The origin of New Year’s resolutions dates as far back to the Babylonians (over 4,000 years ago), and their celebrations prompted by their wish to earn the favor of the gods. In a recent podcast, Brooke Castillo delved into why we do what we do, particularly the resolutions we make.
Why We Make Resolutions
Most resolutions stem from how we believe we will feel once we have achieved our goals. Many of those beliefs are not in alignment with our reality.
Will travel automatically result in your becoming more cultured if you aren’t aware of your existing biases that keep you closed off from certain experiences?
Will losing ten pounds make you happier or is it more important to make small changes physically, emotionally, and spiritually together to achieve both happiness and mental and physical health?
Why are we trying to disconnect more from our phones, wake up earlier, or take a new class? Are we thinking as deeply about the why as we are the how?
Simply writing a resolution does very little to empower us in the long-term, nor does it offer us the discipline and daily commitment it takes to change our habits (much of which have to do with elements outside ourselves.)
Resolutions will never work if we do not identify the core of the habit and the word resolute itself provides very little flexibility.
So why do we try year over year in futility?
What We Should Do Instead
The most important place to begin in creating positive change in your life (in my opinion) is self-acceptance. We are all imperfect but acknowledging the good along with the bad is a way to keep your expectations balanced and ultimately prevent self-sabotage.
When we become aware of our capabilities along with our limitations, we empower ourselves to focus on what we truly want (and do not want.)
My 2018 Non-Resolutions
I started looking at myself, my progress, and failures at the end of 2017.
I looked at what I had wished to achieve, and if I did succeed, I asked myself how it changed my life or outlook. Did it have it’s desired effect? If not why, and how could I change my methods moving forward?
Only then did I think about how I wanted to move forward in a way that was intentional and carefully meaningful.
For more inspiration, see what Tony Robbins says about The Difference Between People Who Stick to Their New Year’s Resolutions and Those Who Don’t.
Did you make any resolutions this year and what are your opinions on making them and their efficacy?