At the beginning of every new year, we celebrate because it marks the start of new opportunities and new beginnings for various activities in our lives. We start off with a bang, but as January ends we start lose steam and forget why and what we set out to do.
When starting out with setting resolutions, we sit down to reflect on the past year and check to see whether what we had set to out to achieve really happened or not. This reflection period provides us an opportunity to rectify the mistakes made in the previous year, set new resolutions to be achieved and gives us the experience we need to achieve what we want.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when setting resolutions (or goals in general) is making sure they are PERSONAL and not for OTHERS.
It’s got to be something that WE truly deeply want of ourselves. When we make it personal, we protect it. When we don’t, we open it up for all sorts of failure from external factors.
A few examples of personal resolutions include starting a business or getting a better job, working on your diet, physical fitness, or even pursuing academic endeavorers.
These are all personal goals that are for YOU.
The moment we de-personalize it and do it for someone else is when we open ourselves up to losing steam and momentum. As time goes on our resolution starts to take a beating. Both by our own self-doubts and by the criticisms and feedback of others.
Often our family or peers feel the decision we made isn’t the right one, or they question us, or stop encouraging us which can add a layer of doubt and resistance to our purpose… dwindling the light that was once so bright at the beginning of the year.
But if we can re-personalize it, we get the power back, and we get our resolutions back on track.
When I was reading through Ellen Luda’s article, “The Crossroads of Should and Must”, I got to appreciate the clear difference she gives between the MUST and SHOULD. According to Ellen, a “must” defines our true character and who we truly are, while a “should” is what other people want us to be.
This affirms the importance for each of us to make the right choice. Whether to do things for others or for ourselves and to always remember WHY we started.
Are you still on track with your new year's resolutions? If not, are you able to remember why you started?
If it was for someone else, maybe today is a good day to re-think the goal, personalize it, and start over with a bang!