New Year ChampagneRegardless of when you think the year ends, September/October for Israel, November for the Cherokee people, December 31 in Western culture, and February for the Chinese to name a few, making the transition is an opportunity for incorporating the wisdom gained from this year just passing and using it to start fresh.  How you do that makes all the difference.  I have watched year after year as family and friends take this opportunity to make grand resolutions that are completely impractical, set goals for themselves that only an Olympic athlete could achieve and convince themselves that they are going to achieve these things through sheer will power without the need to change their lives in any way.

Of course the inevitable happens.  Within a week to a month they have given up on all of it and perhaps even forgotten that they started in that direction. Life goes back to the way it was before more or less.  This seems harmless on the surface and everyone makes light of it knowing that achieving or even acting on New Year’s resolutions has a very low chance of ever happening.  However, what is actually going on is self-abuse.  The resolutions we set for ourselves usually fall into two categories:  things we think we should do because other people think we should or things that are dear to our hearts that we truly wish to achieve.  In either case, stating out loud that we are going to do these things tells our hearts/minds/bodies and even soul that we are going to work towards this goal and give ourselves this reward.

What happens when we don’t is we lose confidence in ourselves. Emotionally we are hurt in ways we have unfortunately come to accept and even expect.  We set ourselves up to fail and we SUCCEED in failing.  (This is something that I point out to clients. Contrary to what they believe, they are amazingly successful in what they actually set out to do with these types of resolutions, which is to fail.) We reiterate to ourselves that we are incapable of achieving our dreams or those dreams we are told to have and in so doing make ourselves less.  So the year is a failure from the outset and any victories or gains that we make only fill in some of the debt we have created within ourselves.

Choose to do things differently.  This year, make a New Year’s Resolution not to set any goals you can’t achieve. Set no goals that don’t come from your own dreams.  Be your own best advocate and make this year a win/win situation by being reasonable and practical. This year, choose to succeed at creating the life you deserve one piece at a time. Rome wasn’t made in a day and neither were you. It’s great to reach for the stars, but if you want to actually touch them you should probably start with building a ladder and then climb it one rung at a time.