Category Archives: resolutions

Resolving Resolutions

By now, we’ve had about 5 days for our New Year’s Resolutions to settle into our minds. How is that going? Have you been to the gym? Cleaned out your refrigerator? Started that novel? Written in your journal? Meditated daily?

Years ago I wrote a piece on the difference between New Year’s Resolutions and New YOU Resolutions. We often use milestones, such as birthdays, the start of the month or week, or the beginning of a new year to serve as the catalyst for change. Typically, however, a date on a calendar is not inciting enough to create lasting change. That has to come from within. It has to come from YOU.

Which brings me to the point of this week’s writing:

If your resolutions list isn’t in alignment with who you are and doesn’t come from within you, you are setting yourself up for failure before you begin.

Another way to say this is that expectations, as we know them, are based on who we are, and not who the other person (or situation) is. It’s an internal desire, imposed on an external person or thing. A recipe for disappointment, frustration, and suffering.

New Year’s Resolutions are the same in the reverse. Resolutions typically involve some external input or measurement that we then choose to impose on ourselves internally in much the same way we use expectations – only now it’s a mirror image.

In both instances we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure. So, how do we set ourselves up for success?

The key to creating achievable results is to start with goals that come from within and are aligned with

who you are, not who you think you should be;
what you want, not what you think you should want; and
when you can do something, not when you think you should do something.

Externally-derived resolutions are exercises in will-power not pathways to change. Sometimes will-power can result in lasting change, but often times the reverse is true. And even if it does result in change, it typically involves feelings of frustration, deprivation, and lack. Not the most positively reinforcing experiences.

Change has to come from within. The strongest most long-lasting ember or catalyst is the one that burns deeply inside your soul, the one that emanates 100% from within you. Change derived from an internally-vetted desire has the greatest possibility for success.

So, now that you’ve had 5 days to try on your resolutions – and now that you have a new perspective on how to approach them – what are you going to change?

Is it really time for you to create a to-do list that makes you feel further away from your center, in pursuit of some externalized goal? Or is it, perhaps, time for you to create a road map that is in alignment with who you are inside, to honor your inner knowing and voice, and find strength, peace, wellness, and happiness from an internal place of Self.

One last thought: The beautiful thing about all of this is that you get to decide… every moment of every day. Change, growth, and alignment are not tied to a milestone on a calendar.

Happiness.

With New Year’s Resolutions safely behind us, it’s time to address the motivation behind why we desire change. Happiness.

More often than not, when we want to change something it’s often because we don’t quite feel happy.

We are tired or overweight so we want to lose weight and feel better. In other words we want to feel HAPPY about ourselves.

We are frustrated and discouraged at work, so we want to find a new job that pays us more. In other words, we want to feel HAPPY about our life’s work.

We are disappointed and lonely because we are single or in an unhealthy relationship and want to find “the one” or no longer be with “the wrong one.” In other words, we want to feel HAPPY about our relationships.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Happiness (or lack thereof) is a motivating factor for why we desire change. Note that I didn’t say it’s a motivating factor for actual change…because it’s not.

Here’s the rub: we desire to be happy, but happiness as a goal in and of itself is never achievable. Why? Because Happiness is a byproduct of something else. It’s the side effect of living your life with passion, purpose and joy.

Happiness is what happens when you make deliberate decisions to live in alignment with your values and goals, with who you are deep inside. Whether your goal is to be a cheese farmer or a banker, it’s the same thing. Happiness is what happens when you stop pursuing happiness and start living from your heart, your passion.

I’d like to say it’s a Catch 22, but that implies some circularity of thought. It doesn’t. If you want to create change, because you’re unhappy, don’t set happiness as the target. Set the target as something tangible, accessible, and aligned with your values. Happiness will then be the result of working toward your goal.

Manifesting and Reflecting

As the days are getting shorter, the year is coming to a close, and we are entering the holiday season with Thanksgiving next week – I feel it is time to prepare ourselves.

Typically, we look back after Christmas, and then in a hurried fashion we think about the year ahead. We make our New Year’s resolutions, and we reflect on what we did (or didn’t) accomplish these past 12 months. After 5-6 weeks of holiday feasts, parties and celebrations, it’s no doubt that the focus of our attention is usually on returning to a more moderate lifestyle – complete with diets and exercise. But what if we didn’t wait until the last minute to begin our reflections and, more importantly, our manifestations for the coming year?

By waiting until after the holiday hangover begins, our manifestations have a greater chance of coming from a place of excess or, perhaps even, punishment for how we’ve spent the last few weeks in celebration. They are reactionary. Whereas, if we begin our reflections now, and allow ourselves the time to truly focus on manifesting the coming year from a place of thoughtful consideration – think of the possibilities!

Thanksgiving is typically spent with our loved ones, pausing in gratitude, as we appreciate and share our blessings and the year we have just experienced. In that process, don’t forget that you are a “loved one” as well. Remember to pause with yourself, and reflect on the blessings you have created in your own life. This reflection will bring you to your focus for your manifestations. Through honoring yourself, you honor those around you. There is no greater gift.

Therefore, in preparation for the holidays, the coming year, and the great opportunities in your future, I invite you into a space of empowerment. “Resolutions” is just a reactive word for manifestation. More importantly, however, manifestation has an added connotation of being empowering. So – what do you desire in your life? How can you focus your attention on manifesting better health, relationships and serenity? By starting now, I can almost guarantee that your holidays will be more enjoyable. Why? Because you will be approaching them from a position of love: Love for others, for your future, and mostly, for yourself.

THree THings

Body – Think of the past year and what changes you have already made – then thank yourself. Once you’ve done that, think of new modifications you would like to consider, and why? Write them down this way: What if….

Mind – Time spent in reflection is valuable, if the reflection yields opportunities for growth. (If reflection is merely an occasion to shame yourself – then I would suggest you spend as little time as possible reflecting on the past.) Time spent looking forward is valuable, if it brings with it actionable steps for change. How are you spending your time?

Spirit – Your intuition will always lead you in the “right” direction. Right does not mean “not wrong” – instead, it means “loving.” Therefore, your intuition will always lead you toward greater love – for yourself, and, eventually, others. Can you hear your intuition? Do you know how to access it without ego and judgment? It’s always there, and it always loves you. Do you know that?

In love and light,

Martina