The Surprising Saboteur of Resolutions

The Surprising Saboteur of Resolutions
Ready! Set! Go – well wait a minute, not so fast. You can call it procrastination, or refer to it by its other more sinister name: Perfectionism, either way your New Year’s resolution won’t go the distance. The moment you omit, or don’t follow through, the slippery slope of self-esteem causes you to engage in self-doubt leading to judgment and condemnation. If it’s dieting, then you are not losing weight fast enough. Exercise – you can’t compete with all the good looking people in the gym as they are all scanning and evaluating you. Going back to school for a higher degree or different course of study? You need to boost your entrance exam scores before you can apply as you are not worthy.

Resolving to be better is fueled by confidence. If you are changing habits because of social criticism or self-criticism, the journey will be fraught with anger and each step gets harder when you are weighed down by negativity. However, what if you approached a desired change with a personal delight in self-improvement, self-growth and self- exploration? Isn’t the journey that much lighter and more fun?

Therefore supercharge a strength, and the resolution is more likely to take hold than by overcoming a weakness. Rather than dieting and exercising because you are fat and flabby, or returning to school because you are a failure at your job, you might consider revising your language in order to speak to yourself more kindly and so, with encouragement as opposed to disparagement. Pope Francis flew into the hearts of many diverse ethnicities and religious practitioners when he said, “Who am I to judge?” Following this line of thought: Who are you to judge yourself?

How to power up your resolutions:
  • You don’t have to do everything well. Find the one thing in your resolution that you do well. Practice this one thing over and over again until you master the move, the meal, the material, the dance, the conversation, decluttering, or organizing. What you lack in natural ability, you can make up in practice. Your capabilities can exceed your limitations.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others or to what you once were in the past. Don't berate yourself when you succeed, "Oh why didn't I do this sooner?" Deal with your present self. You can choose a mentor or an inspiration to remind you of the journey.
  • Realize that fear is a huge impediment. Don’t frighten yourself by augmenting your fears that what you are about to do is so difficult. When you understand that you might be scaring yourself into making everything harder, you will feel less frightened. Habituate and you will adapt.
  • Motivation is skewed to the positive. You are not depriving yourself when you diet; you are eating quality foods that are not processed and more natural to become healthier. You are not running or bicycling or lifting weights and depleting your energy levels; you are strengthening your body to house your spirit and support you on the journey to your next happiness.

For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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