Does this sound familiar?
Here’s a personal experience from years ago. I used to be a perfectionist with unrealistic expectations. I had set about ten New Year’s resolutions in the areas of mind, body, and spirit. When June rolled around, I pulled out the list and realized I had not accomplished one of those items! With my all or nothing approach I thought, “Well, better luck next year!” and then tossed the list aside. I wanted everything on that list to happen but I wanted it to happen yesterday. No dice.
Roughly in the year 2000, I decided to write down a wish list. I wrote down things in all aspects of my life. I thought if it happens, great. If it doesn’t, then not a huge deal—it’s a wish! Two years later, I pulled out the wish list and noticed that more than half of those items on my list occurred. I was surprised to see once I had made it a wish, let it go, and didn’t get in the way of it, more things got accomplished.
So, what does this mean? Do we just make wishes and hope they just happen magically? I wish! The answer is no. There is more to this.
Just choose one?
Focus on just one New Year’s Resolution and check to see if your desire and belief match up. For instance, if I scale my desire from 1-100, 100 being high and 1 being low, where do I rate my desire on that scale? If my desire is a 99 and my belief that it will actually happen is a 20, the chances of it happening are slim. If my desire is a 99 and my belief is at an 88, the chances of it happening are most likely. If you’re belief is low for it happening this year, add it to the wish list.
Here’s one reason why my wish list worked. When I wrote the wish list, my belief of when those items would occur did not have a time frame. If I didn’t believe something could happen in 1 year, it could very well happen in 5 years. Therefore, my belief of it happening increased.
Just because you have one New Year’s Resolution, doesn’t mean you can’t set other short/long term goals throughout the year. Categorize those goals separately rather than as THE New Year’s Resolution. This helps to break it down and compartmentalize it so it is attainable.
4 Tips to Make Your New Year’s Resolution a Success:
- Choose 1 New Year’s Resolution.
- Set an action plan.
- Ask yourself if your desire and belief match up. If they do match up, you have a realistic resolution.
- If your desire and belief don’t match up, add it to the wish list.
Happy New Year! Thanks for reading and feel free to share!
Heather Severn, LMFT & Coach