I found myself thinking about New Year’s Resolutions this week and how tiresome and ineffective they often turn out to be.
I don’t usually make them, although I do set goals for the year and drill down monthly and weekly.
Do you trust yourself?
The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is often how far-fetched they are. We want to be someone different, so even though we’ve never changed before, we think that with the new year we will somehow find the energy to overcome our lethargy and resistance and pull off a huge change to become this mythical ‘better person’.
New Year’s Resolutions fail 92% of the time!
By around Jan 4th we’re already weakening and wishing we hadn’t told anyone about it. By Jan 7th it’s often brushed under the carpet. There’s a study on NY resolutions showing that 92% of people don’t achieve them. #1
The Brute Force approach
I think we need to admit that part of the problem is we can’t change ourselves by brute force. Merely disliking the way we currently are is as unlikely now as it’s always been to motivate us to change. Aggression never achieved that much and bruises the soul. We can only love ourselves in to positive change – see the result we want, feel grateful ahead of time that we have it and fuelled by this, take massive action towards it.
Manifesto: A different approach
So this year I have drafted a manifesto for myself. I can use this any time and it does not contain the concept of failure, as it lacks a deadline. It’s more about how I aspire to be. I know it’s aspirational and I know it’s good, because even though others may laugh when they read it, it can’t possibly do any harm.
Here is what I wrote:
I open my heart to life
I open my mind to new experiences
I extend my love and tender care to others without reserve
I am guided by faith in a wondrous and benevolent universe
I deepen connections with those I cherish
I forgive myself everything, even as there is nothing to forgive
I forgive others everything, even as there is nothing to forgive
I trust myself and have my own back, always
I see myself and my life as a blessing, not a problem
I embrace failure
I embrace success
I achieve my goals
I own my shit and manage my mind and emotions
I take responsibility for myself
I am enough
Who Do You Want To Be?
I especially like the last part – when do we give ourselves that much acceptance? And yet there’s no reason at all not to. If you had a chuckle at my manifesto, ask yourself what it would be like to make your own? How delicious would it feel to be kind to yourself at Xmas?
What if you were perfect as you are? I believe you are. I know you’re doing your best.
Give yourself that gift. You’ve earned it, by being here and breathing.