New Year Resolutions – New Year “re-solutions” (Part 1)

Posted by Simon 29 December 2010
Filed under Lifestyle Transitions, News & Events, Observations & Insights.

For many of us, this is a time for tradition. But it is not necessarily a tradition that brings fulfilment. Often many of us, if we were really honest, are left with a sense of emptiness and un-fulfilment. We follow the same tradition leading up to the festive season, overindulge during the festive season, engage in the same conversations with the same people throughout and then seem to always get the same outcomes. For many the outcome is increased disappointment and regret at “what has been”. For others it may be increased frustration and anxiety at sensing a widening gulf between where they are and “what could be”.

Perhaps it is outcomes such as these that have led to the heightened significance of another tradition that often takes place at this time of year:  New Year Resolutions.

Typically, these resolutions encompass a decision as to some future action and are often accompanied by a strong intent and considerable bravado. The fact is, however, these resolutions are seldom achieved, rarely adhered to and often unremembered the morning after the night before when they were proclaimed.

Why is that?

Perhaps we would have greater success at achieving these resolutions if we realised what a resolution was really all about. A resolution is really a re-solution. In other words, it is the act or process of resolving something or breaking it up into its constituent parts or elements. And what is “resolving” other than re-solving something. All this implies that within each of us there are the answers to our questions as well as the clarity that we need to be able to move beyond the burden of “what has been” and to leap the gulf to “what could be”.

To re-solve is to solve again or anew. It is to look at each element of the issue that is the focus of our attention and then to instigate change or transformation to enable a new outcome.

I wonder how often we allow ourselves the opportunity to really look at each element of an issue? By this I mean the deeper causal elements such as “what role am I playing in this situation?” and “how can I take responsibility in this issue?”  Once we are able to drill down to this level we are able to seek to re-solve an issue and then set a resolution to change our situation.

This brings us back to the original source of the word resolution. It comes from the Latin resolutio meaning a loosening, an untying, a relaxation.

So, to achieve the outcome we are seeking, we need to be easier on ourselves rather than harder on ourselves.

Put another way, we need to listen to ourselves rather than ignore ourselves. Obviously this means listening to our bodies in terms of what it requires by way of nutritional inputs. But it also means listening to our spirit and understanding what it requires to remain stimulated and enthused.

Once we are able to do this we will be capable of great achievements; achievements that can’t easily be encapsulated by mere words proclaimed in a “New Year Resolution”.  In fact, we will be capable of actively embracing huge transitions in our life with considerable focus, clarity and certainty.

It is these lifestyle transitions that often are the turning points for many of us and they often are the underlying source of our need to proclaim resolutions in the first place. “I’m going to get my health in order”, “I’m going to get my business back on track”, “I’m going to go back and finish my studies”, “I’m going to settle down and have children”. These are just some of the types of resolutions that get proclaimed (some ever so softly) at this time of year.

But so many of us plan to fail, simply because (as the saying goes) we fail to plan.

To be continued …

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