Each year, we start by making goals and setting our New Year’s resolutions. And every time, approximately six weeks into the year, the majority of us forego what we said we’d like to accomplish and fall back on what is familiar — following the same patterns we had before. We are not alone in this. Actually, only 8% of those who set New Year’s goals and resolutions accomplish them. Why do we do this? The majority of the goals we set are not realistic; instead, we choose goals without intention and expect fast, quick results in a short amount of time.
Besides setting up unrealistic goals, the majority of our goals don’t align with who we are and what is best for us, personally and professionally. Instead, we set goals because we think that’s how it should be: I want to make “this much” money; I want to lose “so many” pounds; I want to…, I want to…, I want! It is great to want things, and it’s great to want to adjust behaviors to get these things; however, most of us miss the crucial first step.
When setting a resolution, have you ever stopped and asked yourself: Why do I want this thing? How would having this thing impact you, your life and those around you? How would it change your life, your relationships and your interactions with loved ones? How does having that coveted goal align with who you are at your core — and with your values?
You see, making a New Year’s resolution stick is less about how we set out to accomplish our goals and more about why we chose them in the first place. For example, our New Year’s resolutions are less likely to stick if:
- What we choose doesn’t resonate with who we really are.
- What we choose doesn’t align with our core values.
- We don’t know the underlying reason(s) as to why we want it.
- We have a false image of how our goal would impact our life and the lives of those around us.
If any of the above statements apply to our decision-making process, then our resolutions most likely don’t hold true value or meaning to us. And when there is no meaning, the result is short-lived — hence an abandoned New Year’s goal or resolution.
A Shift in Viewpoint
So why do so many of us fall victim to this flawed approach to New Year’s resolutions? As people, we usually approach life from a place of want or scarcity — the point of view that we don’t have enough.
What if, instead, you started your year by examining what you already have and truly want in your life, and then practiced being grateful for it? To do this, you’d have to approach life from a place of abundance and gratitude, feeling thankful for what you have already. Once you know what you’re already grateful for, your New Year’s resolutions would come from the desire to create more of what’s already working in your life.
Coming from a place of abundance and gratitude actually sets our brains up to continue looking for the positives in our lives and the world around us. (More about this in the next blog!)
Also, if there’s something you are grateful for and want to keep in your life, there’s a chance you already enjoy being engaged in it. If something brings you joy and warms your heart, there is even a bigger chance that it’s aligned with your belief system and who you are at your core — that’s why you want more of it!
This year, instead of starting my year by identifying what I want, I am going to acknowledge all the things in my life that I want to have more of. I invite you to follow my posts and join me in this process. Let’s be grateful together — and learn how to change our lives and our world with the simple, transformative act of gratitude.
Weekly Action: Gratitude List
- This week, list of all the things you’re grateful for, by answering this question:
- What do I have that I would like to keep and have more of?
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Aazam Irilian, is an artist with a mission to heal and the founder of heal the heart. She is a Transformation coach and helps others to uncover their blocks and overcome life challenges in order to move forward in life, personally and professionally. Her process of combining visualization and creativity, allows participants to relax and clear their mind, in order to identify solutions toward achieving best result for personal and professional growth.