Three (easier) alternatives to New Year’s resolutions
We’re just a couple of weeks into the New Year, and by now the majority of folks who’ve made new years resolutions are either struggling to hang onto them or have just plain given up.
Why? Because if you’re like most people, the act of declaring bold “resolutions” at the outset of a new year is an unpleasant, inefficient way of trying to change your life. And deep down inside you know it.
The only reason we ever do anything—I mean absolutely anything in life—is that we believe on some level that doing it will make us feel good, or at least make us feel better in our current circumstance. It’s the reason behind our resolution to eliminate sugar and dairy from our diet this year. It’s also the reason we’ll blow off that resolution and eat an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond tonight.
We want to feel good. We want to feel safe, empowered, capable, comfortable. We want to connect and belong and feel valuable.
Do resolutions do that for us? Well, for the vast majority of us, no.
Most resolutions feel like “should’s,” like a stern parent telling us what to do. I will exercise 30 minutes every day (because I know I should). I will quit smoking (because everyone says I should). I will eat healthier (because I know I should). Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Who wants to be told what to do, especially when the bottom-line truth is that we’re uncomfortable with change?
If you really want to begin making meaningful changes in your life, here are a few easier and more effective alternatives you can use right away.
Choose a compelling keyword (or two) for the year.
This is a simple way of bringing more of a certain quality into your life. Choose a keyword that inspires you, that feels aspirational, such as compassion, confidence, patience, forgiveness, generosity, boldness, self-care, or commitment. You could also choose a word or phrase that reminds you of what’s important to you this year, such as “me first,” “family time,” “I am a writer” or “no fear.” Post your keyword or phrase in places where you’ll see it daily.
Stop thinking about changes and start focusing on choices.
Change, or at least the thought of change, is uncomfortable for most of us. So instead of “resolving” to make a major change in your life, such as eating healthier, try breaking up the process into bite-size bits.
- First, simply set your intent to make healthier eating choices more frequently. This lets you off the hook of expecting to transform your life once and forever beginning with today’s lunch.
- As you move through your daily routine, do your best to make choices that align with your intent. So, for lunch today you could choose to have a side salad instead of French fries. Whenever you make a choice or decision in alignment with your intent, give yourself a high-five. Give yourself credit for consciously making the choice. Allow yourself to feel good about it. Eventually, all the small choices you make will start adding up to a larger shift. Let the process gain its own momentum.
- However, do not berate yourself for making choices that don’t align with your stated intent. This is probably the most important consideration of all. If you feel like eating French fries and forgo the side salad, don’t judge yourself or make yourself feel wrong. That’s the worst thing you can do. Instead, make the choice, be comfortable with it, and enjoy your fries! You’ll have another opportunity to make a choice very soon.
As you focus on individual daily choices rather than sweeping life changes, you’ll probably discover your life evolving without much effort or drama.
Try healing your underlying resistance to change.
Oftentimes we feel the urge to make a change in our lifestyle, career or daily routine but we feel stuck. It feels like we’re getting in our own way, as if we’re blocking or sabotaging the very thing we desire to be, do or have. In many cases these blocks are emotional and mental energies that built up when we were younger or they’re residual energy patterns we carried over from previous lifetimes.
You have the ability to heal the resistances you feel. Energy healing sessions can be a gentle, effective way of clearing these blockages. I have found in my own healing journey and in working with clients over the years that these blockages are not necessarily deep or traumatic and can clear quite rapidly.
And yet we are complex beings. As we heal one component of our lives, other issues and blockages often come to the surface. The good news is that as we bring more awareness to our ongoing process of healing, the journey becomes easier and easier.
Energy healing modalities, such as Lemurian Healing, can help us dissolve fears, heal past traumas, and release blockages that are keeping us from moving forward. Once the resistance clears, we can feel more focused and empowered to create the life changes we truly wish to experience.
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