stories for the week .. three things to complete, or add to
3 stories for the month, and then for the year ..
If we can do three things properly and move on – how brilliant would that be .. I’d be happy – now to start .. and your Valentine’s day love message is waiting for me to complete out ..
Happy days ahead .. cheers Hilary
Yes, I totally agree. We are ever changing beings. What we may wish to do one day, what may make perfect sense to change, may not do so another day. And locking ourselves into one way of being, than makes us feel like we would be failures to stop our course or change our path.
I like what you shared from J.D. too.
Each day we have the choices to create the life of our dreams. Each day through every choice we make, we become the greatest version of ourselves. May we simply choose to make those choices as consciously as we can 🙂
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