by Alyssa Madill – Feed the Fire Nutrition & Wellness –
January’s come and gone, and so have 80% of the New Year’s Resolutions that were made.
Let’s reframe this, to promote lasting change.
If you look up resolution on www.thesaurus.com, you will find the synonyms of boldness, courage and energy. I was delighted to find these words listed. If you considered a synonym for “New Year’s Resolution,” perhaps daunting, unrealistic or shortsighted may come to mind. This is likely due to past experiences of failure that have tainted this phrase over time. But this appealing list of synonyms even includes dedication, heart, intention, purpose, spirit and tenacity!
How would it feel to change out New Year’s Resolution for one of these engaging phrases? “My 2020 act of courage is to …” “set up that side hustle I’ve been dreaming of”, “try cooking for myself more often” or “try a meditation class.” Or how about “My 2020 intention is to focus on my wellness and get more sleep.” Doesn’t that sound so much softer, and achievable?
How we speak to ourselves and others has resounding impact. Go ahead and make the changes, but try making it sound like less of a punishment. If you’re wondering why it has felt that way for all these years, we may have history to blame. New Year’s Resolutions go back as far as 4,000 years to the Babylonians. Back then the year began in the spring – they would make promises to their gods in hopes for bountiful crops and there was little concept of the self. It seems that things got personal in the 1700s within the church – they would encourage their followers to look back over the past year and take stock of mistakes they made, and then promise to do better the following year.
They had good intentions, but I think it is vital to realize that our mistakes actually shape us. Poor choices we have made, opportunities we have missed, dark times we have endured – these all truly strengthen our resolve (and yes, resolve shares its origin with resolution). If we can learn from these mistakes and mishaps, we can become more wise, more tolerant and therefore more evolved.
So please, no matter what happened in 2019 or even over the last decade, be kind to yourself and be thankful for those lessons.
Since I’m a fan of step-by-step action plans, I’ll summarize this idea into one tidy bundle for you. Give this a try if you would like to make some shifts in 2020 and throughout the next decade. You can start this at any moment; don’t feel you need to wait for a new year, month or week.
- Contemplate and reflect, but don’t categorize past mistakes vs. successes.
- Ask yourself “What’s working for me already?” and “What would make this even better?”
- Choose one to three things to work on. Less is more.
- Select your favourite synonym for the word resolution.
- Create your own sentence that encompasses your personal action moving forward.
All the best on your journey!