res·o·lu·tion /rezəˈlo͞oSHən/ noun
A firm decision to do or not to do something.
So here we are about a week and a half into 2013 and those resolutions have been launched. Some take wing and soar and many others plummet. I’ve been reading all sorts of stats on just how many resolutions fail and it would be disheartening except for one thing – there’s nothing wrong with resolutions themselves, it’s really a matter of strategy.
Start with the resolution itself – if you’ve resolved to NOT do something you could well be setting up an interesting obstacle by putting yourself into a deprivation mindset. Is there a way to turn that resolution around to be embracing something instead? ”I’m giving up TV” (I know, American Heresy 101) creates a deficit in many people’s lives given the number of hours that so many people sit in front of the tube. So what are you going to do instead? If you’re thinking you’ll use that time to do something creative then make that your resolution perhaps “I will create a new painting for my sister” or “I will write that blog about rubber band collecting” or whatever floats your creative boat. Just stating what you want to create carries energy and excitement. That can carry over into any positive resolution. Another thing to consider when stating your resolution is *why* it’s important to you.
Here’s a great exercise – write down your resolution (or intention if you prefer that word) and memorize it. It shouldn’t be a long sentence so work on making it a brief, powerful statement. Now stand in front of a mirror (a video camera is even better and probably available on your phone) and say the resolution/intention aloud. Watch your face, your eyes, your shoulders, your overall posture. Do you see the excitement in yourself, the recognition of something that will please you? Do you see excitement? Do you see fear (please note that this is not necessarily a negative)? Do you see nothing much? Does the resolution/intention *feel* genuine? Answering these questions can help you find resolutions/intentions that will fulfill you and help weed out those that perhaps don’t belong to you.
So the first part of resolution/intention is finding the right one. In a future post I’ll talk about what to do now that you’ve stated your intent. How did your resolutions stand up to this exercise?