As the year draws to a close many of us begin the "Resolutions" game. I've been giving this a lot of thought and I have decided that most of us would be better off taking a, "Just say "No", attitude towards the whole thing. I admit that it's entirely possible that you are one of those people who make a resolution and follow through, thus creating a story of success for yourself.
I, however, am not one of those people. Nope, I am firmly in the camp of those who make resolutions with the best of intentions and then fail to follow through. Then not only do I still have whatever "bad" habit I am trying to resolve, I also have the burden of having failed at my resolution. So this year I am just saying "No."
Rather than write a story of making a resolution and failing miserably, I am going to write a story of engagement. I am going to take the path of engaging with whatever challenge I would previously have made a resolution about. So rather than resolving not to eat sugar I will pay attention to what I am putting in my mouth (once the Christmas chocolates are gone, of course) and make moment to moment choices. While I will probably still be eating some sugar this time next year I think the chances that I will be eating significantly less are pretty good.
When we choose to engage with something, a conversation ensues. That back and forth is far more welcoming and far less punitive than a flat "my way or the highway declaration." Resolutions are a firmly in the "my way or the highway" camp. You either succeeded or you failed. No room for progress, no room for growth or learning. Just a black and white failure or success spectrum.
When we engage in the conversation there are all sorts of shades of grey we can inhabit that are a far more compassionate place in which to live. When we engage in the conversation we treat ourselves with the kindness that we would show a friend who was struggling with an aspect of life be it weight, addiction, a relationship, or any other challenge. When we engage in the conversation in an open way, rather than taking a perspective of failure or success, we actually make success more likely. It may take a bit longer to achieve our goal but the time spent integrating the new behavior makes sticking with it far more likely.
So, for this New Year, let's ditch the resolutions that make for miserable stories of failure and engage in conversations that open us to stories of success.
May your year be filled with love. laughter, and peaceful hearts.