How your 2016 New Years resolutions are probably already failing you

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As we move into the new year, making vows to lose weight and intentions to be more helpful in the community after the ball drops at midnight on New Years Eve, all the while criticizing the mistakes we made this last year, I encourage you to look forward at this fresh start from a different perspective.

For starters, get off Facebook, stop pinching your Christmas cookie love handles, and start reflecting on this last year with appreciation.  It was a year you lived.

Instead of looking at the new year with plans about everything you would change, look at what you did right last year, what made you feel good, what made you feel proud, and commit to incorporating that into 2016. By focusing merely on your past negatives you are already setting your resolutions up to fail, and yourself up for burnout by week two.

Instead of resigning yourself to a ‘whole new you,’ reconsider your relationships. Several years ago I started evaluating all of my relationships by three simple questions : Do you feel important? Do you feel heard? Do you feel safe? If my answer was ‘No’ to any of those questions, the relationship ended. I ended relationships with doctors I didn’t find agreeable, a boss who was unappreciative, and friends who simply weren’t feeding the best in me anymore. I haven’t regretted it. Rather than developing a whole new you, find people that make you feel like the best version of yourself. I try to treat people according to this criteria as well; around me I want people to feel important, heard, and safe.

Instead of spending the new year being at war with your body, commit to making healthy choices, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’m of the recent opinion that the key to combating depression is owning (and using) a blow drier. Now I know most scientists and doctors would disagree but think of it this way…maybe instead of criticizing your body, and depriving your body of the best stuff until it looks like what you want, present yourself in a way you are proud of everyday, and you and your body will glow every step of the way. Don’t drown yourself in fabric to hide. Do your hair. Put some lipstick on…or sneakers, or overalls, or whatever it is that makes you feel good about you, right now.

Before planning all the things you will do next year to be successful, reevaluate what success looks like to you. To me, it will look a lot like taking more time to appreciate the small pleasures throughout my day, more reading, and more nurturing of local community, whereever that may be according to my ever-changing military life. Be concious about your intentions for 2016, and take a moment each morning to focus on how you will make that part of your day. Your big picture starts with making small decisions daily.

Instead of setting hard and fast rules to how you will make choices in 2016 as a way to do differently from what you did last year, commit to making decisions YOU feel inspired by. This is leadership.

And lastly, before deciding you are going to be more involved in your community, take time to understand what that really means. It’s great to decide you want to do more, but before you go throwing money at organizations, really get to know the community and the organizations need. The reality of change, and the story of these people you are affecting belong to you and are your responsibility. Change starts when we listen, not when we act. Change will never be achieved if we don’t open our ears first. Carry these people’s stories with care. You are not merely affecting change, you are becoming part of their story.



1 Comment

  1. Lanette

    July 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Inartmfoion is power and now I’m a !@#$ing dictator.

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