Every year thousands of resolutions are made and even more, are broken. Sometimes, I wonder, why do we even make one? When majorly they end up broken. It’s a never-ending process. Years come and go by and so does our resolutions. Speaking out of personal experience, none of my past resolutions have ever seen the sunlight.
Come to think of it; why do new year resolutions not work? What is that we are really seeking?
Yes, that’s exactly what we are looking for. All we want is control. Control over our weight, control over our spending, control over our reading list, control over our smoking habit, control over our work/life balance. And it makes complete sense that we would want control over our lives.
However, everything comes attached to a price tag. Our willpower has always been a limited a resource, and every time we try to exert control over something, we lose the ability to control something else. Hence, leading us to feel more out of control as compared to when we started.
A couple of years back, I realized that new resolutions come as a slap in our faces. Reason being; resolutions focus more on what we should be doing rather than what we really want to do. And in order to follow the path, we exert way too much willpower which ends up in exhaustion, drainage of energy and increased mental pressure; when all we should be feeling is excitement in getting yet another year to get it right. We need a better way, a way to control and plan our lives that leaves us feeling full of life rather than leaving our lives (and stomachs!) more empty.
I have religiously stopped making new year resolutions, for obvious reasons that they do not work. On the other hand, I started planning my life around a simple question:
What is it that I really want to do this year?
This question does not give me all answers but it sure makes my goals simpler and weighs off a lot of that pressure. A little better planning skill goes a long way.
There are three major steps that I discovered while doing the planning bit –
EXPERIENCE: What do you want to experience this year?
Life is a great adventure. What do you want to see this year? What do you want to try for the first time? Where do you want to travel and who are you going to take with you?
Don’t settle for a life filled with tasks, to do lists and cheap takeout. This year, what will you experience that will bring your life more meaning?
ACCOMPLISH: What do you want to accomplish this year?
We all have that long list of things that we all would want to accomplish. Now is the time to do it.
QUIT: What do you want to quit this year?
There are always things that keep us from living our best life, whether they’re a job, a bad habit, or a task. What if we could quit? How would that transform our lives? If we could stop doing anything, what would it be? We can’t add more to your life without getting rid of something. We might not be able to quit it today or tomorrow (responsibly, anyway), but we need to figure out what we want to quit and then make a plan.
We often settle for outward success when what we are really looking for is something much deeper. As we explore our desires for the new year, we need to try to get past the superficial and figure out your true motivations. We need to start applying these questions to all aspects of our lives.
Often while doing the planning bit we tend to focus only on one aspect of our lives, especially our professional life. However, we are a whole person. If we succeed in one area of life but fail in all the rest, we’ll be miserable. That’s why it’s so important to spend time dreaming about what we want in all areas of your life.
Having gone through this transition I also realized that –
We can’t do everything and we may not get everything that we want, but when we connect our desires to our goals, we are much more successful at finishing them.
Stop focusing on what you should be doing this year.
Instead, spend time thinking about what you want to be doing. You may learn something new about yourself, and you will definitely have a fuller, more meaningful year.
Happy New Year!!